Kamehameha linebacker Tainoa Foster, who was named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser all-state first team last month, committed to Fresno State on Saturday.
Foster, who also had offers from Washington State, Hawaii and Utah State, made his pledge while on his official visit with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder visited Washington State the week before and had another official visit scheduled with San Diego State this weekend, but canceled his trip after making his commitment to head coach Tim DeRuyter and his staff on Saturday night while standing on the 50-yard line at Bulldog Stadium.
“I was planning on taking the rest of my trips but when I went up (to Fresno) it was a whole different feeling and I knew that was the place for me,” Foster said on Tuesday. “It was our last night and the coaching staff and some of the recruits were out standing on the field and they gave us this inspirational speech that got me all fired up.”
“I seen (inside linebackers) coach Nick (Toth) and I was like, ‘man, coach, I’ve got to tell you right now, I’m all in on this.’ He told coach DeRuyter to come over and was like, ‘we got ourselves an inside linebacker.’ Everyone went nuts.”
Foster had visited Washington State a week earlier and had a chance to play in the Pac-12, but said it snowed nearly the entire time he was in Pullman.
He also got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with the Fresno State coaching staff during his visit that swayed him in that direction.
“They made sure to talk a lot and wanted my family to know that if I ended up there Fresno would be taking care of me and just the way they scheduled the whole trip out made for a lot of one-on-one time with all the coaches,” Foster said.
Foster will be the first Bulldog from Hawaii since Farrington alumnus Ioane Sagapolu transferred from Fresno City College to play for the Bulldogs in 2013 and ’14.
He’s also fully aware that the Bulldogs are one of Hawaii’s biggest rivals, but admitted that playing in the same Mountain West Conference as UH was a factor in his decision.
“There were some friends and family that threw some side comments and remarks about how of every college, I had to pick Fresno, enemies of Hawaii, but it was all in fun,” Foster said. “I’ve got friends on UH so hopefully I’m going to see them in a few years. One of the things I’m looking forward to right now (is playing at Aloha Stadium) and anybody that’s in my way, even if I love them, when I step on the field it’s game time.”
National Letter of Intent signing day is next Wednesday, Feb. 3.
To keep track of all local high school commitments and future offers, check out our recruiting page here.