The route from Honolulu to Naples, Fla., is worth the 14-day quarantine for Anthony Sagapolutele.
The Saint Louis senior-to-be made the trip to Naples for the FBU Top Gun Showcase and earned a spot on the Top Defensive Linemen honors. The three-day event gathered the top football seniors in the nation at the brand-new Paradise Coast Sports Complex.
In his tweet, the 6-foot-2, 260-pound DL called it an honor.
“It was an honor to participate in the FBU Camp in Naples, Fla. What an experience to go against competitors from all over the nation. I loved the competition held in the camp and it has shown me my strengths and weaknesses. I aim blessed to be part of the top 5 D-line in my class!”
Update, Thursday, 10 a.m.
Chad Ricardo of NBC Sports Washington tweeted that Sagapolutele may have been the best D-lineman in the Showcase.
Sagapolutele added 30 pounds since last football season without losing speed. His sprints up the hill at Kakaako Park during a recent Liahona Youth Empowerment workout, running stride for stride with linebackers and receivers, were impressive.
He is awaiting a decision about his eligibility. Sagapolutele sat out his sophomore year at a mainland school following the death of his father. Many of his teammates and friends have supported him via social media, but there is not much precedent for allowing a high school athlete in Hawaii to play during a fifth year.
That’s why opportunities like the FBU Showcase are crucial to his future. Sagapolutele has a 3.4 grade-point average. Lewis and Clark is the only school that has shown interest so far. Sagapolutele’s teammates and friends, from current high school players to former college players, have expressed their support via social media.