Leave it to Reggie Torres to clear up the confusion.
The Punahou offensive line coach fielded a call at midnight, just one of his many duties (haha) aside from being a proud parent and grandparent, etc.
Well, why did he get a call at midnight?
As a reporter, sometimes when you’re at an event watching an athlete you haven’t seen much of before, you are struck by what you see.
It happened Thursday night in Punahou’s 56-14 Interscholastic League of Honolulu season-opening football victory over Kamehameha. There was this kid in there, going both ways. He looked pretty tall, and the way he prowled around at tackle, at tight end and on the defensive line, he looked like … how you say? … a football specimen.
Yes, and it turns out, he is just a kid, a sophomore. After watching him play both ways for a while from the sideline, it was time to check the roster. His body shape appeared to be much like former Punahou defensive lineman Canton Kaumatule.
Well, the roster said No. 66 was 6-foot-4 Duke Clemens, but No. 66 turned out, in the long run — thanks to information provided by Torres, the midnight rambler — to be Canton’s brother Noah-Falcon Kaumatule, who actually made some waves as a freshman and already has three Division I college offers.
“Duke was injured on our second drive,” Torres said. “So, we were getting low on O-linemen and needed Falcon to come over from the D-line, but his usual No. 99 is an ineligible offensive line jersey, so he switched to Duke’s jersey.”
The ol’ switcheroo.
So after the game, Hawaii Prep World approached No. 66, thinking it was Clemens … and … looking up … asked him, “How tall are you?”
“Six-seven” came the reply.
“The roster says 6’4. You must have grown.”
“You played tight end, tackle and what else?”
“I played tight end, tackle and defensive end.”
“You played a lot, too, and you’re only a sophomore. What’s up. How come?”
“I was born in 2000,” he laughed.
“You’re a sophomore, right?”
“What was it like to be out there tonight, to get that win?”
“It was a great thing,” he said. “It was a phenomenal experience. I have a lot more to work on and a lot more to improve.”
“Are you being recruited? I know they don’t always come for sophomores.”
“Yes sir, I got three offers.”
“Full scholarship offers or is it interest … or is it offers?”
“BYU, Utah State, UH.”
“Beating Kamehameha, was that a good feeling for everybody?”
“Yeah, it was a very good feeling for the whole team. It definitely lifted up our morale for the season.”
OK. Stop. Three offers? Wow. And that turned out to be NOT NEWS. Hawaii Prep World has Kaumatule as having three offers to those schools and it also lists him as being 6-7.
So, thanks to Torres, we had confirmation, right around midnight, that Hawaii Prep World reporters don’t have dyslexia and are not thinking they’re talking to someone wearing No. 66 who is actually wearing No. 99.
Well, one thing we did learn, for sure, is that Kaumatule certainly does have a presence. And a motor, since he slides in between offense and defense with ease. From this vantage point, he actually looks on the thin side as might be expected from a 10th grader who is already 6’7 and is not fully grown. He did not appear to be super fast or anything, but he did look super aggressive and, from the looks of his body proportion at this stage, he will be getting wider.
Punahou head coach Kale Ane was asked about his young offensive line and he did not dote on any one individual. But he did say that, “Falcon played great. Duke played great. Young guys. The center is a sophomore too, Blake (Feigenspan), and actually all the offensive linemen except for Eric Klemmer, who is our only senior, are underclassmen. He (Klemmer) settled them down and everybody else stepped up. They communicated really well, and our offensive line coaches Reggie Torres and Doug Vaioleti did a nice job.”
Here’s what Torres had to say about Kaumatule (three hours after the game ended): “He made a few mistakes, which is common, but he practiced with the O-line and started the season on the O-line and Duke started on the D-line before coach (Ane) made a switch. As a sophomore going both ways, especially with the amount of talent on this team, it’s a testament to the kid. He can grasp the concepts on both sides of the ball.”
Basically, Kaumatule pretty much has three full high school football seasons remaining and more time than that to grow into his frame. Three offers? Expect that to increase, too.