HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS
Pac-10 schools, Hawaii trying to land Saint Louis’ Aigamaua
The voyages of Solomona Aigamaua are worth documenting.
From Hawaii, the Saint Louis senior traveled back to his home island, American Samoa, to play in the annual Samoa Bowl. After the Hawaii squad defeated the home team 28-6, Aigamaua flew back to Hawaii and boarded another plane.
Hawaii High School Players
» Kalani Aldrich, DE, Kamehameha-Hawaii to Washington
» Bryson Beirne, QB, Pac-Five to Arizona
» Savaii Eselu, TE, Moanalua to Oregon
» Kaneakua Friel, TE, Kamehameha to BYU
» Michael Matamua, OL, Kapolei to San Diego State
» Gary Nagy, DB, Kahuku to BYU
» Sione Tau, OL, Damien to Arizona
» Vaughn Meatoga, DL, Kamehameha to Hawaii
» Gabe Tuata, RB, Kealakehe to Hawaii
Other UH Commitments
» Ray Hisatake, DT, San Mateo (Calif.) College
» Leon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
» Kevin Konrath, LB, Brother Rice (Chicago)
» Chris Leatigaga, DE, Foothills (Calif.) College
» Francis Maka, OLB, San Mateo (Calif.) College
» Erik Robinson, S, Navarro (Texas) JC
On the trail: Plant (Tampa, Fla.) High QB Robert Marve -- a four-star recruit who broke state records for passing yards, touchdowns and completions last fall while leading his team to a 15-0 record -- is scheduled to visit Hawaii on Jan. 26. Predictably, the competition is stiff; Marve (6-2, 200) appeared set at Alabama before the coaching change there, and is being "re-recruited" by Nick Saban. He is also scheduled to visit Miami, and Marve said recently UCLA and Purdue also remain in the picture. ... Two sons of famous former players are visiting UH this weekend. ILB Tyler Seau-Sparks is the son of future Hall-of-Famer Junior Seau, and QB TC McCartney is the son of the late Sal Aunese, the Colorado star who died of stomach cancer in 1989 after his junior season. McCartney is also a cousin of former UH and current St. Louis Rams standout Pisa Tinoisamoa. Both said they were enjoying their visit, but had not been offered a scholarship as of yesterday. ... Seau-Sparks (5-10, 210) said he might also visit Villanova. ... McCartney (6-3, 207) has visits set for South Florida and LSU, but no offers yet. "I'm definitely interested in Hawaii, but I'm not yet sure what I will do," said McCartney, whose grandfather is former Colorado coach Bill McCartney. ... DE Josh Leonard (6-3, 285) of Sierra (Calif.) College is anxious to commit, but said UH coach June Jones told him to wait until he returns home next week. "I definitely like the fan base here," Leonard said. ... Reports of CB Ryan Mouton committing to Utah may be erroneous, and he is still scheduled to check out UH next week. So is his Blinn (Texas) JC teammate, DB Walner Leander. ... CB Keith Lewis of Mount Carmel (Chicago) High starts his UH visit today after completing one at Wyoming. ... DE Korey Reynolds (6-3, 250) of Hoover (Ala.) High visits Hawaii next weekend.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin
Destination: Corvallis, Ore., where Oregon State hosted the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Star-Bulletin All-State first-team defensive end.
All that traveling came after basketball tournaments and practices. Once he returned from the Northwest, he rejoined the basketball team in time for a key battle with Kamehameha on Friday.
Aigamaua entered the game in the third quarter and made an instant impact with nine points and five rebounds. His play helped teammate and fellow post man Scott Smith, who is also being recruited by many of the same universities as Aigamaua. Saint Louis rallied to defeat Kamehameha 49-39.
Between that win and a showdown with five-time defending state champion Iolani, Aigamaua took a moment to reflect on his hectic schedule.
He carries a 3.7 grade-point average, which makes him a scholar-athlete coveted by the likes of Pac-10 schools Cal, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington. Hawaii wants him, and so does Boise State. Aigamaua has more offers, but those are the schools that come to mind.
He won't rule out Hawaii, but admitted that he's had a dream going back to his days growing up in American Samoa.
"I used to always watch college football. I used to always watch Oregon play," he said, referring to Samoana High School products Matthew and Simi Toeina.
Aigamaua played quarterback and wide receiver at rival Leone High School, but the seed was already planted in his mind.
Even with the Pac-10 firmly rooted, the pull of family makes Hawaii a possibility.
"I'd like to keep my options open," he said. "There's family here who want to watch my games."
Hawaii has told Aigamaua that he would redshirt as a freshman to pack more weight onto his frame. He's already added substantial weight as a high-schooler; three years ago, as a freshman at Leone, Aigamaua weighed 160 pounds.
His father, Ben, weighs 250 pounds, and Aigamaua has room to grow. The speed and agility have always been there.
"Preferably, I'd like to be 250, 260, big and fast, and keep my quickness," he said. "I don't think it would take too long. It depends on the diet program. Every time I gain weight, then I go to basketball practice and drop it."
Most of the schools recruiting Aigamaua would prefer that he didn't play hoops.
"They want me to start training (for football) now, (but) I don't have the self-discipline to go running," he said. "Basketball keeps up my stamina."
Aigamaua postponed a visit to Oregon this weekend to help the Crusader basketball team. By moving his visit date to Oregon, he bumped Washington from a possible visit.
In addition to Oregon State, he has already visited Cal, and he'll travel to Oregon and Arizona in the following weeks.
Ben Aigamaua is a believer in his son. He moved to Oahu at the start of Solomona's senior season.
"He's leaving it up to me," Solomona said. "He just wants me to stay in a place where I can be comfortable and live for four years."
His mother Elisapata died in 1996.
"She'd be proud of me," he said.
Blazing a trail: Kealakehe's prolific offensive star, Gabe Tuata, was the best running back in the state, according to Star-Bulletin defensive player of the year George Kauwalu.
The Waianae linebacker saw Tuata up close when the two teams met in the state tournament, and it was during that week that Boise State took a keen interest in the shifty running back.
Tuata, however, was already orally committed to Hawaii. That's what Kealakehe coach Cliff Walters told Boise State, and that was that.
Tuata said he was in touch with UH recently.
"I talked with coach Rich (Miano). He just reminded me to send over my transcripts," said Tuata, who is a Division I qualifier.
Tuata, who ran a hand-timed 4.45 40-yard dash at Kealakehe, ran back a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in the recent Samoa Bowl. That was enough to make Laau Tuata a proud papa. Laau played at Fagaitua High School.
"Not even I did that back then," said Laau, who made the trip with his son and the Hawaii team.
Tuata, who is 5-7, 170 pounds, hasn't decided yet whether to compete in track and field for a fourth varsity letter. He does the long jump, 100-yard dash and 4x100 relay.
"I'm still thinking about it, but I might focus on (football) training, getting bigger and still maintain my speed," he said.
Adding 20 pounds by the end of summer may sound like a long shot, but Tuata is dedicated in the weight room. He trains often with linebacker Devin Vea.
Happy meals: If cuisine has anything to do with it, UH has a good shot at landing Farrington defensive end/outside linebacker Sam Fehoko.
Fehoko knows college football players don't eat every day like they do on recruiting visits, but he definitely enjoyed last night's dinner.
"(Saturday) they took me to Aaron's. (Today), some other nice restaurant I haven't even heard of before," Fehoko said. "I'm having a lot of fun over here. They've shown me around a lot. Even though we live in Hawaii, we don't take the time to see everything, so it's a great experience."
The 6-1, 220-pound senior has a 3.6 GPA and is a Division I qualifier. Fehoko has plenty of offers; Oklahoma may have had a slight lead, but he said he was disappointed with the Sooners' loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.
"Hawaii is very much in the picture," Fehoko said.
Mr. Smith goes to ...: Saint Louis defensive end Scott Smith remains undecided, but said he was impressed when he visited Washington.
Apparently, so was Huskies coach Tyrone Willingham. He is slated to visit the Smith home tomorrow. Cal and Arizona remain possibilities for Smith.
Dave Reardon and Billy Hull of the Star-Bulletin contributed to this report.