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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

C O L L E G E _ S P O R T S

Kahuku’s Francisco
selects BYU

The senior was told he
would play safety for
the Cougars

Prep recruiting

By Dave Reardon

Aaron Francisco, considered a jewel of the Hawaii high school football recruiting class, has made a verbal commitment to accept a scholarship from Brigham Young University.

The Star-Bulletin first-team all-state defensive back from Kahuku High made his decision yesterday.

"I just liked the whole environment there ... the school, the facilities," Francisco said.

Francisco is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, but he said that did not play into his decision. He also said he does not plan to go on a religious mission in the near future.

Francisco, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, helped lead the Red Raiders to their first state championship last December.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Kahuku High School Football defensive backs Aaron
Francisco, left, and Bryson Au. Francisco is headed to BYU.

"Aaron is one of those total package guys. Great in the classroom, great on the field," Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai said. "His athletic ability is all there and his attitude is great. He knows his responsibilities and exceeds it."

An example of that was during the playoffs, when Francisco added part-time wide receiver duties to playing safety and returning kicks and punts. College coaches like him as either a safety or a receiver, but Francisco said he was told he would play safety for the Cougars.

Hawaii, Washington and Arizona were the other schools in the final competition for Francisco.

"It came down to BYU and Arizona," he said.

Francisco joins Kahuku wide receiver Saia Hafoka in committing to BYU.

"It's a relief (to have decided)," Francisco said. "Now I can focus on basketball. That's good, since we're heading into the playoffs pretty soon."

Last week, Kahuku offensive and defensive lineman Chris Kemoe'atu, the Star-Bulletin's Lineman of the Year, committed to Utah. Red Raider linebacker Semisi Livai committed to the Utes earlier.

National letter of intent day, the first day high school players can make binding commitments to colleges, is Feb. 7.

Also, Santa Ana (Calif.) College defensive lineman Elia Tauala, a Roosevelt High graduate, has committed to Utah.

Tauala, 6-4, 275, was the Mission Conference Central Division defensive player of the year in 1999, and was named to the all-conference first team defensive unit in both his seasons.

Prep recruiting

Name Position Ht. Wt. High school Verbal commitment
Justin Faimealelei Athlete 6-2 205 Kaimuki Hawaii
Pesefea Fiaseu RB 5-11 220 St. Louis Hawaii
Aaron Francisco Athlete 6-4 190 Kahuku Brigham Young
Saia Hafoka WR 5-10 165 Kahuku Brigham Young
Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole Athlete 6-2 200 Kaimuki Hawaii
Willie Kava OL 6-3 280 Iolani Washington
Chris Kemoe‘atu OL/DL 6-5 330 Kahuku Utah
Semisi Livai LB 6-0 200 Kahuku Utah
Joe Lobendahn LB 6-0 205 St. Louis Washington
Lyle Maiava DL 6-2 300 St. Louis Oregon
Donovan Raiola OL 6-2 280 Kamehameha Wisconsin
Elia Tauala* DL 6-4 275 Roosevelt Utah
Lokahi Travis OL 6-3 280 Kailua Hawaii
*Tauala is a junior college transfer from Santa Ana (Calif.) College

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