Offensive lineman Shawn Sisifo Lauvao of Farrington has made visits to Cal, Arizona State, BYU and Washington.

Visits keep
Lauvao hopping

Getting to bed on time became a problem recently for Shawn Sisifo Lauvao.

He knew it would happen. Making visits to four mainland schools had that result for the Farrington senior.

Then again, his hosts aren't exactly prepared to send Lauvao home by 8 p.m., which is when he normally hits the sack. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound offensive lineman has visited Cal, Arizona State and BYU. Oregon ran out of offers and pulled out of the picture, but he'll still be busy.

Following a home visit by coach Tyrone Willingham, Lauvao is visiting Washington this weekend. Next week, he endures more coach seating, no pun intended, with a visit to Utah.

He will also make an unofficial visit to Hawaii. The Warriors, in need of help on defense, could switch him to defensive tackle.

In the middle of the week, it was Chow time. Norm Chow, offensive coordinator at USC, requested video of Lauvao. It was promptly sent on overnight delivery. Miami has made another request for video. In all, Lauvao isn't exactly leaning toward Arizona State anymore.

"He's trying to get all his visits done. He really likes the traveling," his mother, Lee Lauvao said. "He said, 'Mom, I'm gonna do all my visits and then I'll make a decision.'"

The numbers present quite a package: a Division I qualifier with a 3.7 grade-point average; 22 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press; a maximum squat of 495.

Soon enough, he'll get back to his favorite number: 8, as in 8 p.m. bedtime. After all, he's still a growing boy.

Kamehameha's Mika Kane gave Cal coach Jeff Tedford his oral commitment during a home visit on Thursday.

"Tedford and my brother played at Fresno (State) together," said Jonalinn Kane, Mika's mother. "My brother was so worried. He said, 'You gotta hurry up; they won't hold the position.' But Mika wasn't worried. He got his rest, went to all-star (HUB) practice."

When the season was finally done, the 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle was ready to go on his visits, prepared to evaluate. His first visit, to Cal, left the strongest impression. He was 90 percent sure about committing to Cal on Tuesday. Kane's plan was to have the Oregon State coaches over for dinner Wednesday, when he would tell them that he was turning down their offer, followed by dinner with the Cal coaches on Thursday.

That's when his father, former All-State lineman Hansel Kane, stepped in.

"He told Mika, 'You can't keep leading them on.' Mika just wanted to show them gratitude, but he ended up calling them to say he was committing to Cal," Jonalinn said. The drama finally ended Thursday during Tedford's visit. With the barbecue grill smoking, Oregon State made one final call, and Kane reiterated his decision.

As letter of intent day -- Feb. 2 -- nears, local prospects are declaring their allegiance in big numbers. In addition to Kane, eight other players made commitments this past week.

On Tuesday, three offensive lineman made oral commitments: Kainoa LaCount (Kailua) to Oregon State, Ikaika Aken-Moleta (Kapolei) to San Diego State, and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim (Hawaii Prep) to Washington.

On Wednesday, Kahuku running back Micah Strickland committed to San Diego State.

In addition, it was learned that Kamehameha wide receiver Waika Spencer made his commitment the week before to the Aztecs.

With several brand-name schools making big efforts, the success of mid-major SDSU has been a surprise. The Aztecs have not recruited this well in the islands since they were members of the Western Athletic Conference. Even then, this may be SDSU's best crop of Hawaii talent.

It isn't just the more familiar schools that have left footprints in the islands. New Mexico State landed four Kahuku seniors. Bjorn "B.J." Adolpho, Maveu Heimuli, La'auli Fonoti and Max Fairclough all committed to the Aggies during their visit to the NMSU campus last week.

Adolpho is a 6-foot, 175-pound linebacker. Heimuli is a 6-4, 325-pound offensive lineman. Fonoti, a tight end, is 6-2, 225 pounds, and Fairclough is a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker.

"They have the second-best engineering school nationwide, so I said, 'Hey, that's perfect,' " Adolpho said. He has older brothers with civil-engineering and architecture degrees. "We knew before that we'd commit if they offered."

Fonoti said the rural location of the campus was a plus.

"It's nice. I like the environment. They're on top of the students about education," said Fonoti, who plans to major in communications or political science.

The fact that New Mexico State joins the WAC this fall doesn't hurt either.

"I'll get to play in front of my family. We play Hawaii in the third game," said Fairclough, a Star-Bulletin All-State second-team pick by coaches and media. He's not quite an Aggie yet; Fairclough needs 10 more points on the SAT to become a qualifier. He retakes the test next month.

He's also focusing in the weight room.

"I gotta get bigger, get up to about 230," he said. "I probably could play right away. Coach said I have a shot at starting."

"It's very exciting," said Laura Adolpho, B.J.'s mother. "D.J. (Kahuku assistant coach Darren Johnson) made the contact with one of their coaches (Mike Fonoga). We're just thankful."

The total of oral commits is now up to 16, including three to Hawaii.

Here's an update on some of the state's top prospects, by position:


The cupboard, once stocked with Hawaii's deepest reserve of talent, is gradually becoming bare. Raphael Ieru, McKinley's talented tackle, visited Arizona State last week and is leaning toward the Sun Devils. He carries a 3.4 GPA and wants to major in graphic arts. He is still scheduled to visit Hawaii.

The 6-4, 315-pound senior, who turned down trips to Stanford and Arizona, took the SAT this weekend, as did several prominent players hoping to become Division I qualifiers.

LaCount, a 6-7, 305-pound senior, also took the SAT this weekend. All along, he has said that he wants to venture to the mainland.

"It's nothing against Hawaii's program," he said in mid-December. "I just want to get out of here."

LaCount plays basketball for the Surfriders and committed during the week after a home visit from Oregon State coach Mike Riley.

Te'o-Nesheim's commitment to Washington was a bit of a surprise, but certainly not a shock. He returned from visits to Hawaii and Oregon with great enthusiasm, and he had not gone on his trip to UW yet. When new Huskies coach Willingham made a visit to the Hawaii Prep campus Tuesday, Te'o-Nesheim was ready to join.

His offensive line coach at HPA is Bern Brostek, a former Huskie who went on to play in the NFL for several years.

Aken-Moleta was the latest O-lineman to connect with San Diego State and position coach Ed White. Aken-Moleta, a 6-2, 315-pound senior, had visited Oregon State and BYU. He was still slated to visit Washington when he decided to become an Aztec.

Tennessee and Hawaii were among schools that were potentially interested in him as a defensive tackle.

Aken-Moleta joins another local product, Punahou's Trask Iosefa, on the SDSU line. Add in Spencer and Strickland and there will be a notable Hawaii presence.


Spencer will convert to tight end at San Diego State. The Aztecs were the lone team to offer him a scholarship after he suffered an ACL injury during the state championships. Spencer, a 6-4, 220-pound multi-sport standout, committed to SDSU on Jan. 12.


Kahuku's Spencer Hafoka has visited BYU and Oregon State. The 6-foot, 180-pound speedster is leaning toward the Beavers.

Hawaii has asked Saint Louis receivers Shaun Kauleinamoku and Shane Perry to walk on.

Two more outstanding pass-catchers, Jon Santos of Mililani and Isaac Laupola of Campbell, are junior college-bound unless they scored well on the SAT this weekend. Laupola has 4.4 speed and was a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team pick at safety. Santos was a second-team pick, arguably the strongest receiver in the state.


Even with Strickland's commitment to SDSU, there are still several local runners without a future home. Saint Louis running back Kevin Sullivan (5-8, 180) has an offer from Air Force. Kailua's Damien Torres (5-8, 179) will likely attend Orange Coast Community College or College of the Canyons, both in California. Torres led the Oahu Interscholastic Association in rushing.

Kamehameha's Jayson Rego, the Star-Bulletin Offensive Player of the Year, planned to send out video this past week.


Hawaii asked Saint Louis signal-caller Stanley Nihipali to walk on. He missed the second half of the season with an injury to his throwing shoulder, but recovered well and threw with authority during the HUB Goodwill Classic. He earned East Player of the Game honors.


Another Saint Louis standout, Tyson Alualu, has visited Cal and Oregon State. He canceled a visit to Arizona and turned down a trip offer by Oregon.

Alualu (6-2, 270), a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team selection, visited Hawaii this weekend.

Malo Taumua is interested in Utah, and the feeling is mutual. Colorado is also on the radar. The 6-2, 295-pound Aiea senior needs 20 more points on his SAT, which he took again this weekend, to become a D-I qualifier. He has a 2.9 GPA.


Farrington's John Fonoti visited Hawaii this weekend and has a trip planned for UNLV next week. The speedy 6-2, 235-pounder has also drawn interest from San Jose State and Utah. Fonoti is not a qualifier, but SJSU and UNLV could bring him in as a Prop. 48 candidate, meaning he could play after one year.

Hawaii and Utah do not use Prop. 48.

Jake Ingram has enrolled at Hawaii, where the Warriors hope he makes the team as a walk-on. Ingram graduated from Mililani last year, but has worked out diligently and gained 35 pounds. He now carries 225 pounds on a 6-3 frame. Idaho and Oregon State had also shown interest in Ingram.


Weber State is interested in Punahou linebacker Tysan Pa'aga. Former Utah coach Ron McBride is in charge at Weber State, which also hired former Baldwin coach Chad Kauha'aha'a recently to coach defensive linemen.

Blaze Soares is among the local prospects visiting Hawaii this weekend. The 6-1, 210-pounder was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for Castle. He has visited BYU, but prefers to play at home. His commitment hinges on this weekend's SAT result.

Leilehua's B.J. Fruean (6-2, 185) is also on the bubble. He also took the SAT yesterday. Like Soares, the speedy Fruean was a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team pick.


Kamehameha's all-state first-team selections at corner, Travis Uale and Michael Holt, are sending out video soon. Uale (6-2, 180) is leaning toward playing in Utah, where a sister lives. Holt also prefers to walk on at a mainland school, possibly UNLV or Nevada.


Al Afalava, Kahuku's playmaking defensive back, enjoyed his visit to Oregon State last week. He's leaning toward the Beavers, though BYU is still in the picture.

Kaiser's Shannon Wise has drawn interest from SDSU and Washington, but has no offers. A D-I qualifier, Wise was an OIA White Conference first-team pick at quarterback and defensive end.


Iosefa committed to San Diego State on Dec. 19 during his visit. The 6-1, 305-pound tackle will switch to center. ... Aaron Kia of Mililani committed to Hawaii on Jan. 11. The 6-4, 260-pound senior had whittled his choices down to Oregon and UH, but the Ducks ran out of offers, making Kia's decision a no-brainer. ... Tyler Williams cut his slate of visits short by committing to Utah during his visit on Jan. 10. The 6-1, 280-pound Kamehameha center had visited SDSU and Ohio. He canceled a visit to Washington. ... Rocky Savaiigaea of Aiea committed to Hawaii on Jan. 22. The 6-3, 295-pound defensive tackle had drawn serious interest from Utah before coach Urban Meyer departed. ... Brashton Satele visited Oregon State two weeks ago as a courtesy to the Beaver coaches, but remained a strong commit to Hawaii. The 6-2, 240-pound linebacker may switch to defensive end. He also played running back for Pac-Five, scoring on a 71-yard jaunt during one game. ... R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane of Aiea committed to Hawaii during a visit last weekend. He had strong interest from Tulane, but decided to stay home. He is a 6-1, 210-pound linebacker. He will major in nursing or architecture. ... Kaluka Maiava of Baldwin committed to USC last summer. The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker was named Star-Bulletin Defensive Player of the Year.

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