Offers already rolling in for football prospects
The summer sun hasn't even risen over the islands, but mainland recruiters have been pounding the pavement earlier than ever.
Three more high school juniors -- Jacob Barit of Saint Louis, Sam Fehoko of Farrington and Matthew Masifilo of Campbell -- have been offered full scholarships by Division I-A schools.
Kaniela Tuipulotu, Kahuku's 6-foot-1, 250-pound defensive tackle, already has numerous offers.
"It's good. The analysts are saying that offers are coming earlier and earlier every year. It's getting to the point where the biggest part of recruiting is in your junior year," said Masifilo, who first drew interest from Oregon because of his willingness to travel to the Ducks' summer camp in 2004 and '05
"I was the MVP of the junior O-line, so I knew they were interested in me," Masifilo said. "They offered me the day they saw my film."
Oregon made its offer to Masifilo, a 6-3, 255-pound offensive tackle, last week.
Utah made its offer to Barit last week via e-mail to Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan. Barit later received an official offer by snail mail.
"I was trippin'. I never got one letter from them, and then I got offered," said Barit, a linebacker who is 6-3 and 220 pounds. He plans to gain 10 pounds of muscle by fall camp.
Fehoko is a defensive end who projects as an outside linebacker in college. San Diego State, which signed older brother Whitley Fehoko in February, is making the same offer to Sam.
Sam Fehoko, at 6-1 1/2 and 205 pounds, has gained notice in recent camps and combines because of his increasing speed and agility. He bench presses 185 pounds 20 times and has a 39-inch vertical leap.
All three are academic qualifiers, according to Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance director Doris Sullivan. Fehoko and Masifilo are members of the National Honor Society.
"I'm going to wait for other schools," said Barit, who is the son of Lincoln Barit, coach at Waialua. "My dad said just keep on training, keep in shape and keep working to get more offers. He wants me to keep my options open."
Barit is open to playing at home and going away, but dreams of playing for Notre Dame.
Masifilo doesn't have a dream school.
"I don't want to say anything like that," he said.
His grade-point average is 3.95 with a slate of advanced placement classes.
"If you try hard in football, but not in school, I think you're a two-faced person. If you're capable of excelling in football, that dedication and hard work should apply to everything else," he said.
Masifilo's plan is to be patient.
"I want to wait and see what options I have. I'm going to wait until I take all my official trips," said Masifilo, who plans to major in engineering or pre-law.
Extra point: Punahou planned to announce its participation in the Emerald City Football Classic at a press conference this morning. The Seattle-based event will be held on Labor Day weekend.
The inaugural Emerald City Football Classic will involve several schools and is modeled after similar events hosted here by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. Punahou reached the final of the Division I state championship last season, losing to Kahuku 28-21.