After rushing for more than 1,500 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns as a junior last season, Aragon running back Seta Pohahau established himself as one of the top runners not only on the Peninsula but in the Central Coast Section.
Brigham Young University must agree with that assessment. BYU offered Pohahau a full scholarship Thursday which he quickly accepted.
“I don’t think it’s really hit me,” the soon-to-be-senior said. “I think I’m in shock right now.”
Pohahau’s commitment is only a verbal one. He won’t sign a letter-of-intent until the early signing period in November.
Pohahau, a 6-foot, 200-pound combination of speed and power, didn’t have to think twice. BYU was his first choice. He said that Utah and Utah State told him they would be recruiting him this season. Looks like they missed the boat.
“It just came up suddenly,” Pohahau said. “I came out here (to Provo, Utah) for a full-contact camp. The second day (Tuesday), they said they would offer me a full scholarship. They liked my power, overall. Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall said he would love for me to be a Cougar.”
It helps that Pohahau, a devout Mormon, will play with some familiar faces. Former Aragon standouts Manase and Matangi Tonga are Pohahau’s cousins and both playing at BYU. He also has an uncle who played for the Cougars.
“I think that really helps,” Pohahau. “It’s hard to go to a new school, not knowing anybody. It’s a relief, especially because it’s family.”
Pohahau’s stock rose in the final couple games of the 2006 season. After being held to just 37 yards in a 24-14 loss to Burlingame, Pohahau broke out big time over the final four games. He rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns against San Mateo, 94 yards and a score in a win over Woodside, 235 yards and three touchdowns in the regular-season finale against Menlo-Atherton and 224 yards and a score in a loss to Palo Alto in the first round of CCS.
“[Pohahau] went from being a very good player to a great player,” said Aragon coach Steve Sell following Pohahau’s performance against Menlo-Atherton.
Pohahau said BYU first got in touch with him during the season — the first time colleges are allowed to contact recruits. The two stayed in touch since. He was invited to the camp and had a feeling a scholarship might be waiting for him at the end.
“I talked to (recruiting coordinator and quarterback coach Brandon) Doman. They liked my film and they wanted me to come and work with the running back coach,” Pohahau said. “Before I came, I talked to coach Sell. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if they offered [a scholarship to] me. In the back of my mind, I knew they were going to offer me because of the things they were telling me.”
A quiet, humble kid, Pohahau doesn’t intend for the scholarship to go to his head. He realizes that he still has to take care of his senior year.
“It’s kind of a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I know I have a scholarship,” Pohahau said. “But it’s not going to stop me from working. Now I have to push myself to get to the next level.
“I want to prove they didn’t make a mistake offering me this scholarship.”