It won't be hard to spot Leuzinger linebacker Uona Kavienga in today's Under Armour All-American Bowl in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
He'll be the one delivering jarring hits and competing frenetically on every play.
It is the same style that made him a four-year standout at Leuzinger and that will serve him well at the next level.
"I'm ready to perform big," Kavienga said of the All-American Bowl being televised live on ABC (Ch. 7) at 11 a.m. Pacific time. "I'm very excited. It's a serious game with the top players in the nation here. I have too much pride not to try hard on every play. I give my all on everything I do."
Kavienga was the Bay League's Defensive Player of the Year who made 145 tackles and eight sacks for a defense that allowed just 14.8 points per game.
"Sometimes I feel like I can take over the game on defense," said Kavienga, a two-time Daily Breeze All-Area selection. "I love knowing that the game is in my hands."
Opposing coaches called him a game-changer.
"I'm going to miss watching him on film, but not playing against him," said Palos Verdes coach Pat Fresch, whose team suffered its lone Bay League loss at the hands of Kavienga and Co. "At times, he was pretty much unblockable.
"When you see this guy on film, you're thinking, `How are we going to deal with that?' The guy's making plays sideline to sideline, and his greatest asset is his hustle. He's got a nonstop motor that does not stop until the game's over. I don't think there's such a thing as half-speed with him."
Kavienga also finds himself in a unique position.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder has verbally committed to UCLA. But with Karl Dorrell fired and USC making a strong push, Kavienga said he is leaving his options open.
Kavienga said he liked that UCLA hired Rick Neuheisel and that Neuheisel decided to keep defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and receivers coach Eric Scott, who was Kavienga's
"Neuheisel's a good coach, and they made a good decision to keep Walker, but the decision is still open," Kavienga said.
Leuzinger coach Deon Toliver said that USC is pursuing him aggressively. After originally only offering him a scholarship as a fullback, USC coach Pete Carroll came back with a scholarship for linebacker. Carroll also visited Leuzinger three times, compared to only one time by Dorrell.
"He'll find his way onto the field at either school," Toliver said. "He might not look the part, but he'll go crazy watching someone else play."
Toliver said there is no realistic way to replace a player like Kavienga.
"I'm going to miss him," Toliver said. "When you sit back and watch the tapes, and you see all his game-saving tackles, I realized our defense wasn't as good as I thought it was. He made a lot of tackles you don't notice, and if he was not there, those players would've been gone.
"And what I'll miss the most is his special teams because he was our special teams. You snap the ball, and he had everyone scared to touch that ball. They knew he was coming and that he would blow people up as soon as they caught a punt. It was a scary thing to watch us punt."
Toliver said Kavienga took great pride in the team and that he took the season-ending 35-28 loss to Culver City in the first round of the playoffs hard. Toliver said Kavienga would sometimes ask for game film to take home and study.
Kavienga certainly had his teammates in awe.
"Never in my life have I seen a player like him," said defensive back and wide receiver Deshawn Mills, a Daily Breeze All-Area player. "He was the heart of our defense. He basically did whatever it took to find where the ball is. I remember one game against Mira Costa, he nearly took off one of their heads on a punt return. It was a pretty big hit.
"He definitely motivated me. He always told us to stay focused, to play hard every play and not to stop until the whistle blows. He always told us that we better leave it all on the field. He was an excellent role model, a great player and showed a lot of pride in Leuzinger."
Kavienga credited Toliver and his coaching staff along with his parents Veronica and Taumoelau for providing a strong foundation for him.
"My mom really supported me and was always there for me, and my dad's cool too," Kavienga said. "And I want to thank my coaches at Leuzinger too.
"I feel I accomplished everything I wanted in high school individually, but I wanted to win a championship," Kavienga said.
That goal could very well be met at the next level. email@example.com