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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stock rising for Kapolei player

Mainland college football coaches were on O'ahu recruiting in droves last week, which ended with the inaugural Hawai'i All-Star Classic doubleheader Friday night at Aloha Stadium.But things have not quieted down much this week so far.In fact, Southern California linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. arrived in Honolulu yesterday to visit with two recruits on different ends of the profile spectrum.In the afternoon, he met with little-known Kapolei linebacker/fullback Simione Vehikite, who transferred from Lahainaluna last spring and had received minimal NCAA Division I interest as of last week.But Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez put together a season highlight video of Vehikite, and Norton watched it and also Friday's inaugural Hawai'i/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl in which Vehikite played against a team of Mainland all-stars from around the country.Vehikite made five tackles and intrigued Norton with his athleticism."After watching the (season video) and the game, he was very, very impressed," Hernandez said. "He saw him making plays, he liked what he saw and wanted to meet him in person."Hernandez said Norton told him late yesterday afternoon, "We're going to go on him" with a scholarship offer.Hernandez said Vehikite, who is 6 feet 1, 243 pounds and has been timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash on grass, made 119 tackles this season including 10 sacks and 12 tackles for losses. He also played fullback and averaged 10 yards per carry.

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