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Friday, June 19, 2009

Fehoko makes big first impression

By Bill Conley
Scouts Inc.

BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- With talent from Utah, the West Coast and the Hawaiian islands all flocking to the All-Poly Camp, it's easy to see why this has grown into one of the most popular and successful events.

Despite many of the region's top recruits on the field at Bountiful High School, it didn't take long to pick out one of the premier athletes at this year's camp. After just a few agility drills it was easy to see that Under Armour All-American LB V.J. Fehoko (Honolulu, HI/ Farrington) is a special player. He is extremely agile and much more fluid in his movements than anticipated. Fehoko's feet barely touched the ground as he moved over and through the bags, and when he dropped his hips to change direction. At 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, he might not be the biggest linebacker in the country, but it would be tough to find one with the same athleticism and skill level.

Fehoko is one of those players who has trouble practicing at thud tempo. Dialing it down just isn't a natural reaction. Even though the teams were just timing up, Fehoko was ready to play. He attacked the first inside run and the crack of the pads on the form tackle echoed throughout the stadium. At the urging of the coaches, he did tone things down, but this guy takes his football seriously. Fehoko was precise in his reads and his movements on every play. He has been coached so well that his reactions and fundamentals are now natural. The little things like not crossing your feet when you shuffle and not taking a false step as you attack the line of scrimmage are instinctive to him.

Fehoko proved in the first day of the All-Poly Camp that he is the same intense and high-motor football player who shows up on film. He never quits until the play is over, and he is usually the guy making the play. He is good on the blitz, as his timing and quick first step make him difficult for any offensive lineman or running back to pick up. As aggressive as he is against the run and when blitzing, he can also be a solid under coverage pass defender. He shows the ability to snap the hips open on pass read and immediately get the proper depth to cover the middle hook zones.

It is no accident that this guy loves the game. He's from a family of football players, including brothers, uncles and cousins like Class of 2009 No. 1 LB and No. 2 overall recruit Manti Te'o, who signed with Notre Dame in February. Just like Te'o, Fehoko can pretty well pick the school of his choice, with nearly 20 Division I offers already going into his senior season.

Maybe the greatest thing about Fehoko is the fact he is just as good a person off the field as he is on it. He has the personality and leadership qualities coaches love to see. Fehoko has great family support and works hard to uphold the family pride and tradition. This is reflected in the fact that he is also an outstanding student with a 3.6 GPA and is considering pre-law as his college major. Like most talented athletes he would like to play early at the next level, but Fehoko is mature enough to understand that the college game is different. He knows the complexity of the game increases at each level of competition and that to reach the goals he aspires to will not be easy. There are no sure bets in athletics in terms of a player being a difference-maker, but the odds are heavily in favor of Fehoko going a long way.

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