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Thursday, July 02, 2009

LBs lead the way in Hawaii

You could hear the pads banging throughout the island of Oahu, Hawaii, as the All Poly Football Camp concluded with a full-contact scrimmage on Wednesday. The final day epitomized the competition and intensity that was preached throughout the camp. Players flew around the football field at Kapiolani Park with tons of energy and high effort, while incorporating the basic fundamentals that were taught by a staff of highly regarded Division I coaches.

Here are some of the highlight performances of the week and final scrimmage:

Intense linebacker unit

Inside linebacker V.J. Fehoko (Kahuku, Hawaii) is Hawaii's top 2010 prospect, and he finished the camp with a strong performance. Fehoko moved well laterally from tackle to tackle, and took quick, direct angles to the football. The Under Armour All-American is simply a great football player without all the measurables.

Shaydon Akuna (Kapolei, Hawaii) was one of the more impressive looking prospects in attendance. The tall and rangy outside linebacker displayed fluid hips, and ran well all week, flashing great range and closing speed. This great athlete may have the best physical upside of any prospect in attendance.

Although ILB Tuulauena Lolohea (Kapolei, Hawaii) is an under-the-radar prospect at the position, he blended right in with Fehoko and Akuna on the first team linebacker unit. He has good size, short-area power at the point of attack and a keen nose for finding the football between the tackles.

Still flying under the radar

Quarterback Andrew Manley (Wahiawa, Hawaii/Leilehua) continued to impress. He is, hands down, the best offensive prospect out of Hawaii this year. He displayed his compact release, strong arm and good footwork in the sessions on Monday and Tuesday. He showed he could move around the pocket and buy time with his feet in the scrimmages on Wednesday, and he has deceptively good athleticism.

A switch for the best

We evaluated Taz Stevenson (Mililani, Hawaii) as a receiver this spring, but he took repetitions at safety -- the position in which colleges are now recruiting him to play -- during the camp. That was a smart decision. Stevenson had an impressive All Poly Camp showing, and looks great with his height and long, rangy frame. He covered a lot of ground from his free safety position, and broke hard on the football, supporting underneath. He needs to work on his ball skills, but we feel he has developing D-I talent.

Sleeper emerges

Defensive end Beau Yap (Pearl City, Hawaii/Kamehameha) was nearly impossible to block on the camp's final day. He impressed us with his motor and initial, quick feet off the ball as a speed-rusher. He also displayed good strength on his bull rush. On several occasions, he was able to turn into the blocker, deliver a blow and push him back into the quarterback. Hungry for his first offer, he went to the University of Hawaii's camp as a linebacker, and returned later to compete as a defensive end. He is now getting looks from Arizona and Washington.

In the trenches

Center Jase To'Omalatai (Kahuku, Hawaii) impressed at the All Poly Camp in Utah, and To'Omalatai had another solid performance on his home turf, showing flashes of good upper-body strength.

Defensive tackle Foi Foi (Kapolei, Hawaii) played a bit stiff throughout the scrimmage. Still, he displayed strength and leverage at the point of attack. He may develop into a situational run defender at the next level.

Defensive tackle Veteson Sauni (Kahuku, Hawaii) stood out to us on the last day. He had a stout, tank-like build, and used his leverage well. He showed power and quickness off the ball, combined with a high-motor pursuit down the line of scrimmage. He was one of the more disruptive defensive linemen at the scrimmage. Sauni said programs like Hawaii and Wyoming want to see senior film, and are ready to offer.

Defensive tackle Sani Fuimaono (Honolulu/ Punahou School) lacks ideal size, but is an active and versatile defensive end. He showed quickness off the ball and strong hand technique. As he focuses on football and gains weight (a state champion wrestler), he should be a versatile swing man at the next level.

Defensive end Graham Rowley (Waialua, Hawaii) looked a bit straight lined at times, attacking off the edge, but he was quick off the ball, and active to the quarterback throughout the final day's scrimmage.

Corner Tomas Vaughn (Honolulu/Farrington) showed good fluidity, for a taller, lengthier corner, and good ball skills all week.

A Look to the future

Safety Elijah Lagafuaina (Mililani, Hawaii) is a thicker 2011 defensive back, who certainly passes the eyeball test for a rising junior. Lagafuaina took direct angles to the ball on run support, and displayed range and closing speed.

Offensive tackle Paulay Asiata (Honolulu/Word of Life), one of the biggest linemen on hand at the All Poly Camp, didn't disappoint. He flashed down-blocking strength and agility, chipping up to the second level. He's a rising junior to keep your eye on.

Tight end Richard Villasenor (Moanalua, Hawaii) does not have the height just yet to attract a lot of college attention, but the 2011 prospect showed reliable hands, and was a complete load for smaller defensive backs to try to take down.

Offensive tackle Jess Saussa (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/Campbell) is a 6-foot-3, 290-pounder. He got called up to varsity last fall as a true freshman, and we can understand why. The massive 2012 lineman needs to work on his footwork and athleticism, but he has impressive upper-body strength and raw power as a run blocker for such a young guy.

Billy Tucker and Tom Luginbill contributed to this report.

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