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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SoCal center picks Hawaii

Growing up in Southern California, Kody Afusia felt a connection to the Hawaii football program.

A weekend visit to the islands only reinforced his affinity for the islands.

Afusia, a center from Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, orally committed to join the Hawaii football program after making his recruiting trip.

"It was awesome," said Lee Afusia, Kody's father. "(Hawaii) was his favorite college since he was growing up. We used to sit up late at night and watch when Timmy Chang was playing.

"Once we got there, along with the atmosphere, the coaches were just great."

Kody Afusia, 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, played on both sides of the ball his junior and senior years as a guard, center and defensive tackle. He was named the Golden West League's defensive player of the year and was selected to the All-CIF Southern Division team as an offensive lineman last season.

But he's more comfortable protecting quarterbacks than chasing them.

"I've been playing there my whole life," Afusia said. "Offense is where my home is."

Afusia also received interest from Montana State and San Jose State, but said he doesn't plan on taking any more trips.

Recruits can make their commitments binding when the signing period opens Feb 3.

Afusia said he started following UH football when he was 6 and his trip both solidified his decision and helped him connect with a relative. Afusia has family members living on Oahu and found out he was related to Pearl City lineman David Lefotu, who committed to UH last summer, during their visit when their fathers started tracing their family trees.

"It was crazy," said Afusia, whose sister, Nikole, plays softball at Arizona State.

"That was a little shocking," said Lefotu, who also took his official visit last weekend. "I didn't even know him and found out he's my cousin."

Lefotu said he remains solidly committed to UH after hearing from California, Oregon, Utah State and Wyoming.

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