As his Broncos teammates prepare to report in less than two months, Kekoa Nawahine waits to hear the response to his application for his LDS mission, which would delay his joining Boise for two years.
"I don't really know where I'm going to be going," he said. "You send in your paperwork and they let you know where they're sending you. I don't anticipate being denied but you never know. It's possible.
"Boise State said they'd honor my scholarship when I do return, so that's good."
The Broncos honoring their commitment to Nawahine (6'2", 190) is one of the many reasons the two-star Meridian Rocky Mountain standout athlete chose to stay local.
"Boise is the school I've always watched when I was growing up; I always wanted to play for them," said Nawahine, who was recruited as an athlete and will play safety for the Broncos. "It's close to home, my family can come see me play. I have three brothers who can watch me play when I do."
Nawahine, who will redshirt his first year back with the team, was originally recruited by the Chris Petersen staff and was a bit shocked to see him leave. However, he remains resolute on why he chose Boise.
"The way he left made me think about it a bit," Nawahine said, "but I committed to the school, not the coach. And I really like this coaching staff a lot."
Part of his commitment to the school was an eagerness to participate in its engineering program. With 3.9 GPA and three different AP classes under his belt, Nawahine was in contention for academic scholarships as well. But once he was offered the athletic scholarship, it became moot.
Nawahine, who also played basketball, relishes the opportunity to play for a Division I power and still be close to home. Playing for the team he grew up watching
"That brings me a ton of pride that Boise has gotten to where they are," said Nawahine, whose favorite Broncos game growing up was the 2007 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. "It still hasn't totally hit me yet because I'm not really going to be ‘there' yet, but it's been a great feeling knowing that it's going to happen."
Nawahine caught 50 passes for 913 yards (18.3 ypc) and 7 touchdowns last season, helping to lead the Grizzlies to the second round of the 5A State Champoinship tournament. He also had 73 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 sacks as a safety.