Kahuku star running back interested in BYU

As the number one seed, the Red Raiders of Kahuku beat Punahou 30-24 during the playoffs this season for their fourth Division 1 state title and sixth HHSAA championship overall. They did so largely on the legs of junior running back Aofaga Wily.

Aofaga Wily, or "Ao," rushed for 180 yards against a tough Punahou defense to help lead his Red Raider team to victory in the state championship. He is a 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound punishing back that can either run through or around opponents.

"I just play as hard as I can and put out as much effort as I can," Wily said. "I just run people over that get in the way and go as far as I can. I feel I could have done better this season but my injury has slowed me down a little."

Despite having torn ligaments near his Achilles tendon, Wily still had an impressive season as the state of Hawaii's top-ranked running back.

On the season Wily rushed the ball 234 times for 1,384 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and 138.5 per game. He also scored nine touchdowns on the season, and caught three passes for 32 yards.

Wily didn't start out as a ball carrier. In fact, he was a defensive specialist playing linebacker in his early years at Kahuku. It was by accident, rather than a calculated decision, that Wily became a running back and eventually one of the best in Hawaii.

During Wiley's sophomore year, Coach Reggie Torres and the Red Raider coaching staff needed a scout team running back to face the likes of former BYU defensive lineman commits Hau'oli Jamora (University of Washington) and Kona Schwenke (Notre Dame). The coaches chose a young Wily to handle the responsibility of preparing the Kahuku defense, but little did they know the quick fix to the running back position would turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

"Yeah, they switched me over to play running back to help the team," Wily said. "I guess I did pretty good."

Doing pretty good is an understatement. On Wily's first attempt at playing running back, he busted through the line of scrimmage for a 25-yard gain. he coaches called Wiley's number again, and he did the exact same thing. From that point on Wily was a permanent staple in the Red Raider backfield.

"Yeah, I guess I got lucky on that day," he said.

Now having completed his junior season, Wily has been receiving some Division I interest. It's almost certain that his stock will rise now that Kahuku has won the state championship.

"I've been receiving letters and things like that," he said. "I've been going to a few games like UCLA, Cal, Utah, and mostly schools on the West Coast."

Wily has also received some interest from BYU.

"BYU has been talking to me and another player on my team, Ku-J Tapasoa, and they're interested in both of us," said Wily. "BYU had a game against [Hawaii], and so we took advantage of that. They came down to our school and we were able to go down and talk to them. They congratulated us and said they would keep an eye on me and said I had a great season."

Wily is happy to have been noticed by BYU, and is hoping that the coaches show even more interest in him.

"It was good because I'm planning on serving my mission and I know that BYU holds scholarships for those that commit to them," said Wily. "BYU is also an LDS school, and so I might go out there and take a look at the campus this year. I'm kind of looking at BYU because they expect a lot out of you and hold your scholarship for you when you serve your mission."

In closing, Wily had this to say to the BYU coaching staff out on the mainland.

"I would like to say that I'm really interested in BYU and have been really interested in them," said Wily. "I also think it would be a great opportunity to play for BYU if the chance ever happens."

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