Three practice fields were full of football players of all positions, sizes and class levels at the All-Poly Camp on Thursday. What was visibly noticeable this year was the size and level of offensive and defensive linemen in participation.
Day one evaluations of the offensive lineman yielded some very promising talent. Many of the big men within the group performed well in the individual drills, showing good footwork and mobility under the instruction of Coach Weber of BYU and Coach Anae of Arizona. Some camp participants that passed the first day of evaluations are:
Sophomore prospect Siale Mauisia comes in at about 6 feet and 4 or 5 inches and 280 pounds, and plays at Woodscross High School in Utah. Mauisia showed good handwork and was light on his feet for his size. He was coachable and attentive when given instructions by the coaches. In the one-one-one drills, he kicked out well while holding his technique to cause problems for bull rushing defensive ends.
Coming in at about 6 feet 7 inches and 305 pounds, Garrett Smith is another that passed the eye test. Smith plays for Shelley High School and is LDS with plans to serve a mission. He has one offer to date from Idaho State University and is receiving interest from BYU, Utah and Utah State.
"This is the best camp I've been to because it just seems really organized," Smith said. "The coaches were helping us with pass blocking. I had the fundamentals down but they were teaching me more about how to keep my hips in line in with my blocking."
Smith was in attendance at BYU's Junior Day and plans on making a return trip to Provo.
"BYU invited me down to their Junior Day [on Wednesday] and it was a lot fun," Smith said. "It was a good Junior Day experience down there. It was a lot of fun meeting all the coaches, seeing some of the players and the facilities. I hope BYU likes me and I'll be going to their one-week camp to see how it goes. I'm hoping they offer me a scholarship. That's what I'm hoping for."
A recent BYU commit, it's easy to see why Jonryheem Peoples of Rigby, Idaho was offered by the Cougar coaches. Coming in at about 6 feet 6 inches and 300 pounds, he moves as though he weighs around 275. He's light on his feet for his size, has good flexibility and foot speed, and has a ton of potential to be molded into a top-caliber offensive or defensive lineman.
At 6 feet 3 inches and 280 pounds, junior-to-be offensive lineman Feke Kioa'sopoaga of Kealakehe High School – located on the big island of Hawaii – was another promising underclassman who not only passed the eye test but showed well in individual drills. He sat low in his punch stance and moved his feet well when facing the rush of a defensive lineman.
A senior-to-be, Miki Fangatua of H.P. Baldwin High School in Maui was another standout. A bit raw, Fangatua has a high ceiling to work with. He comes in at about 6 feet 4 inches and 290 pounds and has a strong core. He uses his hands well and has good feet and decent speed. He's very flexible at the hips and that allows him to move well side to side.
There was a lot of talent present and lot of evaluations done. Those that stood out in day one and passed the first day's evaluations are as follows:
Coming in at about 6 feet 5 inches and 290 pounds, Keti Salakielu will be a senior this upcoming year and plays at Green Valley High School in Nevada. He is LDS and plans on serving a mission. Salakielu has good feet to go with his size and could find a home as a defensive tackle at the next level. He's receiving interest from BYU, UNLV and SDSU. He will attend BYU's summer camp following the All-Poly Camp.
Coming in at about 6 feet 6 inches and 270 pounds, Sam Tevi is a talented specimen from Trinity High School in Texas. A senior-to-be, Tevi has quick feet and athleticism. He does very well in his get-off when attacking the offensive tackle and is very light on his feet. He has a good quick-twitch that allows him to get into position quickly. Couple his mobility with his hands and you have a very good prospect, as is reflected in his 11 scholarship offers to date.
"I think the part that hit me the most about the All-Poly Camp was the academic part of the camp," Tevi said. "I think it really opened my eyes a lot about how important it is. The coaches here are also really good and are very straight-up with you."
Tevi is LDS and wants to serve a mission. He will be visiting BYU next week and hopes to receive a scholarship offer.
"BYU is recruiting me but they haven't offered me," Tevi said. "I want to go there and show them how we play football down in Texas. BYU is a good school and I know they're looking at me. Coach DuPaix is the one recruiting me and he's a funny guy.
"Ever since I was little, BYU was my number one school growing up because I'm LDS, and so I've always liked BYU since I was a kid. I just want to go down there and prove that I can play and see what happens."
The one aspect holding Tevi back from a BYU offer has been his grades. He recently took the ACT and did well enough to put him on the bubble. Stay tuned with this one.
Coming in at about 6 feet 4 inches and 250 pounds, Trinity High School defensive end Gaius Vaenuku was another big man at the camp that gave offensive tackles fits all day long. The fleet-footed Tongan from Texas claims five offers. It remains yet to be seen if he will qualify for Division I football at this time, but one thing is certain, he is a real talent.
Coming in at about 6 feet 4 inches and 285 pounds, Havili-Katoa is a sophomore that will enter his junior year next season. His ability to move his 280-pound frame in a bull rush or with finesse was quickly evident. Havili-Katoa hails from Tooele, Utah but isn't LDS. He is a two-way player at defensive tackle and offensive center. He will be an up-and-coming prospect in the state of Utah – if his grades are in order – by my evaluations.
"My sophomore year just the past couple of weeks, Arizona and Utah State have offered me," Havili-Katoa said. "BYU and Utah are looking at me. I like BYU and have gone down for a couple of visits. They run a great program down there and I like the coaches and facilities."
Havili-Katoa attended BYU's Junior Day.
"I did really good and I'm going back there for the full-padded camp in a couple of weeks. I hope they offer me."
Coming out of Lone Peak High School, Levi Fiso is a two-way player who stands at about 6 feet 3 inches and 285 pounds. He plays the nose guard position very well and is a beast in the trenches. He's a senior and is being looked at by BYU, Utah and Utah State.
Merrell "Meti" Taliauli
East High School defensive tackle Meti Taliauli is a defensive tackle that should have offers. In evaluating Taliauli, he will instantly remind BYU fans of Romney Fuga as a nose guard. He's big, and at about 6 feet 2 inches and 285 pounds, he moves very well for his size. After watching him perform in the first day of drills, there is no doubt that Taliauli is a Division I prospect.