For the 2014 class Heritage has produced Limihai Hifo, who has committed to San Jose State, and defensive end and tailback Sione Takitaki, who has offers from Arizona, BYU, San Jose State, Washington State and Wisconsin. In the wings at Heritage lies another talented prospect coming up in 5-foot-10-inch, 165-pound Aleva Hifo, Limihai's brother.
"My strongest attributes as a cornerback is my speed and quickness in being able to cover receivers," said Aleva. "I think I'm pretty good in staying with receivers and covering them downfield."
Although he is a freshman now, Aleva will play on the varsity team as sophomore next season. He played both ways on the freshman team last year and could be doing the same on the varsity team as well. However, he'll more than likely specialize as a cornerback in the Heritage defense.
"It's hard to say what final position he could play because he could play either on the offensive side or defensive side of the ball," said Heritage High School assistant coach Petelo Hifo, Aleva's father. "For example, if you need a defensive back he can play that position. We are going to start him on the defensive side as a cornerback this year. We are also thin at the outside linebacker position, so as a sophomore, our defensive coordinator wants him to help us out as a backer."
"My freshman year I had to give up playing receiver on the offensive side and started playing cornerback," said Aleva. "This year I'll be playing on the defensive side again and be playing cornerback, but I'll be playing on the varsity team. It's definitely some big shoes to fill but I'm excited to play on the varsity team. It's a challenge but I'm up to it."
While Aleva will primarily play cornerback next season, he'll also double as a slot receiver for the Patriots' varsity offense.
"He's a natural runner, so on the offensive side he can play running back," said Coach Hifo. "We are short at the receiver position, so this year we are looking at him to play the slot receiver position. He'll play both ways for us as a sophomore."
When Aleva isn't playing football, he's starring on his high school baseball team.
"He is also a baseball player and does really well in that sport too," said his proud father. "He plays two sports over here at Heritage and could be a two-sport athlete. He plays pitcher and centerfield for the team out here."
"I like playing baseball a lot and wouldn't mind playing that at BYU," said Aleva. "I'm a pitcher and a centerfielder, but I think my best position is centerfield. I'm pretty fast and can cover the field really well and run down the ball when I have to. I've also had a couple of throw-outs to home plate this year already."
Last year while attending BYU's summer camp, Aleva caught the attention of the Cougar coaches after performing well above his age.
"It was great!" said Aleva. "I guess I was doing really well and the BYU coaches noticed me. They told me that I was doing great among the freshmen and sophomores during the camp and wanted to see how I did against the juniors and seniors."
"He came to the camp as an incoming freshman and caught the attention of the BYU coaches," said Coach Hifo. "The reason is he can play really well. Coach Poppinga remembered Aleva from the camp last year. He was doing so well, they moved him from the freshmen and sophomores to compete with the juniors and seniors."
This year the Hifo family likely won't be attending BYU's camp, as funds are tight.
"I don't think we'll be able to make it this year," said Coach Hifo. "We'll come out to BYU when [Aleva is] about to go into his junior year and then after. He really liked his experience out there last year and so he wants to go back out. We'll have to do that after this year."
Raised in an LDS family that loves the sport of football, young Aleva has his sights squarely fixed on one day playing college football like his older brother Limihai. There is one college in particular he has his eyes set on.
"BYU is my church school and I've always dreamed about one day playing there," Aleva said. "I've never really saw another school in my future. It's a college that fits me well as a person and as a football player. You have to be more than just a football player to go there."
"Make no mistake about that that," his father said. "When it comes to BYU, Aleva loves BYU. Make no mistake about it, BYU is the school he wants to go to. He's set on BYU and that's the dream school for him.
"What he wants to do is play defensive back at the next level. That's the position he wants to play, but I think he'll be recruited as an athlete. He's the type of kid that I think will be recruited as an athlete."