Finau's Recruitment Picking Up

Paul Finau was one of the youngest prospects ever verbally offered by Bronco Mendenhall when he visited BYU's campus as a freshman. The 2016 defensive line prospect Paul Finau is currently in his sophomore year but will soon be a junior. Colleges have already taken notice and it won't be long before his recruitment picks up.

Paul Finau has been on BYU's recruiting radar for some time now. A year older, Finau has been growing and gaining more strength with every passing month.

"He's around 6 foot-3 inches and maybe even closer to 6-4 right now and a solid 300 pounds," said Juanita Head Coach Shaun Tarantola. "When we weighed him in we were shocked that he weighed 315 because he doesn't look it. He looks really good. He's definitely improving in the strength area.

"It was tough for him to attend workouts in the past because he went to seminary at the time when the team worked out. We've been able to work it out where he's now able to work out with the team and with us and that's been great for him. He's in a lot better shape and we're excited to see the impact that will have for him on the field."

This past summer Finau attended a summer camp at the University of Washington where he put his strength on display. However, during a warm up drill an unfortunate accident occurred that left Finau severely injured.

"Yeah, it was during the warm ups actually," said Finau. "We were pushing one of the dummy sleds and the guy on my right side dropped it while we were pushing it and it fell on my leg and cut [my calf] wide open."

The player next to Finau wasn't as strong in pushing the sled which caused him to drop it resulting in a large gash in Finau's calf muscle. He was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. The injury was supposed to heal within a month. However, that didn't happen.

"I got a staph infection in my leg and missed the beginning of the season," said Finau. "I lost the feeling in my leg so it was really hard for me. It was really irritating for me, too, because I wasn't able to practice with the team. I ended up missing around four games because of the staph infection. I'm okay now but there still is a little bit [of numbness] in my foot."

Once he finally returned to the field, Finau unloaded a bunch of emotion that was pent up inside. He took out his excitement on the Belleview offensive line.

"When I finally got back in to play the first game I got back in was against Belleview," Finau said. "My cousin [Tomas Toki] was the starter and he got hurt, so I came in after he hurt his shoulder. The other team's coaches didn't know that I was healthy, so when I came in they were surprised because I was killing their center. It was a really fun time for me."

Now that Finau is healthy heading into his junior year, Coach Tarantola expects him to make even more of an impact.

"We're excited for him and what he'll bring to the table next season," said Coach Tarantola. "He's a sophomore now but he'll be a junior next year. He's really grown up a lot mentally just the last couple of months. He's taking things more seriously in the classroom. He's taking things more seriously in the weight room, and you're starting to see the maturity. He's really growing and developing at a fast rate."

Although verbally offered by BYU, it's been awhile since Finau last spoke in person with any coach on the BYU coaching staff.

"They're treating me well I guess, but I haven't been in contact with them in a long time," Finau said. "I got a couple friend requests [on facebook] from them on their recruiting page, which was nice. It was nice to see that."

Due to Finau being a sophomore coaches can't contact him until after September 1st of his junior year. Once that time comes Finau's recruitment is expected to pick up quickly.

"Yeah, I think it's because I'm still young," Finau said. "I don't know much but I know they offered me when I was a freshman when I came down with my uncle [Vai Sikahema]. I was really surprised when that happened to me. I was extremely grateful."

Former BYU standout Vai Sikahema took his sister Lynett's son Paul to BYU last year for an unofficial visit and tour of the campus. That's when he received a verbal offer from BYU and his uncle has been in his ear pushing the Cougars ever since.

"He's always been doing that to me since I was little," Finau said with a laugh. "He always tells me about BYU so I'm kind of used to it."

Coach Tarantola agrees that Finau's rrecruitment is poised to take off.

"We have some guys that will be seniors next year, so we've had some coaches asking about the 2016 class recently and Paul's name has come up quite a bit," said Coach Tarantola. "He was under the radar with a lot of guys, but with BYU they were definitely first to know about him and know what he's capable of."

Paul Finau plans on trying to return to BYU this summer to attend a camp. He's also planning on attending camps at other univeristies as well.

"Yeah I actually am [planning to visit BYU] and plan on attending a camp, but I don't know when their team camp is," said Finau. "I don't know when that is but I'm definitely going to try to go to it. I'm actually planning on attending camps at a number of schools. I also want to attend some Nike camps that I've been invited to."

Now that Finau has gotten a little older, Coach Tarantola has seen him go through a maturation process and take schooling and his talents more seriously.

"Definitely his mentality has changed and that's where he's matured the most," said Coach Tarantola. "He's always been athletic and had great speed for his size. He's matured to the point where football is a lot more important to him. He's asserting himself as a leader now when before he just kind of practiced. You just kind of wondered how much he liked the game. Now he's doing things and setting the example for the other guys."

As far as recruiting goes Finau has been receiving letters from BYU along with some other notable college football programs. He's also been rated as a four star defensive lineman by Scout.com and his interest as a football prospect is starting to pick up.

"I've been getting some letters from Oregon and they send letters constantly," said Finau. "Finally Washington has been sending me letters and I've got some from Alabama and Florida State. I've been getting letters from BYU and I've been getting little email things for invitations online. I've been sending in questionnaires."

His older brother Jared Finau was offered by BYU long ago but chose to stay close to home and attend Washington with a sister who is playing volleyball for the Huskies. Paul Finau knows his time to be recruited will come soon and is ready for it.

"Yeah, I'm ready for it because I know it's going to come," he said. "I'm a bit nervous about it though, but, yeah, I'm guess I'm ready."

TotalBlueSports.com will continue to track Finau's recruitment and will have an update when programs are able to talk to him in September.


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