Recruiting: Hunter (Feinga) vs. Jordan (Poloa)

I spent Friday night at the Jordan vs. Hunter High School football game watching BYU recruits <b>Phil Poloa</b> and <b>Ray Feinga</b>, among other players. Both have already been offered scholarships by BYU.

Hunter High (Feinga's team) dominated the game. I left with two minutes left in the third quarter with Hunter up 49-0. I figured I wasn't going to miss too much after that. Hunter literally steamrolled Jordan, running right up their gut on every down, dominating the line of scrimmage.

Feinga was the primary reason for this. He dominated every blocking assignment he faced. The only player I've seen dominate the line play as much as Feinga did last night was Brian Soi last season. He pancaked his assignment with regularity and showed great athleticism when he pull-blocked.

Feinga reminded me a lot of Jason Speredon with his ability. He's about the same size as Speredon at 6-5, 290 pounds. He looked polished and was the main reason for Hunter's complete control of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

I videotaped Feinga up close on offense, choosing to record Poloa when Jordan was on offense. Poloa suffered because of his overmatched offensive line. Jordan was rendered inept by Hunter's dominating defensive and offensive lines. Talking to Jordan's coach prior to the season, he said his line play was a huge concern. His concern was validated. Subsequently, Poloa wasn't able to do much.

I spent the first half on the Jordan side of the stands and just about everyone knew something about Phil Poloa and was more than willing to offer insights on him. Poloa is a 6-0, 180 running back recruit that has been timed as fast as 4.3 in the forty. He's reportedly hearing from just about everyone and just received an offer from Nebraska.

I spoke with Poloa's father, Tupule, and he indicated his son was not close to making a decision. He said he tried to sit Poloa down to narrow down his choices and consider carefully what he wants. He added that Poloa was concentrating on the season and didn't really want to think about it at the time.

Academics are a concern with Poloa and it is questionable whether he'll even be academically eligible to qualify at this point. Tupule told me academics was his chief focus right now as his son doesn't have much left to proved athletically.

Observing the first half, the PA announcer seemed as if he was a broken record skipping to the line of, "tackle made by, RAY Fe-I-nga!" He was all over the field. I should have recorded Feinga on defense more, but I'm sure I'll get this chance in the future as Hunter looks to go well into the playoffs.

I switched sides at halftime and was immediately greeted by the Vakapuna family as they watched their younger son, Tauni Vakapuna, run rampant for the Hunter Wolverines. The entire family was beaming over Fui's performance against Georgia Tech, the night before. Tauni is hearing from BYU and receiving letters, but no scholarship has been offered yet. The family is hopeful.

Tauni rotated running back duties with Matt Asiata throughout the game. Matt is only a junior, but looks to be a huge recruit in 2005. Both he and Tauni are similar in their running styles. They have similar physical make-ups and both are around 6-0, 200 pounds. Tauni is more of a straight-ahead runner while Matt shows more lateral movement. Matt is someone we'll be keeping close tabs on next season.

Vakapuna's father took me over to meet Ray Feinga's father. Feinga was seated next to Reno Mahe's father.

Mahe's father immediately told me with a serious expression that Feinga was not going to BYU; that he likes Urban Meyer and will be playing for the University of Utah. Feinga's father started smiling, ever so slightly, and we all had a good laugh. I hope we're still laughing and celebrating after LOI day.

We will be attending more of Feinga's and Poloa's games throughout the year, along with other games to monitor recruits that are likely to wear Cougar blue in the near future.

P.S. A big thank you to Evan Excell, Executive Director of the Utah High School Activities Association, for providing TBS' entire team of football and basketball reporters season press passes.

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