Saia Hafoka, a 6-1, 185-pounder from Kahuku High School said elder brother Spencer Hafoka is pulling hard for him to join him as a wide receiver on the Cougars gridiron team, but noted he wants to take the time to find a college that will be the "right fit."
"My brother loves it out there and has been telling me to go to BYU." Spencer said. "But I'm wide open right now. Right now, I'm just trying to concentrate on my senior year of football and then make a decision after that."
Hafoka's Kahuku high school team was in Utah during late summer to play Skyline High School, one of Utah's perennial top schools, and were thoroughly outmatched. He was held to three catches for 32 yards, but Hafoka said it was still a fun trip.
"We got to go down to BYU and tour the new football facilities and see the football team practice." Hafoka said. "That was fun and exciting. I got to see my brother play and I was impressed on how well he's picked things up."
Spencer describes himself as a quiet leader who likes to lead by example. "I'm not real vocal, but I just try and do the best I can." Hafoka said.
And the best he can do is actually quite a lot. In Kahuku's early season matchup against Hawaii powerhouse rival St. Louis, Hafoka had two catches for 105 yards, one punt return for 51 yards and three touchdowns. Kahuku won that game. He said his running back and safety teammates from Kahuku running back and safety also have Div. 1 scholarship offers.
Hafoka attended BYU's summer camp this year and worked out with his brother. He said he was timed in the 40 yard dash at 4.3/40.
He spent almost seven weeks in Provo attending the Cougars' camp and working out independently with former assistant BYU strength/conditioning coach Tui Filiaga.
Last season, Hafoka stretched opposing defenses for 1,029 yards on 29 receptions to lead the Kahuku Red Raiders to their fourth state championship in five years. Hafoka helped his team erase a 14-point deficit to perennial powerhouse St. Louis School with two receptions for 63 yards.
Hafoka uncle, Kalepi Ofahengaue, a former BYU linebacker and current football assistant at Long Peak High (Utah), commented on his nephew's workouts.
"Right now, he's doing a lot of conditioning and agility drills. He should be up to at least 185-190 if he keeps it up. He looks good. He'll be a high 4.2 (40), maybe a 4.3 guy."
Jason Long, Lone Peak High's top athlete and Div. 1 recruit, played with and against Hafoka during the recent BYU summer camp. "That kid (Hafoka) is really fast. I can see why he has a scholarship to BYU already. He runs great routes. It was a lot of fun going up against him to see how I compare to that type of talent. I think I did pretty good."
BYU was Hafoka's first scholarship offer. "It makes me feel big time happy. As long as I can take the talent I have and use the opportunity to get to the next level and work hard. It means a lot.
"(BYU head coach Gary) Crowton told me that he really wants me to be here. I'm just happy about it and I'm looking forward to this upcoming season. I'm going to put it down from the first game to the last," Hafoka said.
Hafoka added that "Coach Mike Empey (BYU's recruiting coordinator) has called and wants me to go there (BYU) and told me how well I'll fit into their system."
He said he plans to take any official trips after his senior season. Hafoka carries a 3.4 GPA and a passing SAT score.
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