Hawaiian TE Still Cougar Crazy

During the winter, Hawaii is a warm, sunny refuge from colder climates—at least it is for most people. Kaneakua Friel took an unconventional approach to winter travel when he left his home in the tropical paradise to fly to record breaking cold temperatures in the mountains of Utah. The BYU-bound athlete liked things so much that he will be wintering in Provo for years to come.

"My trip was super fun," said Kaneakua Friel said. "I got to see the campus, meet the coaches and talk with the players. Ian Dulan was my host."

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound football star was recently named first team all-state in Hawaii and helped his team to a 7-3 record.

"I played tight end and fullback," Friel said. "We don't keep stats so I don't know what my numbers were."

Friel said seeing the snow was fun, but it was freezing at the top of the mountain when they went snowmobling.

"It was negative four degrees," Friel said. "I'm not used to it being that cold."

Coach Anea is the main coach recruiting Friel, and the two have a good relationship.

"Coach Anea said for me to come in and be ready to compete for playing time," Friel said. "I'm 17 right now, so I plan on playing two years then leaving on my mission. When I get back I may use my red shirt year. BYU said they will use me at tight end. I only got to talk to coach Mendenahall for a just a few minutes, but he is a nice guy. He reminds me of my bishop."

Friel said his main strengths on the football field are his speed and running skills.

"I want to get bigger and put on about 10 pounds before I come out to Provo," Friel said. "I'm lifting about four days a week and running a little too. I'm also going to run track for my high school."

Friel did not form any special connections with his fellow recruits, but he is sure that those relationships will grow in time.

"I knew Gary Nagy from when I came to BYU's summer camp, I've seen him play a little bit too, because his team won state," Friel said. "I also knew Ethan, but I'm sure I'll get to know the guys better when I come to Provo."

Friel is academically ready to go and is eagerly awaiting singing day.

"I have had to tell other coaches when they call me that I'm going to BYU," Friel said. "Boise [State], Oregon, and Nevada were the ones that called me."

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