Everyone on the mainland, especially BYU fans, are fully aware of 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound top Hawaiian defensive lineman Graham Rowley. Where Rowley really shined on the field was during full scrimmages.
"My speed and my strength are two of the things I like to use to beat other guys," Rowley said. "Coach Kaufusi has really helped me out here with being able to better read the offensive tackle."
Time and time again the Waianae High School star got to the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle, where the game was played on his terms. In a three-point stance, Rowley's speed, quickness and strength allowed him to become virtually unblockable as he rushed from his outside position. When the offensive call was a run within the interior line, Rowley showed a very good ability to change direction and to either pursue the play or make the tackle at the line of scrimmage. He scraped down the line of scrimmage well using his hands like a linebacker when in pursuit.
In the passing game, it became a common sight to see Rowley either harassing quarterbacks dropping back into the pocket or chasing them out by collapsing the pocket on the outside. His athletic abilities will be put to good use over the summer during seven-on-seven workouts in preparation for his senior season.
"I'm going to be doing a lot of training this summer before school starts," said Rowley. "I'll be doing a lot of seven-on-sevens and will be playing running back. I'm not going to be playing running back during the season, but I'll be playing running back in our workouts over the summer. It's a lot of fun."
Rowley was named as one of the top defensive line performers at the All-Poly Camp, and it was rightly deserved.
Playing alongside Rowley at the defensive tackle position was 6-foot-3-inch, 270-pound Handsome Tanielu of Waianae High School. Tanielu is going to be a prospect that many football fans on the mainland will become very familiar with by the time he commits to a college of his choice.
"This was a dream come true for me," Tanielu said. "Being able to come here to the All-Poly Camp has been a dream of mine for sometime now. In the past I've always missed the chance to come, but now I was able to be at the camp and show the coaches what I could do."
During one-on-ones, Tanielu was virtually unstoppable. His quick twitch muscle was some of the fastest reflex response among all defensive line performers. His hand use was very active and his ability to set up an offensive lineman in order to beat him was topnotch. Not a single offensive lineman was able to stop Tanielu during the one-on-one drills.
"The highlight of the camp for me was my one-on-ones," said Tanielu. "I was able to make myself look pretty good out there. I just wanted to go out there and go full blast. The coaches wanted to see how quick I got off the ball and I think I showed them that during the scrimmages."
For a defensive lineman, Tanielu did a great job of using his speed to get low and into position where he could use his hands to turn an offensive tackle's shoulder. As a big man, this allowed him to become "skinny" and shoot the gaps in order to force the issue on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
"The coaches really like the way I move," Tanielu said. "I guess they like the way I'm able to neutralize the gaps. I usually play defensive end but I wanted to play more defensive tackle, so that's why I'm playing defensive tackle here at the All-Poly Camp."
Tanielu, who is LDS, was scouted out early by Total Blue Sports as one of the top defensive lineman at the camp. It became apparent early that Tanielu was going to be a standout performer and that evaluation held true, as he was named as one of the top defensive line performers during the award ceremonies honoring top All-Poly Camp participants. This relatively unknown prospect will become highly recruited out of Hawaii.
Along with Tanielu, one under-the-radar prospect that many recruiting outlets and football fans on the mainland may not know much about, but probably should, is 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound defensive end Calen Friel. The name Friel may sound familiar to BYU fans, as it should. He is the cousin of Cougar tight end Kaneakua Friel, who is currently serving an LDS mission in South Africa.
Calen plays very similarly to BYU commit Bronson Kaufusi and Hawaiian recruit Kona Schwenke in terms of how he uses his body at the defensive end position. Friel is not a power-type end, but more of a finesse player that uses his speed and quickness to force the issue.
"The way I play is I do whatever the offensive lineman gives me and then I react to that," said Friel. "If the lineman is going to try and lock me up I just use my hands a lot to try and rip through. I feel I'm pretty quick off the edge and can move well for my size. I'm pretty aggressive on the corner."
Although Calen, who will be a senior this year at Kailua High School, is related to Kaneakua, he is not LDS. But, he does consider himself a Christian and is familiar with BYU because of Kaneakua having become a Cougar. At the current moment Calen isn't being recruited by BYU, but there is a good possibility that BYU and other colleges could come calling after his performance at the All-Poly Camp. We'll keep our ears glued to the coconut wires to find out if anything new develops.
At 285 pounds, Punahou High School nose guard Sani Fuimaono – the number-one heavyweight wrester in Hawaii – dominated from his defensive end and defensive tackle positions. Playing on the same defensive line as Rowley and Tanielu during full scrimmages, Fuimaono was a force to be reckoned with.
"I definitely improved my game a lot here at the All-Poly Camp," Fuimaono said. "The coaches here were great and they gave me a lot of tips and pointers that I feel will help me be a better defensive lineman. I noticed I was getting better and better after every practice because there are so many great coaches out here."
During the one-on-one drills, Fuimaono was a beast of a lineman for the offensive guys to handle. A big, strong player who uses his strength to overpower his opponent, Fuimaono was another prospect that was virtually unstoppable. Whether he put his size and strength to use in a bull rush or used his hands and footwork more, Fuimaono was evaluated on the second day of the All-Poly Camp as one of the top performers. On top of that, during the award ceremonies he was honored as one of the top camp participants. Come to find out, he currently holds a few scholarship offers as well.
"The schools that have offered me are the University of Washington, University of Hawaii and University of Arizona," said Fuimaono. "The recruiting process is going good and hopefully more will come."
After his All-Poly Camp performance, Fuimaono should expect more offers. BYU is one school that is also showing interest in Fuimaono, and he could receive a scholarship offer from the Cougar program in due time.
In the next segment of the All-Poly Camp scouting report, we'll take a look at some very good offensive linemen prospects and a strong group of linebackers.