Schwenke Tops All D-Ends

During Total Blue Sports' Hawaiian adventure, there were many opportunities to scout out and evaluate many Hawaiian prospects from Oahu and the outer islands. Prospects gathered at the All-Poly Camp as well as the Game Plan Camp to learn and improve both in the classroom and on the football field.

Following the All-Poly Camp, Total Blue Sports made its way from the hustle of Honolulu to the beautiful North Shore. After passing scenic locations like Hanauma Bay, Koko Crater and the Ko'olau Mountains, a quick stop to BYU Hawaii was made. It was here that the Game Plan Camp was being held, with much local talent in attendance. One of the prospects in attendance was 6-foot-5-inch, 225-pound Kahuku High School defensive end Kona Schwenke.

"Right now, I'm just attending summer school trying to bring up my grades," said Schwenke. "I'm working on my academics trying to bring up my GPA, so it's going good and things are falling into place for me now."

Like the All-Poly Camp, the Game Plan Camp focuses on academics in an effort to help local kids reach their potential in the classroom so they can see the field at the next level.

"They try and teach you the importance of getting good grades and help you to focus on your academics," Schwenke said. "It's been an eye-opener for me and it has helped me to focus to try and do better in school. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but if you don't have the grades you won't go anywhere. Basically, your athletic abilities will go to waste."

Schwenke has added some weight to his frame, but he hasn't lost a step. That was very much apparent while watching him during one-on-one drills at the camp.

"When I play I just try and beat my man to the outside where I can use my speed to beat him one-on-one," Schwenke said. "If I can't get to the outside I won't hesitate to use my quickness to go inside."

Watching Schwenke go to work against some of the top talent was enlightening and impressive. His speed and quickness, accompanied with his lower-body strength, put him head and shoulders above any talent that was evaluated in the state of Hawaii. He was simply too quick and athletic for any of the linemen present, and given the offensive talent represented, that is quite the accomplishment.

"You have to just keep going until the whistle blows and give 110 percent every single play," Schwenke said. "You have to think fast and play fast [and] use your speed and quickness to set up your opponent so you can take advantage of him and beat him. Everything has to be done fast."

Schwenke is very much underrated at the national level. Much of that could be due to the lack of exposure an athlete might receive when isolated thousands of miles away in the state of Hawaii.

Schwenke ranks up there with the best defensive end prospects from the All-Poly Camp in Hawaii and from the state of Utah. This includes prospects such as Bronson Kaufusi, Calen Friel, Graham Rowley, Handsom Tanielu and Samu Fuimaono. Schwenke's combination of size and speed reminds one of a young Jevon Kearse or Simeon Rice, and he is very much an equal to four-star recruit Bronson Kaufusi, the tenth-best defensive end in the nation according to Scout.

"It all starts with the basic techniques," said Schwenke. "Learning the rips and how to use your hands in combination with your feet plays a big part. If you can use all of those things to your advantage you can do whatever you want against slower competition. I'm tall at around 6'5" but I don't weight 260 or 270. It's all about speed. If you're bigger you try and use more power. At the college level, the offensive linemen are all around 300 pounds, so using speed and quickness is how you beat them."

Some topnotch colleges are recruiting Schwenke, and whichever coaching staff that ends up securing his services would have to be extremely excited in what they are getting at the defensive end position. Again, one can't overemphasize the speed, talent and potential that Schwenke possesses as one of the premiere defensive end talents in the country.

"Right now I have offers from BYU, Utah, Oregon State, Washington, Colorado and [Hawaii]," said Schwenke. "I also have an offer from Wyoming."

It should be duly noted that coaches from every one of those colleges have seen him perform in camps. If more college recruiters had made their way out to Hawaii to evaluate him, it is reasonable to say that he would have his pick of colleges from all around the country to choose from. In any event, Schwenke could be making a decision on where he will play college football sometime soon.

Schwenke, who is LDS, has been in contact with many college coaches over the recruiting period. One coach that he is very impressed with is BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

"When I talk to Coach Mendenhall we talk about life," said Schwenke. "We talk about our families and our religion and how important those things are in the bigger picture. We just mostly talk about those things and not so much about football. There will be a time for that later. So he's a great man and a great coach and really knows how to connect with people and his players. With Coach Mendenhall, you can really feel a connection because he knows where you are coming from. He understands who we are as a people and how to connect those things we are familiar with into his football program. I have a lot of respect for him because it's more than just football but about other things that are important to us. I wouldn't mind playing for him at the college level someday."

The coconut wires are buzzing with the sounds that Kona Schwenke could be committing to a college of his choice within a week or so. Stay tuned…


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