OAKLAND, Calif. -- When California defensive coordinator Andy Buh was coaching Stanford's linebackers back in 2007, he set about recruiting a linebacker by the name of Sam Fehoko. While Buh was unsuccessful in pulling Fehoko to Palo Alto, he vowed that he'd come back to Honolulu for the third Fehoko brother after current Philadelphia Eagle, Sam, and current Utah linebacker V.J.: Breiden Fehoko.
Earlier this month, Buh did just that, offering the 6-foot-3, 275-pound, 2015 defensive lineman out of Farrington High School, and on Saturday, the younger Fehoko got to see Buh's new digs.
"I spent about three hours there," Breiden said. "I was with Kevin Parker, coach [Barry] Sacks, coach Buh, coach [Sonny] Dykes, and they really just walked me through the whole thing. They showed me the campus, they showed me their brand-new, half-a-billion-dollar facility. They showed me all this nice stuff, and they just really [...] I felt like they had their heart there, with me."
The Bears are looking at the younger Fehoko as a three- or a two-technique stopper in a class that will likely see four defensive linemen signed.
"They like the way I get off, they like my hands, my finesse, that I'm aggressive and they like my motor," Fehoko said. "They said they want guys like me to build on. They said they want a national championship, and that's why they're recruiting guys like me, and I feel like they're a really good program."
While he's already more than familiar with Buh, Saturday's visit cemented the Bears' position near the top of his list. Fehoko also has offers from the hometown Warriors, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Utah, Utah State, Washington State and Weber State.
"I'll give Cal and all the other early schools like Utah and Hawaii the benefit of the doubt for coming at me early, so that's really going to affect signing day," Fehoko said. "When I sign, it'll be because they were there from the beginning."
The Utes do have a trump card in the fact that Fehoko's other older brother -- V.J. -- is already a veteran in their front seven, and the familiarity the younger Fehoko has with the coaching staff.
"I'm really close with the Utah coaches," Breiden said. "Kalani Sitake -- the defensive coordinator -- is my cousin, so all of these schools coming early, they've really built a relationship with me, and they really showed me that they want me in their programs."
Buh's longstanding relationship with the Fehoko family, though, could just as easily play a large role in Breiden's recruitment.
"He really built the foundation with our family early, when I was young, and he told me, when I was a kid, ‘I'm going to come back and recruit you, no matter where I go; Just remember me when I come back,' and he came back," Breiden laughed.
Though he does have a connection with Buh, Fehoko is also being recruited by Sacks.
"I like his enthusiasm," Fehoko said. "He's a happy guy, he told me straight up that if I come into the program, I'm going to work. I like that with a coach, when a coach is real with you."
Fehoko benches 430 pounds, squats 515, power cleans 275 and can rep 225 pounds in the bench press, 35 times.
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