"Friday they had me wake up at like 8:00 a.m. and we had breakfast at the hotel, all-you-can-eat," Kaumatule said. "Then they took me, my brother, and my dad to campus where they kind of toured us around for a little bit. After that, we got into some defensive meetings with the defensive linemen. After the meetings, which lasted about an hour or so, we went straight to the football practice.
"During that football practice it was interesting, because before football games they usually have scrimmage the redshirt freshman, the freshmen and the sophomores who aren't going to get playing time during the game. I'm not too sure about any other colleges doing that, but I guess Stanford has a view of getting their players reps. That's how they get ahead of the game."
Cognizant of the challenges true freshmen face in earning playing time, Kaumatule said he was a fan of the tactic.
"I'm pretty excited because I'm a commit and when I come out to Stanford next year, it probably will be hard for me [to get playing time]," Kaumatule said. "To get a chance to start on the team as a freshman, that's every freshman's dream to start, but even if I don't get any playing time on the field, I'll be able to look forward to those scrimmages."
Later, Kaumatule ate dinner at the team buffet. While this might not normally be notable, Kaumatule said the American cuisine differed from what he was accustomed to.
"It's way different kind of food," Kaumatule said. "At the dinner table I was talking to the other defensive linemen, and I told about Spam musubi [a popular Hawaiian dish made of Spam, rice, and seaweed] and they were like Spam, Spam's gross. Spam is like heaven out here."
On Saturday, armed with a better night's sleep, Kaumatule dove into the second day of his trip.
"Saturday was better for me because I was able to sleep in, they didn't wake me up ‘til 10," Kaumatule said. "Noor Davis, Blake Martinez and Trace Clark came in, we all ate breakfast, all-you-can-eat. After the breakfast there was another meeting, a defensive meeting, watching film on Washington.
"College is a way higher level than my high school years. I thought high school film was boring and long but I had no idea, in college you'll be spending hours of film and hours of preparation off of the field and out of the weight room, more preparation on film than anything."
Following the meetings, Kaumatule toured different parts of campus, including the bookstore and athletic facilities, before making a stop at the campus Memorial Church.
"They took us to the church, wow, that church was pretty amazing," Kaumatule said. "I know we're supposed to be quiet, but I was like, ‘Dad, take a picture!' There were so many cool things.
Following strength and conditioning coach Shannon Turley's and athletic director Bob Bowlsby's presentations, and a Cardinal student-athlete/recruit panel, it was finally game time. Kaumatule and the other recruits entered the stadium, and took their seats just to the left of the Stanford ‘Red Zone' student section.
"It's a different level," Kaumatule said. "Andrew Luck is just monstrous, and the Stanford defense is killing it. Especially that defensive line. Every time that quarterback released the ball, a split second and he'd get whacked. Even the Stanford defensive backs and safeties, that guy [Michael Thomas], he's killing it!"
Over the course of his trip, Kaumatule also met with three Cardinal coaches, David Shaw, Lance Anderson, and Randy Hart, to address a variety of topics.
"With Coach Hart, it was all about defensive line and things I needed to do to prepare and things they did at practice," Kaumatule said. "With Coach Anderson, that was about admissions.
"The third was with Coach Shaw and that was with my family, but we just talked about being excited for the season and the other things I need to prepare on mentally to be ready for school and football."
Kaumatule has begun work on the Stanford application and plans to submit it by the December deadline. Although Stanford is Kaumatule's clear favorite, he does plan to take at least one other trip (a visit to UCLA) in case he hits a snag in the admissions process.
"I'm still keeping an open mind just because it's still early," Kaumatule said. "I know Stanford is one of those schools where [so few applicants] get in, having backup plans is smart.
"But other than that I'm committed to Stanford."
Stick with The Bootleg for more visitor reaction throughout the upcoming week.
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