Kapolei's Kukea Emmsley wins The Opening Defensive Line MVP

The University of Hawaii was one of the first programs to offer Kukea Emmsley, who improved his stock by being named the top defensive lineman at The Opening's Bay Area Regional on Sunday.

One of Hawaii’s own took an MVP award home from The Opening regional in the Bay Area on Sunday.

Kapolei (Hawaii) High School athlete Kukea Emmsley was one of several high school talents to make the trip to the mainland for the event. Emmsley participated as a defensive lineman and stood out over all the elite talent at the regional, winning the defensive line MVP award.


Saide Emmsley, “I think my length and my athleticism and speed kind of stood out a little bit, comparing to these other guys. That was pretty nice.”

The 6-foot-4 and 225-pound athlete projects anywhere from defensive end to linebacker, to even tight end. Emmsely made it clear on Sunday that defensive end is where he flourishes best.

Scout.com analyst Greg Biggins analyzed Emmsley as one of the top surprises of the camp, saying “Emmsley has a long 6-foot-4 frame and really came on as the camp went along. He got beat his first two reps in the one on ones, but didn’t lose another rep that we saw. He showed a nice burst off the edge and did a nice job dipping his insider shoulder and turning the corner. He needs to add size and strength but the upside with him is obvious to see.”

Emmsley currently ranks as Scout.com’s No. 4 defensive end prospect from Hawaii, No. 18 in the West and No. 103 nationally.

The University of Hawaii has known about this under-the-radar talent for some time, offering Emmsley back in March. Other schools to offer include Oregon State, Fresno State, Navy, Army and Air Force.

Of the UH offer, Emmsley said “I was super happy for that one because I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii and play at Hawaii.I’m just a local boy from Hawaii trying to make a difference in the next generation. That’s good for me.”


However, Emmsley plans to broaden his horizons with a trip to the mainland this summer to visit several schools. He plans to visit Boise State, Cal, Fresno State, Idaho, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State.

WarriorSportsNetwork.com Premium Members can hear more about Emmsley's thoughts with UH here.

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