Record smashing WR in Vandal orbit

WHEN ROBB AKEY took the podium the first time as the Vandals' coach this past December, he said his offensive philosophy was simple -- attack. "You may be able to take the air out of the ball, but you can't take the ball out of the air at the University of Idaho," he said. And that means an emphasis on receivers. One '08 WR prospect in the UI orbit is a record setter out of Wailuku, Hawaii.

Idaho has been sending hand written letters to Chase Nakamura (6-3, 180, 4.5) out of Wailuku's Baldwin High. He holds offers from Utah, UNLV and Weber State.

"Idaho has been writing, just asking me to keep them in mind," said Nakamura. "I know a little bit about them because one of my good friends got offered a scholarship there and he's playing outside linebacker there right now -- Joseph Dickson."

Utah and UNLV have both called since Sept. 1. Oregon State and Washington are also lurking.

ON THE FIELD according to what college coaches have told him, one of Nakamura's best attributes can essentially be boiled down to one word.

Playmaker.

"(College coaches) have said like my height and how I can make a play after I catch. They like how I can go deep," said Nakamura.

Deep, indeed. As a junior, Nakamura shattered the Maui Interscholastic League's single-season record for touchdown receptions with 20, taking it to the house once every 2.6 receptions.

And then there are also the intangibles to consider, says one of Baldwin's assistant coaches, including leadership by example.

"I think Chase just brings with him a lot of experience," said Baldwin assistant coach Brian Harris. "Guys look to him because of that leadership quality that he has..I think just the amount of time that he puts in and how much he works on his game allows him to complete at a high level.

"And they look up to him because he can compete at that level you don't see very often."

OFFICIAL VISIT WEEKENDS ARE a little more challenging for Island prospects for obvious travel reasons.

"I told (colleges) I'm probably going to wait to set them up until after the season is finished," said Nakamura. "Everyone is pretty much equal right now."

Nakamura is expected to play this week after missing the opener with a tweaked knee.

"It's getting a lot better. It should be 100 percent in the next couple weeks," he said.

Chase Nakamura profile

NOTABLE NOTES:
Nakamura finished with 52 receptions and 981 yards in '06. Included among numerous honors and accolades, he was named first team All-State last season.

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