K-State incoming junior Jimmy Niutapuai is a person who seeks a natural high in nature. In California, Niutapuai likes fishing for everything from bass to halibut. He likes the thrill of catching the big fish.
Niutapuai also surfs twice a week. The bigger the waves, the better.
"It is fun, it is great, it is like a high in a way for me," he said. "It is just you and nature. You are out there on a wave. It is a great thing to do."
Niutapuai, a 6-0, 265-pound fullback, will likely put away the surf board in a couple weeks when he reports to Manhattan for summer workouts. He will temporarily trade in the rush that surfing brings for that associated with K-State football.
Niutapuai said he is nervous about reporting to Manhattan, but also eager to show K-State coaches what he can do. He hopes to compete for playing time and wants to see how running out of the locker room at KSU Stadium and Wagner Field, compares to surfing the big waves.
"That is going to be a big rush," he said. "It is going to be unbelievable. I am going to try and remember that forever when it happens."
When it happens, Niutapuai's skills will be on display for the purple nation to see. Here is how Niutapuai describes himself. He is a powerful blocking fullback who likes to take on defensive blockers.
Niutapuai played the last two years a starter at Orange Coast College. He was primarily a blocking back, but gained 43 yards on 14 carries. He was selected as the school's "Hitter of the Year," and played with fellow K-State signee Ricky Miller. The two are friends. "Yeah, we are close," Niutapuai said. "We came from the same town. We played at Orange Coast College too."
The fact that both players signed with K-State was a coincidence, Niutapuai said. He played at Orange Coast College, because he didn't want to walk on to a four-year school right out of high school. Playing at a school like K-State has always been a dream for him.
Niutapuai said he likes the tradition that K-State has established the last 15 years and the atmosphere at K-State football games. He decided to attend K-State after attending the school's final home game last year against Iowa State.
"After the visit, I knew that is where I wanted to go," he said. "The fans don't get no better than that."
He is eager to get the chance to block for K-State's
running backs including Ayo Saba and Victor Mann.
Niutapuai said he will find out who his roomate will
be on June 6, when he reports to Manhattan.
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