Huge Polynesian influx in'15, how about '16?

OREGON STATE's new staff signed a whopping eight -- eight -- Polynesian recruits on Signing Day. It follows the Beavs will continue the tact for the 2016 class. What's the early word on '16 prospects out of American Samoa and Hawaii? For starters, keep an eye on one big offensive lineman out of Pago Pago who is already making a name for himself. Read on for that, a lot more names plus video ...

First, a look at the ’16 class out of American Samoa and Hawaii with Pac-12/FBS potential who bear watching, and there's several more in the Class of 2017 with the same kind of potential. That’s the word from Keiki Misipeka, who runs the Pasefika International Sports Alliance foundation based out of Hawaii and who is working with a number of student-athletes out of American Samoa and Hawaii.

Through PISA, several f those prospects participated in the NIKE combine this past Sunday in Hawaii.

In the American Samoa class of 2016, offensive lineman Frederick Mauigoa is drawing high early interest from Oregon State, WSU and others. He holds an offer from Hawaii plus rides from some smaller schools.

He also already checks in at 6-4, 295-pounds.

"His athleticism, for someone his size, is special," said Misipeka. "He has really good footwork. That's something we've been working with him on and he can play both sides of the ball - he could play defensive tackle, nose tackle at the next level depending on what scheme they run and then he can play offensive line.

"I'm predicting offensive tackle at the next level. He's a good-sized kid, he has nimble feet."

Mauigoa, despite the large number of prospects on hand, was singled out for his work at the NIKE combine in various reports, including one from KHON-TV in Honolulu, who noted "a record 800-plus teenaged football players hit the turf of Aloha Stadium Sunday afternoon."

Mauigoa immediately after the combine Sunday received an invite to the NIKE combines later this spring and summer in Oakland and Eugene, respectively. It's a long way from here to there but if Mauigoa excels at either one of those combines, which will feature a higher level of competition than in Hawaii, he could potentially snag an invite to The Opening, which NIKE bills as its premier summer showcase event featuring roughly 160 high school recruits from around the nation.

RB Vaevae Malepeai checks in at 5-11, 200-pounds and clocked the fastest 40 time at the combine, a 4.44. "I believe he is the front runner for Offensive MVP in the state of Hawaii," said Misipeka.

LB/S Jeremiah Pritchard out of Farrington, Hawaii also helped himself this past weekend, Misipeka said. The 6-0, 210-pounder already holds FBS offers from Colorado and UNLV.

OL Iverson Moala "attended Moanalua High and also participated in the combine. He returned to American Samoa and is also one of the top 2016 OL prospects from American Samoa," Misipeka said. He checks in at 6-1 1/2, 315-pounds.

D-line prospect Edward Manase (6-2, 285) from American Samoa also showed well in the combine's OL vs. DL challenge, Misipeka said.

IN THE 2017 CLASS, names to keep an eye on and who performed well this past weekend according to Misipeka include QB Tua Tagovailoa out of St. Louis High in Honolulu. He already has five Pac-12 offers though not one from the Beavs yet.

Juliano Falaniko out of Leone High is another, a 6-3, 198-pound safety who could be a linebacker at the next level. Blessman Taala is a LB/FB-type now, could become a DL-type later who currently checks in at 6-0, 255-pounds. (He's the first American Samoa freshman Colorado has ever offered, Misipeka noted). Misipeka's son, defensive back prospect Keikiokalani Misipeka, (5-8, 170) clocked one of the fastest 40 times Sunday with a 4.58. For all the combine results, CLICK HERE.

  • Oregon State's eight Polynesian signees in their announced class of 22 on last week's Signing Day: DT Elu Aydon, OT Miki Fifita, LB Christian Folau, DT Thor Katoa, RB Lopini Katoa, DE Simi Moala, TE Noah Togiai, TE Tuli Wily-Matagi.

  • Misipeka said Power 5 schools like Oregon State will often take some extra time before deciding on whether to offer American Samoa prospects compared to those stateside. Schools "need to do a little more homework" due to the level of competition and disparity in resources between American Samoa and prospects stateside, he said.

  • Other 2017 class members out of American Samoa and Hawaii BeavFans should keep an eye on: "C.J. Liana of Farrington High was a USA Today Freshman All-American. Challen Faamatau is also highly regarded, he's one of the best running backs in his class. Freedom Alualu is a solid fullback-type and has drawn interest from San Diego State. Freedom is the cousin of Tyson Alualu of the Jacksonville Jaguars," said Misipeka.

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