As Kapolei (Hawaii) safety/linebacker Shaydon Akuna (6-2, 215) begins his senior season, he'll try to balance his on-field exploits with the recruiting game off of it.
Akuna watched last year as two of his teammates signed with Pac-10 schools, Simione Vehikite with USC and Stan Hasiak with UCLA, so he's gotten a good perspective on what it entails.
Hasiak's recruitment and the ensuing advice that he has passed on to Akuna, has come in handy too.
"Stan told me to make sure I go where I want to go, not where everyone else is telling me to go," said Akuna. "I don't want to commit to some place, then change my mind. I want to wait it out and decide on the right school at the right time."
Oregon State, a heavy factor in the race, is recruiting Akuna the hardest.
"Coach (Mark) Banker is recruiting me pretty heavily for Oregon State, and I know I'm going to take a trip there," said Akuna.
Akuna has some good options already, with a half-dozen official offers and a few more verbal offers.
"Oregon State, UCLA, Wyoming, Utah, Hawaii and Arizona State have all offered me in writing," said Akuna, noting that Arizona also made a verbal offer. "They've all offered me as more of an outside linebacker. I play a strong safety/rover spot so I have a little more freedom."
From the offers, Akuna said no one has emerged as a leader.
"It's been all open," said Akuna. "I'm going to sit down with my family and set up some trips and hopefully go from there. But it's all open for me. I don't want to push specific schools aside so I'm staying open. Wherever makes me feel comfortable, that's the one that will get me."
Akuna hasn't been able to make it to the mainland for any unofficial visits, but said he's planning to take all five trips in the fall or after the season.
"I've been pretty tied up with football and my schooling, so I'll take my visits during and after the season," said Akuna. "I know Oregon State and UCLA, I'm visiting for sure. I'm not going to decide until later in the year, probably after the season."
Akuna said that he talks with Hasiak regularly, and his former teammate is doing his part for the Bruins.
"He calls me and talks about how I'd fit in perfectly at UCLA," said Akuna. "Coach Norm Chow had come by the school in the spring and told my coach they were verbally offering me and then I got the written letter."
Akuna and his Kapolei team will start scrimmaging this coming weekend, something he's looking forward to.
"I'm hungry for some pads and hitting other guys," said Akuna.
Shaydon Akuna profile and video
Beavs in recruiting battle for Hawaii hitter
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