"It's pretty amazing to think how far (Vehikite) has come considering he was playing D2 ball in Maui last year. He is Hawai'i's best-kept secret."
Not any longer, coach. 15 months ago, Vehikite was playing on the defensive line for small Lahainaluna, but decided to move to Oahu to gain more exposure for college. Current USC linebacker Kaluka Maiava was also found on the island of Maui, but he played for a bigger school (Baldwin).
The Trojans are in town Monday to pay Manti Te'o - the No. 1 linebacker in the country according to Scout.com - an in-home visit. They would love to pick up Te'o and Vehikite and call it a job well done on the islands. Vehikite could be the Trojans' answer for who steps in when current fullback Stanley Havili graduates in 2011.
But now that the word is out on Vehikite, expect schools like UCLA and Washington to be all over this prospect. "UCLA is in town again, and I know Washington is setting up a home visit with coach (Steve) Sarkisian," Hernandez said. "For sure he'll visit USC and Washington, and I expect UCLA will probably jump in too. The word is out."
The Trojans definitely have the inside track to Vehikite's signature, due to his Maui connections to Maiava, as well as the lure of having success where other Polynesian linebackers have done so, specifically Rey Maualuga.
USC has also gotten back in the game with Hasiak, Scout.com's No. 17-rated offensive tackle in the country. Hasiak, who is already committed to UCLA, recently took an official visit to California and Hernandez expects him to also visit USC, Oregon State and Washington before finalizing his recruiting process.