By Tom Karren
Recruiting first started heating up for Kahuku (HI) 3-star defensive end Aliki Vimahi around this time last year. He attended the All Poly Sports Camp in June of 2015 and was immediately recognized by both local and out-of-state coaches.
“Before All Poly last year things were quiet. After that camp I got everyone’s attention”.
Since then he’s slowly seen his stock rise to the tune of 9 total offers spanning from the Island of Hawaii to the east coast in Virginia, including local offers from Utah and BYU.
Vimahi’s strengths as a player are many, skills he’s since shown off at other major camps including this year’s Nike “The Opening” camp and All Poly 2016. He’s a physical player who plays with relentless aggression. He prefers going through opposing linemen rather than around them. His ability to use his hands to shed blocks while keeping his head up and watching plays develop keeps him in position to make plays.
He’s got a solid frame heading into his senior season at Kahuku measuring in at 6’4” 250 pounds. He excels on the end playing the 5 technique against smaller players but has the frame grow and the skill to develop into a solid 3 technique inside if needed.
Vimahi has taken notice of Utah’s ability to develop defensive linemen and feels like he’d be a perfect fit in their scheme.
“I feel like I could fit in really well. Utah plays defense different from other teams. They’ve got a great coaching staff. They’re really nice, but they push their players. I feel like I would fit in well with them. I get to the ball fast and play with a high motor, I’m explosive, I use my hands well, all things Utah defensive players have perfected.”
Despite it being early, Aliki was willing to name a list of schools he’s currently favoring (in no particular order).
“I’d say UH [Hawaii], Utah, Oregon State, Georgia Tech, and BYU are probably my top schools at the moment. I won’t take any visits until after my high school season ends and will commit when it feels right.”
So where does Utah stand with Vimahi?
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“Utah…they’re at the top right now. I really like the coaching staff. Team atmosphere, coaches, relationships with teammates, they’re all important to me and I feel like Utah offers all of that.”