Three-star American Samoa OL eyes WSU visit

THE TOP RATED recruit coming out of American Samoa this year is OL Frederick Mauigoa. The three-star, 6-4, 295-pounder out of Tafuna High in Pago Pago has a half dozen offers including rides from Washington State, Oregon State and BYU. He knows what he wants in a school. And he has one official visit in mind for this fall.

Things may change between now and the end of January but as of now, you have to think other schools will try hard to bring him in for a free weekend, but Mauigoa sees himself taking a fall visit only to WSU.

"The only school I’m thinking for an official visit is Washington State. I already had unofficial visits with UNLV, Oregon State (and BYU) so I’m just looking forward to a visit to Washington State," said Mauigoa.

Although he wasn't able to get out to the Palouse this summer, Mauigoa and WSU area recruiter Joe Salave'a have stayed in close contact.

"I like Washington State," said Mauigoa. "The coach that has been recruiting from Samoa has been doing it a long time. I’m thankful that he still remembers the kids from Samoa during the recruiting process. I also like Washington State because there are a lot of other Samoans there. I want to be where I’m comfortable, where I can speak my language and be around other Polynesian kids.

"Joe Salave’a always lets me know what’s been going on with the team, how the spring went and he is about motivating me to work hard. He’s ready for me to hopefully become a Coug and I’m keeping them in mind."

He doesn't plan on taking all five of his official visits, but Mauigoa doesn't plan on making an early pledge either.

"I see myself committing late, like Signing Day-late," said Mauigoa. "I’ll talk it over with my parents and think carefully about it so I don’t (have any) regrets and will pick the right school that I can fit best in."



Oregon State and BYU figure to be among WSU's chief competition for Mauigoa.

"Both those schools have Polynesian kids and they both care about having a good football team and they also support the academic side of things," said Mauigoa. "I’m looking for a school where the players have that bond, where they make it a family -- being with other players and seeing them as my brothers. Being with other Polynesians would be the best way because we came from the same island, we know what we’ve been through from Samoa. And I’d like to help other kids from Samoa get recruited."

It's not only the distance that makes getting recruited out of American Samoa a challenge. The equipment and facilities are like night and day in comparing American Samoa and stateside.

"I really want other coaches to see other Samoan players. It’s tough because we don’t really have the right equipment to play with (or to work out on our own with) but we try to do our best. I want (other coaches) to know how tough it is for a Samoan athlete coming out of Samoa and making it big here," said Mauigoa.

Mauigoa has been able to travel and compete in various camps and combines on the mainland, as well as make the aforementioned unofficials, because of the Pasefika International Sports Alliance run by Keike Misipeka.

"Keike has given me a lot of opportunities through the foundation and I’m really grateful for that," said Mauigoa. "I’ve gotten to experience a lot more than I can back in Samoa. Getting off ‘The Rock’ and seeing how other athletes perform has helped me. It’s different football from The Rock to here in the mainland. And I’m thankful to my teachers for helping me with my education."

"He has a good punch, he’s strong and has a great work ethic," said Misipeka, who said all schools like him at offensive guard. "He has good leadership skills and he’s a smart kid -- he’s a 4.0 student."

NOTABLE NOTE:
Mauigoa "showed he belonged" at The Opening and made the "Final 5" on Day 1 of the linemen competition, Scout.com's Greg Biggins reported. "Mauigoa moves extremely well, especially laterally, which is what you want to see from an interior lineman. He clocked a 4.68 shuttle and jumped 31" in the vertical during the NIKE testing, which were the top marks for all offensive lineman," said Biggins.


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