Trip Report - Luke Kaumatule

Ever since that fateful day - August 26th - Luke Kaumatule wasn't sure about his college future. That was the day he suffered a severe knee tear that cost him his senior season at the Punahou School. But for the 6-foot-7, 230-pound defensive end, he was shocked to learn that the schools that had been recruiting him were more than ready to wait out his rehabilitation.

"Everyone has honored their scholarship, which surprised me," Kaumatule told Monday night. "I kind of thought that an injury like that takes everything away, but lucky thing for technology nowadays."

Kaumatule added that he's attending rehabilitation for his knee six days a week and his doctors have told him he should be able to run in April.

It was Stanford Head Coach David Shaw that told Kaumatule they would still accept him no matter what, and it was that conversation that helped to make Luke's mind up when he verbally committed to the Cardinal shortly thereafter.

But committing to Stanford is one thing; getting into their school is another. And as of Monday night, Kaumatule still had not heard from their admissions department. With a little over a week to go to Signing Day, time it ticking.

"They'll let me know any day soon," he said of Stanford. "It is frustrating. They feel confident. I met with the linebackers coach, coach (Lance) Anderson, today, and he said that everything looks really good and that you just have to hope for the best and that they should know any day soon now."

Kaumatule, who wants to study either engineering or computer science in college, is clearly a smart man. Smart enough to know you can't put all your eggs in one basket. "I'm still looking and I'm still keeping an open mind," he said Monday. "But I'm still committed to Stanford."

But he is also open to taking more official visits, like the one he took to Washington this past weekend. He took his official visit to Stanford back in October, and visited UCLA the week before his UW trip.

After talking to Kaumatule, it's clear he has a lot of ties to Washington and its football program. "Things went great," he said of his official visit. "I liked the facilities, I liked the players and I liked the coaches. And I liked the education up there.

"It's a good place, because my auntie lives about a half-an-hour away. Good weather too. Tani (Tupou) is my cousin, and I already knew Hauoli (Jamora) for a while ago, and coach (Tosh) Lupoi coached me at a football camp that I went to when I was younger."

In fact Jamora, who also prepped on the island of Oahu before coming to the mainland for college, was Kaumatule's player-host on his trip. "He told me he's had a great experience up there - great coaches, great environment," said Kaumatule. "He had a chance to start as a freshman and play but he got hurt his sophomore year. He's kind of going through the same thing I have with the surgery and stuff. I respect him as a player and as a person. He's great, and definitely the kind of person I want to play next to."

Kaumatule added that the Washington coaches are looking at him as a straight defensive end, or 5-technique.

So with all he saw, how would Kaumatule rate his official visit from a scale of 1-10? He gave it an 8. "I thought it was great, but I give it an 8 because I don't really know what I want yet," he said. "I know the football program is going to be good this season, and stuff like that."

So what will help Luke get past the recruiting finish line - besides the eventual verdict from Stanford admissions? "Probably my parent's decision, my decision, the family's decision…just see what comes to my mind," he said. "It's hard to distinguish the differences between where I want to go. There's a lot of good universities, and I'm just lucky to have football and Punahou. I'm just going to play my cards and see what my hand deals me."

After Stanford, are there any other programs that are making Kaumatule take a second look? "After my official, U-Dub is sticking out a lot," he said. And UCLA."

Those are the three he's really focused on right now. He already had a visit from the Washington coaches Sunday night and from the Stanford linebackers coach Monday afternoon. He will officially announce on Signing Day at the PIAA Signing Day Ceremony in Honolulu.

Luke Kaumatule Profile Top Stories