So Kauvaka ventured from the desert of New Mexico to the beach community of Ventura (Calif.) to play for Ventura College. And a strong initial campaign for the Pirates has landed Kauvaka on the radar of a handful of schools.
"I don't have any offers yet, but Florida, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona State have all been interested," said Kauvaka. "New Mexico State has also sent me stuff."
Nebraska had been interested in Kauvaka out of high school. "But I got into some trouble," he said.
So Kauvaka left New Mexico and spent his first season at Ventura College, where he finished the season as an honorable mention all-Western State Conference selection. On the season, Kauvaka tallied 57 tackles, 40 of them solo, and three sacks, teaming with T.J. Prell to give the Pirates a formidable defensive line.
A 2005 graduate of Aztec High, Kauvaka said he will graduate in December and be able to sign then, being on a college campus in time to participate in spring football.
"I want to take a few trips and see some schools before I sign. I've got three years to play two," said Kauvaka.
Kauvaka still is awaiting his first offer, but said schools have been coming by the campus to check him out.
"I'm kind of waiting but I know I have this season to get some," said Kauvaka. "I'm looking to stay out of the state (of New Mexico), but if one of them offered, I'd look at it."