February 3rd was the second National Letter of Intent Signing Day for the class of 2021, so now college recruiting eyes go to the class of 2022. According to 24/7 Sports, Hawai’i top prospect for next year is Punahou’s 4-star outside linebacker Tevarua Tafiti.
The 6’3, 220 lbs junior has been able to build recruiting momentum despite not having a high school season. In October, Tafiti was named the PTP Sports National Showcase MVP after racking up 13 sacks and a pick-6 during the 3-day event.
“When I went to PTP camp, I actually played the outside linebacker position. Down here in Hawai’i I was playing like a rover style, but most colleges want to see me play the outside position,” Tafiti told KHON2 sports reporter Alan Hoshida, “That gave me more confidence and feel to play outside.”
In 2019 as a sophomore, Teva had 11 sacks, 21 tackles-for-loss, and 3 forced fumbles for the Sons of Oahu, showing the type of promise that have colleges lining up for his services. He is already up to 20 scholarship offers, including Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan and Oregon. The University of Hawai’i was the first to extend an opportunity to further his football career after impressive sophomore season.
“I got my first offer at the end of my sophomore season from U.H. It just made my family so proud and just the scholarship to release the burden financially from my family and myself. It gives me the opportunity to focus on the sport I love and obtain an education. It’s a crazy feeling.”
Tafiti is humbled by every college that has reached out during his recruitment process. He is not near a decision. Right now, it’s all about doing research to find out what university fits best for his education, as well as, athletics. He hopes he his able to take visits to campus later this year if guidelines allow.
This year without a true football season has taught him a lot about patience and appreciation, but there is no doubt he misses being on the field with the Winged “O” on his helmet.
“Just hitting. I just want to get back on the field and be with my friends. Just the atmosphere of Punahou football is just amazing. I just want to get back to it right now.”