Prep football in Hawai’i has never garnered much national attention.
It’s somewhat easy to understand. The population is low, the importance of the sport in the state isn’t incredibly high, and they’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far removed from the continental states.
That began changing when Manti Te’o was a prospect at the prestigious Punahou School. Te’o was the best defensive prospect in the class of 2009, and has proven that he was well worth such a lofty ranking.
Te’o leads a Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense that is regarded as one of the best nationally, and is a Heisman Trophy candidate. For those keeping track at home, there’s only been one defensive player to win the award since another Notre Dame stud, Leon Hart, won the award in 1949, and that was Charles Woodson in 1997. So it’s a pretty big deal that Te’o (87 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5 int’s, 2 fumble recoveries and 9 passes defended) is in contention.
With Te’o’s notoriety comes a new interest in Hawaiian players.
One player to benefit from that is defensive lineman Kamalei Correa from St. Louis High School in Honolulu, a rival of Te’o’s Punahou.
Correa is slightly undersized at 6’3’’ and 240lbs. But what he lacks in size he makes up for in quickness and tenacity. He is being recruited by some as a defensive tackle, but defensive end is his specialty. At end, his quickness and pass rushing ability are on full display.
So who is the lucky school that is the leader for Correa’s services?
Correa visited Salt Lake City this past weekend to see the Utes destroy Washington State, 49-6, and came away very impressed. But the Utes shouldn’t consider it a done deal just yet.
Correa is visiting Boise State next weekend to see the Broncos take on Colorado State. And Correa has indicated that while Utah is in the lead, Boise is a close second.
It’s going to be a tight race for Correa, one that could go all the way to National Signing Day. But my hunch is that after his visit to Boise, he’ll know one way or another where he wants to go.
So for now, all we can do is continue to play the waiting game.