Neli A'asa (Scout.com)
Alema Te'o's All-Poly Camp is starting to gain traction as one of the top contact camps on the west coast not affiliated with a
college. Alema, who coaches football at Bountiful (Utah) High, brings in some of the west's best college coaches to help
teach up roughly 200 players. It's popularity is such that UNLV's Mike Sanford and Utah's Kyle Whittingham made special
trips to Bountiful to address the young men who were camping there.
Other coaches, from as close as Utah to as far away as Troy State in Alabama were on hand to lend their support. During the
first half of the morning and evening sessions, the players would break up into their positions and run fundamental drills. During
the second half of the padded camp was the time when the kids got to butt heads and show their stuff. Scout.com was on hand
for the first two days of camp, and plenty of players stood out during those first 48 hours.
The first player to jump out from the crowd was OL/DL Neli A'asa from Big Rapids, Michigan. The self-described 'only Poly from
Michigan' lit up the Bountiful practice fields. At 6-foot-2 and 302 pounds, Neli showed a lot of quickness and a penchant for bruising
play on either side of the ball. He was only there that first day, but he made a huge impression. He went on to Utah's camp and
earned a scholarship offer for his efforts. Michigan State, Colorado and Bowling Green are the others that know about A'asa. After
this summer, they won't be the only ones. The Buffaloes and Utes just might have the inside track on A'asa.
The reason why A'asa was at the All-Poly camp was because his cousin - Lafayette (Colo.) Centaurus TE/LB Waylon Lolotai - encouraged
him to come out and camp. Lolotai himself was a camper, but didn't participate. He did, however, go to BYU's junior day on Friday and
looked the part of a D1 prospect at 6-foot-2.5 and 212 pounds.
The Anchorage, Alaska area was well represented in Utah this past week, especially when it came to big linemen. Siufaga Taufi and Paul Salunga came down from West High in Anchorage, as did their teammate - sophomore Demetrius Lalofau. Another sophomore - East's Ethan Manumaleuna - showed truckloads of potential and size at 6-foot-1.5 and 270 pounds. Taufi and Salunga are 6-foot-1 and 290 and 350 pounds,
respectively. Any college football coach looking for some beef should be advised that there's plenty in the Great White North.
Since the camp is mainly made up of Polynesian players, it's correct to assume that a number of players from Hawaii were there.
Headlining the group was Farrington OL/DL Whitley Fehoko. The 6-2, 300-pound Fehoko only participated in two quarters of action
at the All-Poly camp, but earned MVP honors for being a quick study and a hard hitter. His minimal participation was due to a couple of
factors - having participated in Utah's contact camp earlier that week and his attendance at a BYU 'junior day' on Friday. After the camp,
Fehoko was offered a full scholarship by the Utes and he accepted.
Kamuela Alisa and Redmond Tutor were two Kahuku players from the Scout.com PIAA combine that were also in attendance at the
All-Poly camp, as well as Kamehameha big men Kapono Rawlings-Crivello and Kawika Shook. Rawlings-Crivello and Shook definitely
made their mark on the camp. Kapono, at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, can play at either defensive end or linebacker and has a real nose
for the ball. He's a real hustler and his love for the game really came through during this camp. Shook is a player that has great size and
feel for the game, and is a raw talent extraordinaire. In fact, Kawika did some work on the offensive line at Utah's camp and just might
get some serious recruiting attention over there now.
The youth movement, while alive and well in Alaska, is also thriving in the islands. Manti Te'o, who will enroll at the Punahou School in the
fall, is a 9th-grader in the body of a college freshman. At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Te'o stood out from the other junior high players much like
A'asa did from the high schoolers. Anybody interested in the class of 2009 yet?
But don't think that the home state wasn't represented well. In fact, there were some very solid performances put in by some of the locals,
including bookend DE's Nick Binks and Taylor Crane from Bountiful. Other Utah standouts include Brian Vaaulu, Justin Frost and Dominique
Fa'alogo from Salt Lake City Skyline, Manti's Richard Newton, Pauli Latu from West Valley City Hunter and John Mahe from West Jordan
Copper Hills. Reports from Utah's team camp had Latu ripping it up and earning a scholarship offer from the Utes, joining offers already from
BYU and Utah State.