Playing in one of the best leagues in Northern California, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep athlete Usua Amanam (5-9.5, 175), outperformed everyone in the West Catholic Athletic League and walked away with WCAL Player of the Year honors as a junior.
Now, the versatile Amanam is hoping that his big junior season will net him some offers.
“I lagged on getting my highlight tape out there, but now that I’ve sent it out, I think I should pick up some offers soon,” said Amanam.
A host of schools have been contacting Amanam including Stanford, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Wake Forest and Amanam is also interested in USC, Cal and Florida.
Last weekend, Amanam attended Northwestern’s Junior Day with teammate Kevin Danser and this weekend he’ll head up the 101 and take in Stanford’s Junior Day.
“Stanford is definitely my leader and I’d definitely want to commit there if they offered me,” said Amanam. “But I also want to go through the recruiting process some. I think I’ll probably decide mid-season or late season, after I go on some visits. Still, it’s an exciting opportunity to be recruited by Stanford.”
Amanam also attended “Future Cardinal Day” last fall when Stanford hosted Washington, so he’s no stranger to the campus.
“It was great going up there then. I really liked the coaching staff, they’re really cool guys. I went to the USC camp too and I really compared the coaching, and Stanford is a real and upcoming program.”
Playing on both sides of the ball, Amanam did much of his damage as a running back but said the majority of his interest is coming as a defensive back.
“Everyone is recruiting me as a cornerback and I really like cornerback,” said Amanam. “I just want to go out there and earn my scholarship offer. I’m more than willing to prove myself.”
When focusing on a school, Amanam said several factors will be taken into consideration.
“Of course football and academics will be factors, but also the environment, the student body, how nice the campus is and what the campus life is like,” said Amanam. “I definitely wouldn’t want to go to a school that didn’t have nice campus.”
Amanam is one of five D-I recruits that the Bells have from their 2007 WCAL championship squad, along with Danser, quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, linebacker Michael Clay and defensive end Nico Lautmann.
“There is a lot of talk about who’s the best, but we’re a brotherhood and we’re trying to do what we need to do to get our name out there,” said Amanam. “The good thing is that other guys will get looks and that’s the best part of it.”
During his 2007 junior season, which he won Player of the Year honors, Amanam starred at running back and safety. Coming out of the backfield on offense he had 220 carries for 1,656 yards and 20 touchdowns while also hauling in 21 receptions for three more touchdowns. He also had six interceptions on defense and earned GoldenStatePreps.com First Team all-state underclass honors.
“It was really exciting to be the league MVP,” said Amanam. “In a league that’s had Tom Brady and Lynn Swann, it’s a great honor and I really appreciated it. I worked really hard over the year.”
Amanam said that distance wouldn’t be a factor in his decision, though his father is hoping he’ll stay near by.
“My dad wants me to stay in state, but my brother wants me to go wherever I want to go,” said Amanam.
This spring, he’ll attend a Nike Camp at Stanford and team camps at USC, Stanford, North Carolina, Virginia and Northwestern.
Academically, Amanam has a 3.6 GPA and will take the SAT on May 3rd. He’s enrolled in two AP classes as well.
A stellar track athlete, Amanam does the long jump, the 100 and the 4x100.
“I would love to run track during college but it depends if I’m good enough to do it,” said Amanam. “I definitely want to do the long jump.”