January 31, 2007

Honolulu's Fehoko has a change of heart

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This news of Sam Fehoko's commitment was first reported via text message/wireless alert and on the Inside The Double T message board.

This time last week, Honolulu (HI) defensive end Sam Fehoko thought that he would be signing with San Diego State University on February 7th. After all, it was a perfect fit with his older brother Whitley Fehoko already playing football for the Aztecs. With his brother already there the West Coast school was a familiar place for the Farrington High School standout.

But, when the Red Raiders came calling a few weeks ago, Fehoko felt like he just couldn't ignore the aggressiveness with which he was being pursued by Mike Leach.

"At first I was like 'no, that's alright' but all of a sudden they were so interested that they went the whole 10 yards," Fehoko said recently. "Their coaches called me when they were all around the phone; Coach Leach said I looked good in red and black. It was good to hear that. This is a big program to a Hawaiian guy like me."

Fehoko became intrigued with the Red Raiders interest and felt that it was necessary to take an official visit to Lubbock, which he did last weekend.

Upon arriving back in Hawaii, Fehoko explained that he enjoyed every aspect of his trip and was going to have to rethink his commitment to San Diego State.

About 24 hours later, Fehoko respectfully decommitted from the Aztecs. He explained to the disappointed coaching staff that he needed to take a step back and reevaluate his recruitment.

This left the door wide open for Leach and Brian Mitchell as they flew to Hawaii on Tuesday for an evening meeting to speak with Fehoko and his family.

"It really means a lot when the head coach can make the visit on short notice and come down to Hawaii. You know he means business."

Being impressed with Tech's overwhelming effort showed towards the 6-foot-2 220-pound lineman in such a short amount of time, Fehoko had seen enough.

"It went really well. Coach came down and he was talking to my family and it felt really good. So I decided to commit."

Sam has a feeling of relief that his recruiting process is now over.

"It feels so good. I feel really good about my decision this time; I'm not backing out from this one. I know that for sure. I really love this program and coaching staff with all they've done to recruit me. I feel really good about the whole thing."

After racking up 35 sacks in his junior and senior campaigns, Fehoko adds depth to the Red Raider defense. This topic was addressed with Leach Tuesday night.

"I started talking to him about my position and he said 'You know, you can play anywhere you want. We need you anywhere.' I was really happy to hear that."

Wherever Sam ends up, opposing quarterbacks in the Big XII will feel the Hawaiian heat from the Gatorade Player of the Year. They might also look twice to make sure that they're actually seeing a Hawaiian in a Tech uniform, as this is the first time the Red Raiders have recruited directly out of the state of Hawaii.

"It feels really great being a Tech recruit that is going to make history with Texas Tech University. I'm the first player out of Hawaii being actively recruited out here. It's a huge honor. Big programs out of Texas normally don't do that."

With his final destination known, Fehoko can relax and enjoy the rest of his time on the island as he will soon live on the other side of the ocean for the first time in his life.

"When I went to Lubbock, the place was great. I stepped out of the plane and it was just an instant bond with Lubbock. The people there are exactly like Hawaii. They're nice, soft spoken, and once you get to know them they are really nice. They introduced themselves and we went on for a couple of hours just talking. It was great going to Lubbock and finding out where I'm going to be staying for the next four or five years."

After he gets a chance to show his full potential on the football field, Tech fans soon might have to garner a grass skirt, flower shirt, lei, and say 'Aloha!' in celebration of welcoming the Red Raiders' newest commit to the mainland.



 

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