No Sweat? No sweat. After losing highly coveted defensive end and 247 Sports No. 1 overall athlete Josh Sweat to Florida State, the Oregon Ducks still have a lot to look forward to in their 2015 recruiting class. While the last second visit to Oregon from Sweat had Oregon fans drooling, the Ducks now turn to Hawaii for their recruitment of elite defensive standouts such as Punahou High School’s Canton Kaumatule.
At halftime during Oregon’s defeat of Stanford, Kaumatule, the 6 foot-7, 290 defensive end and offensive tackle from Honolulu, made his commitment to Oregon for the 2015 season. The Under Armour All American and four-star defensive end brings speed, strength and size to Oregon and is currently one of the Ducks highest rated defensive commitments. Kaumatule fits the successful mold of current Oregon defensive linemen such as Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.
Kaumatule squats 500 lbs. and runs a blistering five second 40-yard dash (for some perspective, Marcus Mariota runs a 4.4). Punahou School Coach Kale Ane calls Kaumatule an intimidating ”disruptor” in the trenches with incredible speed.
“It starts with his size and his athleticism. You normally don’t find that in someone who is 6-foot-7 and 17, 18 years old,” he said. “He can run, he can change directions, he picks things up quickly – all of those things make him special,” Ane told Andrew Nemec of OregonLive.
And on top of all that, Kaumatule is a team player, a highly valued trait for Oregon recruiters. “He’s such a dominant player and is such a team kid. He just wants the team to do well,” Ane said.
Kaumatule is just one of three commitments so far this year to emerge from the Oregon-Hawaii pipeline He joins four star 6’3″ 230 pound Mililani high school defensive tackle Rex Manu and Kamehamaha High School’s three star safety Dylan Kane. After a strong defensive performance in the Pac-12 Championship game, Oregon has growing appeal for defensive prospects.
“Oregon is just No. 2 in the nation and they are always competing for a national championship and I want to be a part of that… The visit definitely put Oregon over the top for me. I loved the players and the coaches and the academic support they offer. It’s also comfortable with the pipeline from Hawaii and to have those guys there with me,” Manu told Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports.
And these Oregon recruits are just the latest of the great players from the Pacific, following in the giant steps of Honolulu’s Marcus Mariota, Waianae’s DeForest Buckner, and Kamehameha’s Koa Ka’ai.
The spotlight is burning hot for the Ducks as they look to the Rose Bowl in the first College Football Playoff semi-final matchup against Florida State. While Sweat was undoubtedly a controversial blow to Oregon recruiting efforts (Florida State? Really?), Oregon has plenty of Hawaiian studs that will make the Josh Sweat snub merely an afterthought.
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