Canton Kaumatule is the next big thing from Honolulu Punahou School.
Punahou School in Honolulu has produced many top-flight athletes and public figures over the years, including the current President of the United States Barack Obama.
While linebacker Manti Te’o is the name on the tip of tongue when talking about past Punahou School football prospects, that’s likely to change in the class of 2015.
Punahou School defensive end Canton Kaumatule is not only creating quite the buzz in Hawaii, but now nationally as well. At nearly 6 feet 7 and 275 pounds, the imposing figure with impressive natural strength and a nasty mean streak has emerged as the top prospect in the class of 2015 in the 247Sports initial ranking.
According to Punahou School head coach and former NFL lineman Kale Ane, the honor is not without merit.
“He’s a wonderful, gifted athlete that works very hard every day,” Ane said. “He’s determined to hold up the family name, and works hard at it every day. He’s 6-foot-7 and was 275-pounds the other day. He’s the real deal. He just finished volleyball season, and plays basketball, so it will be scary when he has time to devote to the weight room full time,”
The younger brother of Stanford sophomore to be tight end Luke Kaumatule was in a state of shock when delivered the news on Saturday about his spot at the top in 2015.
“Thank you so much,” Kaumatule said. “I’m really excited for this for this blessing. Not only is this a blessing for my family and Hawaii, but it’s going to push me harder than ever,”
Kaumatule plans to attend a June camp at Stanford, where his brother is a tight end.
The first prospect from Hawaii to be ranked No. 1 overall in a recruiting class, Kaumatule says the honor will bring both continued exposure and confidence to his state and community.
“I think it’s going to go a long ways to giving us confidence. The one thing that is always talked about when Hawaii is compared to the mainland is we don’t play against the best competition. The confidence can be really low because of that. I think this will really help boost the confidence,” he said.
Ane echoed his star pupils thoughts.
“It’s an honor for us as a school, and for Canton and his family. The national exposure this will bring for our kids and school is really great.”
While the quick, strong and long armed defensive lineman that could project to offensive tackle is cordial and gracious, he brings a different demeanor to the football field.
“He’s got long arms, quick feet and he is so mean. He would be a great offensive tackle or defensive lineman. He’s only going to get bigger. He’s mean, aggressive and very strong,” Ane said.
Kaumatule, who sports a 385-pound bench press despite his very long arms, is taking the recruiting process very slow.
“I don’t even worry about recruiting stuff yet. My dad keeps up with most of it, but I haven’t even worried about it since I’m just a sophomore. I know for sure I’m going to the Stanford camp in June. I don’t know of anything else yet because I’m going to summer school to graduate early. I think my first choice is Stanford because my brother Luke. I would like to play with him again, and in college this time. I think second would be Washington. I like places that are green, and remind me of Hawaii. I’m going to say Hawaii would be third right now. Close to home is very important to me. Hawaii is very important to me,” he said.
May has been a busy month as expected according to Ane.
“I don’t know who all has offered him, but the word is starting to get out and a number of schools have come through. Utah offered him in the eighth grade after seeing him walk across the field. Everyone that comes through says they want him. Just in the last week, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Texas A&M and Stanford have been here.” He said.
For Kaumatule, remaining focused is of the upmost importance as the accolades and recruiting attention comes his way.
“The one thing my paps and brother Luke always tell me is not to let all of this go to my head. Stay focused and keep working hard. That is what I’m doing.” He said.
Punahou School notable alumni include former NFL offensive lineman Mark Tuinei, former NFL running back Mosi Tatupu, Hawaii head coach Norm Chow, LPGA Tour player Michelle Wie and a large contingent of accomplished men and women in the business world.
- Start Photo Feature ▶
- Showing photos 1 - 5 of 5