Solomauna Aigamaua is an unfamiliar name to many on the mainland. At 6-3.5/215, he’s literally in the shadow of his massive teammate, Scott Smith, who also committed to the Bears Wednesday.
The #16th rated player overall in Hawaii by Scout, Aigamaua also was named 1st Team All-State at defensive end by the Honolulu Advertiser.
“The education, the players over there, the coaches and having family in California (in San Francisco and San Diego) were all reasons I committed to Cal,” said Aigamaua.
“Also my relationship with the coaches is real good, real strong,” said Aigamaua. “Coach Tedford’s a real nice guy. You can tell when you talk to the players about him what kind of a person he is. Every time you talk to the players there, they say that any time you have a problem or need someone to talk to -he’s a man you can talk to. Whenever you need help, he’s always there for you. You don’t see that a lot.”
Many question whether Aigamaua would be better suited to play linebacker at his size, but the active DE with a high motor definitely has a future on the line after taking the next year or two to bulk up in the weight room and add some strength to his quick and aggressive rush off the edge with his 4.7 forty time (run at the University of Utah).
When asked about his weight and whether he had a suitable frame to bulk up for the defensive line, Aigamaua laughed.
“Oh, I’m sure about that,” he said. “Us Samoans are known for putting on weight. I have a brother who plays D1AA in Tennessee. He’s 6-0/260.
Speaking of Samoa, Aigamaua spent his whole live until two years ago in American Samoa. He played quarterback and many other positions, including receiver for his high school team there before receiving a scholarship to play for St. Louis/Honolulu.
“I thought it was going to be easy to move from Samoa to Hawaii, but it was kind of hard. In the same way, it will probably be kind of hard to come to California, but I’m definitely sure about my decision,” said Aigamaua. “If I wasn’t sure about it, I wouldn’t have committed.”
“Mona’s a former quarterback in Samoa,” said Wes Nakama of the Honolulu Advertiser. “So his athleticism is very impressive for a defensive end. “He has the athleticism of a skill player.
“When the starting quarterback went down, the backup didn’t have much experience and a lot of players said, ‘Why not put Mona in?’ Everyone respects his athleticism and thought he might do a good job. He’s athletic enough that people thought it was a good idea.”
Aigamaua’s athleticism is exhibited on the hard court –as well as his teammate Smith. The pair continue to team up –now for the Crusaders hoops team. They came away with a big win the other day.
“That was a huge win in basketball for St. Louis on Saturday. They beat the 5 time defending state champ, Iolani. The thing that stood out in that game was that Scott Smith had 5 steals in the game. He’s very quick, especially for a 6-7 center. You expect the points and rebounds, but he’s deceptively quick.”
There’s nothing deceptive about Aigamaua, whose burst off the line has paid obvious recruiting dividends playing along the line with Smith.
Aigamaua summed up his strengths and offered an opinion for the rush of recent recruiting suitors:
“I always try to use my strength against my opponent’s weaknesses,” said Aigamaua. I always keep moving and try to use my technique. The Cal coaches told me they especially liked the way I used my hands and how I was able to beat bigger opponents off the line consistently.”
The Bears beat out Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, San Diego State and Hawaii for Aigamaua’s services.
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