UH Warriors Sign Kahuku’s Wily, Falemalu, Wa’a To Roster
There was no direct line to the football field for Aofaga Wily, but watching the talented Kahuku running back play during his stellar four-year career, you would never have known as much.
“Growing up, I wasn’t into football,” said Wily. “My dad and his brothers had been star players at Kahuku, and he wanted me to play. He signed me up when I was in elementary school. The first few years were kind of rough for me, but I liked it more the further I went. I love it now.
“I was a little chubby when I started,” he admitted with a chuckle. “I was a lineman (on both sides of the ball) then.”
Wily was one of three Red Raiders to sign a letter of intent with the University of Hawaii last week on “National Signing Day,” joining teammates linebacker Rashaan Falemalu and offensive lineman John Wa’a. Wily, who was rated as the No. 6 recruit in the state by ESPN.com, rushed for a state-best 1,744 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns last fall in helping Kahuku to an 12-0 season as well as its second straight Division I state championship. He had 188 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the state title game, a win over Punahou, and added 141 yards and four scores in a semifinal win over Farrington. Wily finished his career with 4,205 rushing yards, the second most in Hawaii high school football history and surpassed Mark Atuaia as Kahuku’s career rushing leader. He also competed in the Foundation Goodwill Senior Bowl and the Polynesian All-America Bowl in La Mirada, Calif.
Wily cited staying close to home and the opportunity to play for UH head coach Norm Chow as key factors in his decision. He also was courted by BYU.
“Coach Chow is a really good man, and I love the Pro Set (offense Chow installed last season). I really loved playing in front of my family and friends in high school with all the support. I wanted to stay down here so they could see me play.”
Wily played at between 175 and 180 pounds during the first three years of his high school career, but beefed up to 205 for this past season after surgery relegated him to spend more time in the weight room. While maintaining his considerable speed, his stronger frame allowed him to run through more tackles as a senior.
Falemalu, who is rated as the No. 15 recruit in the state of Hawaii by 247Sports, was a First Team All Red East pick in the OIA. He is the brother of former UH player Paipai Falemalu.
Wa’a was one of the catalysts for Kahuku’s powerful offensive line and was a two-time First Team All Conference selection. He was rated as the No. 14 recruit in the state of Hawaii by ESPN.com and No. 14 by the recruiting service 247Sports. In addition to Wily, Falemalu and Wa’a, UH’s 2013 recruiting class also includes fellow OIA products Ualesi Sale and Kennedy Tulimasealii of Aiea and Waianae, respectively.
“I’m excited about the fact that Coach (Chow) is recruiting on the island,” Wily said. “After playing against these guys, it will be nice to play on the same team and represent our island.”
Kahuku four-year stand-out Kawe Johnson, meanwhile, will take his talents to New Mexico State. As a senior, Johnson recorded eight interceptions and had 35 tackles en route to being named as the Defensive Player of the Year in the Red East. He was All Conference on both sides of the ball in his junior and senior seasons.
Kahuku’s Johnny Tapusoa signed with BYU, while Kailua defensive lineman Jeremiah Taleni signed with Pittsburgh.