Kahuku RB Wily commits to Hawaii
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2012 Kahuku’s Aofaga Wily will play for the Warriors.
It was a super Sunday for the Hawaii football team.
Kahuku High running back Aofaga Wily told the Star-Advertiser he will accept a football scholarship from the Warriors.
"I’m going to sign with UH on Wednesday," Wily said, referring to the first day recruits may ink binding National Letters of Intent.
Wily is a three-time All-State running back. The Star-Advertiser selected Wily as the state’s 2012 offensive player of the year. He ran for 1,744 yards and 27 touchdowns during Kahuku’s 12-0 season.
Wily rushed for 188 yards and three TDs against Punahou in the 2012 state championship game. He finished with 4,205 career rushing yards, the second most in Hawaii high school football history. He also surpassed Mark Atuaia as Kahuku’s career rushing leader.
Atuaia is a Brigham Young assistant coach who was the point recruiter in trying to encourage Wily to sign with the Cougars. Wily visited the Provo, Utah, campus this weekend. Shortly after returning to Oahu on Sunday afternoon, Wily pledged to the Warriors.
"I’ll be able to play in front of my family and friends," said Wily, who was raised in Laie. "It’ll be good to know I’ll be playing with a lot of (Polynesians) I played against all these years."
Washington, Arizona and Nevada also recruited Wily.
"UH is the best fit for him, and he knows it," Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. "I’m glad."
The Red Raiders attacked mostly out of an I formation. Torres said Wily, who is 6 feet and 212 pounds, is a workmanlike back.
"The thing is, UH’s offense needs a running back who’s willing to withstand," Torres said. "UH needs a guy who can carry the rock a lot. He showed in his high school career he can run the ball 30-plus times (a game). He gets stronger as the game goes on. With UH’s offense, if you can get the running game going, which he can provide, it opens up the passing game. From what we’ve seen of UH’s offense, he’s the perfect fit."
Wily’s father — Aofaga "Al" Wily Sr. — was an All-State linebacker and basketball player for the Red Raiders. The elder Wily decided to work after his Kahuku graduation instead of playing college football.
The younger Wily said: "I want to represent our family."
"Torres said: We all look up to the Wily family. They’re all great athletes."
The younger Wily, the fifth of six siblings, began playing football in the fifth grade. He was always a running back.
"I was like any other kid," Wily said. "I wanted the ball."
He also embraced the physical aspect of being a running back.
"I like to take the challenge of getting hit hard," Wily said.
Torres said UH coach Norm Chow "wants somebody who will work hard. Faga will work hard. He’s a hard worker. He’s a strong kid."