Hau’oli Kikaha preparing for Saints training camp in Hawaii
Hau’oli Kikaha is one of the most intriguing rookies on the New Orleans Saints roster right now. The Saints used their 44th overall selection in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft on the Washington Huskies prospect, and he’s been embracing his role and is ready to contribute any way he can.
Kikaha is going back to his roots by training and preparing for Saints training camp in Manoa with his high school conditioning coach, Chad Ikei.
“Things are way more detailed. I’ve learned so much in the first week that I was there. As a pass rusher doing fairly well in college, you’d think I got a lot of great things going. Then you get to the NFL and it’s like wow, I’m starting from square one fixing my stance again.”
“It’s great to see how much improvement you can make with little tweaks and kind of understand what the offense has in mind, what the tackles, what the o-linemen have ready for you with every different move and how you throw them off, so it’s fun to kind of play a mental game,” he said.
Kikaha was born in Laie, Hawaii, which is located on the island of Oahu. Laie is relatively small, carrying a population of just over 6,000. Not many know, but Kikaha went by the last name of Jamora up until 2013. The changeover to Kikaha came at his 21st birthday, when he told his mother that he wished to legally change it. After he and his mother researched their genealogy, they selected Kikaha – ‘to soar, to fly’.
Hau’oli means ‘happy’ in Hawaiian, and it’s evident in watching Kikaha that he loves what he does. He’s exactly the type of presence the New Orleans Saints need on the field and in the locker room.
For more on Kikaha, be sure to check my colleague Barry Hirstius’ article from Big Easy Believer. Barry has an exceptional detailed entry on Kikaha’s path to the NFL, which was not easy whatsoever.
The Saints report to The Greenbrier in West Virginia on Wednesday, July 29.