Kahuku OL Enokk Vimahi chats about The Opening
Kahuku offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi battled against Kamehameha's Jonah Welch in a scrimmage last season. Vimahi is a top-100 recruit nationally in the class of 2019. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
At 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, Enokk Vimahi is an imposing figure anywhere he dwells.
It’s the intelligence and obedience in his mind and spirit, though, that separate him from much of the world. The Kahuku junior made his mark recently at The Opening in San Francisco, rated No. 2 among offensive linemen. It was a banner weekend for island players: Lokahi Pauole of Kamehameha and Duke Clemens of Punahou joined Vimahi among the top five of O-linemen at the prestigious event.
Vimahi was a Star-Advertiser All-State first-teamer last fall as the Red Raiders won the OIA championship and reached the state final. He has a 3.6 grade-point average and 22 scholarship offers and is ranked the 99th overall prospect and 14th among offensive tackles in the Class of 2019.
He chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Tuesday morning.
HPW: Was this your first time at a Nike event?
Enokk: First time.
HPW: Did you get any advice about how to approach The Opening?
Enokk: I was asking my brother (Aliki), especially. He’s been to a lot of Nike and and Adidas camps. He said, even if you lose one rep in the one-on-ones, just scratch that and keep going. Finish through the combine drills and make sure you keep your head down, and keep grinding.
HPW: What would be your advice to someone going for the first time?
Enokk: Always be positive. If you don’t like your score, they give you a chance to scratch it and do it again. Don’t stop until the whistle because a lot of the coaches are looking to see if you’re a whistle-to-whistle guy. It shows your effort or lack of effort.
HPW: How do you overcome the setting, a kind of individual performance thing as opposed to a real game with real plays?
Enokk: It’s still doing football-based drills. It really shows your effort. Some people can argue that it’s not real football, but it gives you all the components: effort and athleticism.
HPW: The setting for linemen is always far more entertaining than 5-on-5 or 7-on-7 passing and catching. It’s brute strength. It’s football sumo. It’s about pancaking anyone who has weak fundamentals.
Enokk: Of course, I think that’s a lot of the offensive lineman’s enjoyment. It’s like my O-line coach Peni Holakeituai says, moving a guy from Point A to Point B against his will. It’s a great feeling.
HPW: What do you feel you learned from this that will help you at the next event?
Enokk: I made it to The Finals, so they’re going to be testing me again. I’ll get on my combine drills, correct my form.
HPW: Are you a perfectionist?
Enokk: I don’t call myself a perfectionist, but I like to build. I like to grow from one point to another. I think that’s most important for me, to get faster, get stronger, get smarter.
HPW: Do you incorporate video to improve all your skills and technique?
Enokk: We like to utilize our phones and videotape all the drills at practice so I can see if I’m doing correct form. In the weight room (using mirrors), doing drills and critique.
HPW: You’re only a junior, so there’s a lot in front of you at Kahuku.
Enokk: I’m looking forward to next year, to see where we go as a team, to see what my future holds.
HPW: What areas have you improved most in since eighth or ninth grade?
Enokk: I’ve improved a lot on my quickness, my reactions to direction, getting better on the punch and the form. I haven’t mastered them, but I’ve grown a lot.
HPW: Instead of traveling with a whole team, you traveled with a small group for The Opening. What was that like?
Enokk: I traveled with my dad (David) and two of my teammates, Miki Ah You and Nalu Emmerson. It was fun. We’re all really close friends, so it was nice traveling and sharing the experience, someplace we’ve never been to.
HPW: Where will The Finals be?
Enokk: It will be in Dallas. I’m not sure if it’s going to be in Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium.
HPW: Are you a Cowboys fan?
Enokk: I’m actually an Eagles fan, so I’m glad we won this year. I’ve been an Eagles fan forever.
HPW: Last question. What has the recruiting process been like?
Enokk: I was surprised at first, but now I’m taking it all as a blessing. I don’t have any favorites, so I can keep my options open.