Interview: 4-Star 2019 Hawaii OL Enokk Vimahi Updates Fall Camp and Recruiting
Photo credit: Vimahi family; Enokk Vimahi at Ole Miss
The tidal wave of college football talent coming out of Hawaii hitting the west coast has been taking place for years, but the rest of the mainland is finally catching onto the ride thanks to talents like Class of 2019 offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi. Vimahi is as good as any in the nation putting his skillset to the test in the offseason at an Under Armour All-American Camp and at a Nike Opening Regional against the best of the best coming out with a consensus four-star ranking. The ranking for the 6-5, 290-pound, road-grader has gone hand-in-hand with 27 scholarship offers extended thus far. But the swell is narrowing on Vimahi’s recruitment with a Top 8 announced on July 4.
Top teams like Texas, Alabama, and Clemson that are still showing interest in Vimahi better get out of the trough and onto the crest before it is too late. With a list of 27 fantastic offers (see below), the group was paired down to USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Washington on July 4. An unofficial visit by Vimahi was taken to Ole Miss over the summer with one official visit set to South Bend on Sept. 1.
Ahead of a title aspiration season for Vimahi and Kahuku, I sat down with the Hawaii standout covering his offseason workouts and his Top 8 before the start of the 2018 schedule.
Enokk Vimahi’s offer sheet: Notre Dame, Arkansas, Cal, Florida, BYU, Nebraska, Arizona State, Fresno State, Washington, Ole Miss, UCLA, Utah State, Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Oregon State, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Utah, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington State, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and USC
Enokk, how have your offseason and summer workouts gone?
“They have gone well. Getting back to the grind with the boys has been fun. It has been great going through training camp and going through hell with them getting ready for the season. It has all been a great experience here. I cherish this as my last year here.”
Where are you seeing the biggest improvement in your technique on offense?
“I feel like my run blocking has gotten better. My first two steps have improved a lot thanks to my dad and my offensive line coach preaching it to me every day. I am driving defenders better and my hand-placement has gotten better. On pass-pro, I am getting better with my steps, my punch, and my hand-placement every day.”
Did you camp at any colleges this summer?
How many offers do you have now?
“I have 27 offers now. I just got one on Aug. 1, offer from Wazzu (Washington State) that I never knew about. That was cool to find out.”
What were the three most recent schools to have offered you?
“Oklahoma, Wazzu, and Dartmouth.”
Are there any schools showing interest but have not offered yet?
“As of right now, Texas, Alabama, and Clemson.”
Did you take any unofficial visits this summer?
“Yes. I took unofficial visits to Ole Miss and Alabama.”
How did the Ole Miss (June 22) visit go?
“That Ole Miss visit, that got them into my Top 8. That opened my eyes to Ole Miss. It was great spending time with Coach (Jack) Bicknell, their offensive line coach. The game day experience they showed us on the videos was great, so was the beautiful campus. My intended major is business; the staff said my schedule and business classes would keep me close to the football facilities. That stuck with me. I enjoyed Ole Miss.”
You mentioned your Top 8, which schools are in there?
“Ole Miss, Nebraska, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Washington, and Virginia.”
You visited Alabama, as mentioned, how did that visit go?
“It was good. It was great to experience the campus, their trophy room, the locker room, and the field. The energy there was great. Alabama is a prestigious school when it comes to football. It was pretty amazing to me to see everything and to see the rich tradition and history of that program.”
Do you have any official or unofficial visits lined up for this fall already?
“I have an official to Notre Dame on Sept. 1 for the Michigan game. That will be my first official. I am not too sure about taking any unofficial visits this fall. I hope to knock all five official visits out sooner than later. I will be coming out with my Top 5 pretty soon.”
What has you excited about visiting Notre Dame (Sept. 1)?
“Look at the draft. They had two of the best offensive linemen in the draft. They have a rich offensive lineman tradition. They are the best of both worlds with an elite education and an elite football team. Their business program is ranked really high. The coaches seem to have high interest in me. That is great for me. I want to be there for a game day visit and see them take on a great team like Michigan.”
I’m guessing you get this question a lot, but have you started thinking about a commitment date?
“I tweeted out not that long ago that I will commit during the Polynesian Bowl.”
Nice. Back to actual football. The Red Raiders had a preseason game against Konawaena on Saturday, how did the game go?
“It was good. We won 68-9. We did pretty good.”
You guys get Punahou next, what kind of challenge will the Buff n’ Blue give you guys?
“They have always been a school with top talent here in Hawaii. They have elite players there. They always come back each year with ballers. I think their strength on defense is their secondary. We will focus on their strengths and weaknesses to see how we can take advantage of that. I believe our defense will do the same and exploit their weaknesses.”
What goals have you set for yourself this season?
“My dream goal is a state championship and a ring. This being my last year, I have not been part of a championship season since my freshman year. Losing these last two years, it is driving me as a senior. Being a veteran, getting a championship would mean a lot for me and, on behalf of the team, it would mean a lot to our community.”
Enokk, always great catching up with you. Good luck with the season opener against Punahou and with the rest of your senior year.