Punahou School (Honolulu, Hawaii) defensive end Luke Kaumatule is flying under the recruiting radar, but his relative anonymity isn’t because of a lack of talent. Kaumatule has offers from most of the Pac-12, and has garnered an early four-star rating by Scout.com.
Part of the reason Luke Kaumatule isn’t a household name to recruiting followers is that he hasn’t embraced the recruiting game. He’s only made two unofficial visits and doesn’t grant many interviews.
Fortunately for Stanford, however, Kaumatule appears to have genuine interest in the Card. He visited The Farm in early April for Stanford’s Junior Day (it was Kaumatule’s only recent stateside college visit, he’s also been to the University of Hawaii), and came away impressed.
“It was a really good trip,” Kaumatule said. “They showed me around the campus, we got to meet a lot of the players. My cousin [Matt Masifilo] is playing for Stanford, he’s a defensive tackle out there. It’s a really nice campus and it looks good.”
Kaumatule, who spent three days in Palo Alto with his parents, also had a chance to watch the team practice. There, Kaumatule had a chance to watch the defensive coaching staff in action. He came away impressed.
“The defense is where all the energy comes from,” Kaumatule said. “I liked how they amped everybody up. Off the field, everybody is so chilled out and so humble and cool with each other and then coming out to the field it was just like a whole different vibe because all the coaches amp up the players. I see all the players going nuts with each other and the minute they step off the field they’re just brothers again. That’s what I really liked about it.”
As such, it’s not a surprise that Kaumatule felt comfortable with the players on Stanford’s team. In addition to Masifilo, Kaumatule got to spend time with Andrew Luck and Shayne Skov, among others.
“I was pretty comfortable [with the team],” Kaumatule said. “I liked all the players. Everybody was humble and they were outgoing.”
Finally, Kaumatule had the chance to sit in on an engineering class, which could end up a familiar destination. The defensive lineman is leaning towards majoring in an engineering field, although he’s currently uncertain which one.
“I had a couple of questions and one of my questions was should I know what I want to major in when I go to college already,” Kaumatule said. “They told me it’s better if I don’t know, it’s better to come to college with questions that way I don’t make a mistake and want to switch out later on. I know I want to be in engineering but I don’t know what branch.”
At this point, while he doesn’t have an official list of favorites, Kaumatule holds Stanford in high regard.
“[I like] their top education and their good football program,” Kaumatule said. “A lot of [schools] are even right now, I’m not sure. [But] Stanford would be definitely top three.”
Proof of the Hawaiian’s fondness for the Cardinal lies in his attention to Stanford’s admissions requirements. Kaumatule reports regular communication with Coach Lance Anderson, and the two have discussed what it will take for Kaumatule to earn admission to Stanford.
“Most of the conversation is just about what classes I should be taking next year and SAT scores,” Kaumatule said. “He told me my GPA is good and all the classes I took so far are good, and senior year I need to take an AP and do well on my SAT and I can get in.”
Punahou is a nationally renown high school. Its football alums include star Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, a former Stanford recruit, and its broader list of alums is unrivaled, starting with the sitting President of the United States.
In addition to the academic angle, Stanford appeals to Kaumatule because of its defensive scheme. Although Scout lists him as a tight end, it seems likely Kaumatule will play defensive end in college. And, because his Punahou high school team plays a 3-4 defensive front, Kaumatule likes the idea of playing the 3-4 defensive end at Stanford.
“The team I’m playing on in high school, Punahou, we run the 3-4,” Kaumatule said.
Then again, Stanford’s certainly not the only school that runs a 3-4 front. So stay tuned to The Bootleg for all the latest on Kaumatule and all of Stanford’s recruiting prospects.
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are
missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our
award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in
Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!