Photo Credit: Takkamoata Lautaha Hudl Page
Takaamoatoa Lautaha spoke very highly of Hawaii and what the small island means to him.
He called Hawaii “one ohana” which means one family. Everyone is a local so the familiarity brings a lot of love amongst everyone on the island. Growing up in Hawaii for him was fun and a blessing because it was like all of Hawaii was raising him.
“I think football in my area is big because the kids out here they have a chip on their shoulder. We’re ready to go and try to represent Hawaii as well. For me to one day make it to the NFL would be a dream come true knowing that young men paved the way for us. Young kids, younger generation, making us believe that hey, we can leave the island be successful. I think if I make it to the NFL, it would be the greatest blessing ever, coming from Hawaii.”
A few most notable NFL players to come out of Hawaii to reach the NFL: Tennessee Titans Quarterback Marcus Mariota, Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Jordan Norwood, New Orleans Saints Linebacker Manti Te’o and San Francisco 49ers Defensive End Deforest Buckner. Takaamoatoa Lautaha wants to be another player from Hawaii, specifically Honolulu, to achieve his NFL dream.
“What motivates me know is my family, school and God. Those big elements prove that I have a purpose. They’re the reason why I’m playing,” Lautaha said.
Takaamoatoa Lautaha stands at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds as a defensive end for Saint Francis High School (Honolulu, HI). He is unranked by the major recruiting services (247Sports, Scout, Rivals) but he has one scholarship offer from Colorado State.
He has received interest from Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon State, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, UCLA and Air Force.
Here’s what he had to say about Utah, Washington and Arizona in particular. Three schools he has high interest in.
On Utah and Washington:
“Utah and Washington. I think I have interest in both because when I went on my unofficial visit to Utah, it was a great atmosphere over there. They treated me very well and I immediately felt like I was already part of the team. The coaching staff was just great. The defensive line coach, talking [about] stories with him, eating together with him and building a better relationship with him was great.”
“Washington, when the defensive line coach came out here to see me [and] recruit for the spring evaluation, it was just great talking with him and catching up with him. He just made the picture of Washington bigger for me because before I didn’t know that much about Washington. I just knew a couple of things but he came out here and he just [mapped] it out for me, format and everything. I just felt comfortable in both of their systems so right now it’s both of those schools that I feel comfortable with and have high interest in.”
“I had high interest in Arizona because I got to do a camp out there just recently and it was great meeting the coach and I loved everything about their program. [It] was just great because I could relate to it.”
Lautaha realized he had real talent to play the game his sophomore year when recruiters coming to see him.
“…I realized I could actually take it to the next level and chase after a dream.”
The recruiting process he said has been great so far and he’s hopeful that more offers will come his way. Check out his junior highlights.
“…Sacking the quarterback. I think that’s the favorite thing that most defensive linemen have. Getting that sack. The second best thing about playing a defensive lineman is you get to get down and dirty in the trenches and go to battle every down,” Lautaha said.
When he‘s on the field it’s all business to him. He’s ready to go to war and rip somebody’s head off.
Lautaha is a player who shed blocks easily and gets in the backfield with no problem. For his size at 245 pounds, he has a lot of closing speed when running after the ball carrier.
“I think the best part of my game is most of the time I like to read pre-snap and anticipate offenses before they come out. Another best part of my game is separation. Getting separated from the offensive tackles or any offensive guy and just making tackles in the backfield.”
What he believes he needs work on is knowing the personnel on offense and defense and putting his teammates in the right spots to succeed and make a play. That and also being more of a vocal leader, getting faster, stronger and more elusive.
“What I can bring to the university not just on the field but in the classroom is the love, good character, good leadership, an academic as well as make priorities. [Also], just try to be a role model to other kids around that area and also bring in a person that’s going to work hard, put .their best foot forward every time and give it their best in everything they do,” he said.
When his time is all said and done at Saint Francis High School, he’ll miss practice and game days because during the week, the team doesn’t have access to a field so they have to walk about a mile to a community park.
“I think I’ll miss that a lot knowing that sometimes we’re always tired and we didn’t want to walk but we still had to do it. Another thing I’m going to miss is playing for my school. My school has done a great job of bringing athletes out of there and I’m going to miss it a lot. I’m going to miss the fan base and all of them cheering for us. I’m going to miss playing in front of the state of Hawaii and our school.”
Takaamoatoa Lautaha wants his lasting legacy at Saint Francis to be one where people remember him as a great leader, inspirational person, a person that was humble and always thought to impact others’ lives.