For the first time ever, a Hawaiian prospect is officially joining the Texas Longhorns football program, as Kahuku (Hawaii) linebacker Liona Lefau signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
For much of Lefau’s recruitment, it seemed that the West Coast programs — especially Oregon and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi — were the teams to beat in the recruitment. However, the Longhorns, including former player personnel analyst Jake Langi, pulled out all of the stops during Lefau’s visit and the weeks following to close the recruitment in late June. And while some West Coast teams continued to push, Texas was able to keep the four-star linebacker locked in and ultimately earn his signature.
Burnt Orange Nation’s Daniel Seahorn detailed what Texas is getting in Lefau:
“Lefau possesses solid size (6’1, 210 pounds) and a good frame that should allow him to continue to add mass at the next level. You won’t find many linebackers that can credibly flip over to the offensive side of the ball and play wide receiver. Lefau can do that and that speaks volumes to his athleticism. On one clip he is playing off the ball at inside linebacker stepping up in gaps and stopping ball carriers cold then the next he is running down the seam out of the slot making big plays on offense. The athleticism shows up early and often on tape for Lefau, as he shows good comfort in getting deep in his drops in coverage and shows the ability to get his hands on the football. On top of that, he shows really good range from sideline to sideline and is a knockback tackler who absolutely brings the funk once he arrives to the ball carrier. I will want to see if he can show the ability to fight through blocks as the competition improves, but I think once he focuses on linebacker full time he could end being a heck of a player. When you find a guy with this kind of athletic profile, who is already showing the coverage skills, range, and disposition to play linebacker you take them every day of the week and twice on Sundays.”
As a senior, Lefau utilized that skill set to tally 50 tackles em route to a state title and MaxPreps Hawaii Player of the Year honors.
He’ll arrive in Austin ranked as the top player in his state and as the No. 28 linebacker prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.