V.J. Fehoko is one of the top linebacker prospects in the nation and might just be the best prospect in Hawaii. Some would say he has nothing to prove at this point, but he disagrees.
"I want to represent Hawaii as its top prospect this year and I think I've done a great job," he said. "I have a reputation and I don't want to be one of those guy who doesn't go to camps and doesn't prove himself. I want to let everyone know that I want to be the best."
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound inside linebacker from Kahuku recently took a break from his recruiting process to focus on camps. Fehoko has a number of camps lined up and his recruitment has continued with new offers from Utah and Nebraska.
Though he has offers from more than a dozen schools, Fehoko insists he has no favorites at this point.
"At this time, I'm keeping it all neutral," he said. "By the end of the summer, I'll name a top five."
At the All-Poly camp held June 18 in Bountiful, Utah, Fehoko was named the camp's top player and best linebacker. He also picked up an offer from Utah.
"My cousin, Kalani Sitake, is their defensive coordinator, so it's funny," Fehoko said of the Utes. "Coach Kyle Whittingham and my family have a good relationship. Utah had that undefeated season and that was phenomenal.
"For me to get an offer from them is really an honor. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future."
Fehoko also picked up an offer from Nebraska recently. He said he's been primarily recruited by head coach Bo Pelini and he likes what the Cornhuskers have to offer in terms of tradition.
"I like their history," he said. "They're known for having a dominant program and the Big 12 is top-notch competition. When you say Nebraska, it rings bells to people. It's one of those programs where people say, 'Wow, you play for Nebraska.' That's one thing I like, they have that reputation."
"The thing I like about UCLA is coach Norm Chow," he said. "He's been recruiting me since I was young. I like them because they're one of the schools that's shown me the most interest, ever since I was a sophomore. Coach Chow and coach Rick Neuheisel made it out to my school when I was a sophomore and saw me. They were one of the first schools to offer in the recruiting process, ahead of a lot of the schools that have recently offered."
The Red Raiders have one distinct advantage over other schools in the recruitment of Fehoko - his brother. Sam Fehoko is a sophomore linebacker at Tech.
"I've never played with my brother on the same team before, so it would be real exciting if I do sign with Texas Tech," he said. "A lot of the coaches at Texas Tech say that playing next to my brother would be a great thing to see and a great experience.
"What I like about Texas Tech is they're in the Big 12, so there's great competition. They went out and beat Texas last year and the year before that they beat Oklahoma, so that's exciting. That's the kind of team I like – the underdog. I like their coaching staff and I have a good relationship with their defensive coordinator, Ruffin McNeill, and with coach Mike Leach."
Fehoko will attend today's Just Win camp, a three-day event at King Kekaulike High School in Makawao, Hawaii.
The camp's coaching staff includes Sitake, Chow, Utah State head coach Gary Anderson and UNLV head coach Mike Sanford, among others. Fehoko said coaches from Oklahoma and Florida are also expected to be on hand for the camp.
Because he wanted to be in the Just Win camp, Fehoko skipped out on a chance at attending USC's Rising Stars camp.
"USC came down and I got to meet with their defensive coordinator Rocky Seto," Fehoko said. "He liked me, and he told me if I headed out to the Rising Stars camp I could possibly get an offer. I had other camps to attend out here, so I decided not to go."
Though Fehoko will wait until the beginning of the fall to announce his top five schools, he's not against making a decision before Signing Day.
"I think if I make that connection and bond with a school and I know that's the school I'm going to, I won't wait until Signing Day," he said. "If not, I'll wait it out until Signing Day."
In 2008, Fehoko had 86 tackles, including 18 for loss, and led the state with 20 sacks. This fall, he has some new goals in mind.
"I want to lead the state in tackles, since I led the state in sacks last year," Fehoko said. "I also want to take the state championship, and we're predicted to win state so that's exciting."
Though he's already a four-star prospect and Rivals.com's No. 5 inside linebacker, Fehoko has plenty he wants to accomplish. He's ready to prove he's one of the nation's best.
"You can compete against me, but I'll still have the mentality that I'm better than you," he said. "I'm not cocky, I'm confident – it's a Hawaii mentality I guess."