There are times when a program will be said to “take a flier” on a player with high potential who somehow slipped below all recognized radar. In recruiting Siulagisipai Fuimaono, Cal took a flier in a literal sense, too; Fuimaono will be spending an enormous among of time on airplanes just to make his college football future possible.
As noted by Scout Cal publisher Bear Territory, Fuimaono was born in Washington state but has moved across the country, spending most of his childhood in Arizona before moving to Japan when his father was deployed there in 2012. He now attends Kadena High School, which is the American style high school on the Kadena air force base in Okinawa.
Just how much is taught within those schools remains to he been, though Fuimanono is confident he’ll be able to tackle whatever comes his way after racking up a 3.4 GPA at Kadena.
Fuimanono will enter Cal at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, a sign that he could still gain more productive weight, even as it also provided the means by which he was such a successful athlete in Japan.
“We are excited about the potential we see in Siulagisipai,” New Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said in a release. “His film is good, and he is a big, strong athlete that we think will help us on the defensive line. He had a chance to visit Cal this spring, and we knew after meeting him that he would be a terrific fit at Cal both academically and athletically.”
Given his late emergence and his other prospects, it’s clear that Fuimanono is thrilled to be headed to Cal, no matter how far it is from Japan.