Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national scene has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: Dec. 17 and Jan. 29 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, also Jan. 5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and Jan. 14 at Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps now it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
Frederick Mauigoa from Tafuna (AS) is in the spotlight right here. Deservedly so. As a member of the Class of 2016, he was first recognized on the brand’s Jersey Presentation Tour and then played in the game at AT&T Stadium, a 21-14 victory for West over East.
For all intents and purposes, Mauigoa burst on the national scene as the hype machine generated steam for the brand’s All-American Combine (Hawaii Regional). NFL veterans Mark McMillian and Tevita Ofahengaue were among the one-time professional instructors.
Alabama commit Tua Tagovailoa and Stanford commit Nate Herbig were on hand, along with USC commit Vavae Malepeai, Hawaii commit Jeremiah Pritchard, Arizona commit Michael Eletise and Vanderbilt commit Sean Auwae. Too many others to mention, really.
Enough about the past. What about the future? It certainly appears rather bright for Mauigoa. The 6-foot-4 and 310-pound junior offensive lineman for Washington State, in fact, will be in action against Air Force on Dec. 27 in the Cheez-It Bowl at 5:20 p.m. (EST).
There has been no shortage of recognition for him this year. A starter in 12 games, he was on the Polynesian College Player of the Year Watch List, up for All-Pac-12 Conference honors and named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List (the nation’s top collegiate center).
The accolades are well-deserved, given his resume and lengthy travels. Mauigoa started 13 games as a sophomore for the Cougars. As a freshman, he played in four games. Not bad for a young man who hailed from American Samoa and ended up in Pullman (WA).
Moving forward, his senior season awaits. Beyond that, who knows? Perhaps the NFL Scouting Combine. Maybe the NFL Draft. Even being an undrafted free agent would work. Regardless, the journey essentially started with the brand’s All-American Bowl in Texas.