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Polynesian Bowl puts bow on Colorado football commit Oakie Salave’a’s incredible HS career

Colorado commit Oakie Salave’a was the only player from American Samoa at the Polynesian Bowl and he got some advice from another Samoan quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa. (Courtesy: @kidfromtherock/Twitter)

HONOLULU (BVM) – There was a myriad of high-profile talent at Aloha Stadium for the 2022 Polynesian Bowl over the weekend. The all-star game featured the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, Travis Hunter — who won offensive MVP of the game and is committed to play for Deion Sanders at Jackson State – along with a roster full of Power 5 commits.  

Colorado commit Oakie Salave’a fit right in among a talented crop of athletes, but the Tafuna star was one of a kind at the Polynesian Bowl. He was the game’s only player from American Samoa.

“It meant a lot; I hope I made my island proud,” Salave’a said. “So many other brothers back home were more than capable of playing in that game. I’m blessed to have been chosen.”

The game was the exclamation point of Salave’a’s incredible high school career. The three-star athlete and No. 1-ranked prospect from American Samoa led Tafuna to two consecutive championships and won back-to-back ASHSAA MVP honors in 2020 and 2021.

The Polynesian Bowl gave Salave’a a glimpse of what he’ll be surrounded by at the next level.

“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but definitely the best part was meeting a bunch of different guys from across the U.S. with the same goals,” Salave’a said. “It was great to be exposed to that.”

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete did most of his damage under center at Tafuna and it’s at quarterback where Salave’a will first tryout at Colorado. He said he will play whatever the Buffs need him to – whether that be quarterback or safety – but some advice from another Samoan QB could make a difference.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made an appearance at the Polynesian Bowl and offered his two cents to the future Buff.

“He (Tua) told me to keep my head down and work, to block out the outside noise and be confident in my skill,” Salave’a said. “It meant a lot coming from another Samoan quarterback and with everything he has accomplished.”

Salave’a will join Colorado’s winter strength and conditioning program as an early enrollee as early as this week before spring ball kicks off. His at-home training has been with his brother and father – who also played for the Buffs from 1988-89 – in a less-than-ideal space.

But when he arrives in Boulder, the facilities will be a breath of fresh air.

“Our weight room back home is almost the same size as my dorm,” Salave’a said. “It’s real exciting because everything back home is so limited, this will be my first time actually being in a strength and conditioning program. I’m real excited to work and learn.”

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