Keep an eye on: Vere Waqaituinayau

Vere Waqaituinayau (Kirkland, Wash./Juanita) faced adversity early.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound safety tore the ACL in his left knee as a freshman. Forced to watch from the sidelines as his teammates trained, Waqaituinayau found motivation.

“It motivated me to get to rehab and get back on the field with them,” Waqaituinayau said. “It was difficult, but now it’s great. My knee is good.”

As a sophomore last season, Waqaituinayau played running back and linebacker. As he prepares for his junior season however, he plans to move to safety, since he sees himself playing that position in college.

Now that he feels 100 percent healthy, he is focused on his future, traveling to Bothell, Wash., each Sunday to train at the Barton Football Academy’s elite events in addition to his weight room work with teammates.

His cousin is Washington defensive end Jarett Finau, and Waqaituinayau would like to one day follow in his footsteps.

“It’s just a motivation to play with him and play D-I,” he said. “I’m just trying my best.”

When asked if has a dream school, he said he wants to stay home and play for the Huskies.

“I’d just rather stay home and play here,” he said.

His long-term plan is simple, “get a D-I scholarship, be good in school and represent my family.”