HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Jenessa Gladstone
Ranked as the country's top overall recruit, Punahou defensive end Canton Kaumatule is ready to return to the field for his senior year.
And despite being a team veteran, it is Kaumatule's leadership skills that have set him apart.
"He's in a position where he can help others now," said head coach Kale Ane. "His work ethic hasn't changed but he hasn't changed but he's really inspired other kids. When you see that one of your hardest working players is one of your best players, it's easy for them to follow and be respectful."
Kaumatule says that he's ready to leave his best out on the field.
"I'm not going to have any regrets this year," Kaumatule said. "I'm going to do my very best to be a leader and role model. Do my best to lead this team along with my other brothers."
Sidelined with injuries last season, the defensive starter missed nearly half of the Buffnblu's championship run.
But, he didn't let that stop his mental growth.
"Looking at different aspects of football, one's that I'm not really familiar with or used to, I'm more into the power game and realizing how important speed is," Kaumatule explained. "So, I'm just trying to change my whole aspect and perspective of the game."
Currently, the senior's top-five college choices include Oregon, USC, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Stanford.
"The only thing that is troublesome is finding time to talk to all the recruiters," Kaumatule said. "That's really hard. But it's good pressure, I'm not really limiting myself in anyway just yet. I don't want to close any of my doors."