Takeshi Faupula officially inked his way to the Naval Academy over the weekend at a small invite-only gathering among friends and family.
Faupula, who transferred to Lehi High School (Utah) from Yuba City to complete his senior year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said it was gratifying to sign the paper committing to the Navy to play division I college football.
“My first thought was that it was a long time coming and a long awaited dream come true,” Faupula said. “It almost felt surreal.”
It was also bittersweet because his former Yuba City teammates were on hand to watch him sign on with the Navy.
“They were a little sad that we didn’t have a season together, but were happy for me,” Faupula said. “It’s hard to believe that someone from a small town can go there (Navy). It’s something that my family has wanted for me and I have been looking forward to.”
Faupula, a running back, combined to run for over 600 yards on 78 carries and score eight touchdowns in eight games in Utah.
He earned all-region and helped Lehi finish 6-5 on the year.
Faupula plans to go on his two-year Mormon mission before suiting up – at that point he will have four years eligibility and a five-year commitment to serve.
He said it’s a good break from the game.
“It will help me clear my mind and prepare for college,” he said. “To have that mindset of being on my own and not relying on my parents.”