Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • January 19, 2022
Kahuku Receiver Kainoa Carvalho Lands First College Offer: Utah

A smiling 5-foot-7 lad from Kahuku, the one who wowed the crowds throughout the recently completed football season, is now officially a college football recruit.

Kainoa Carvalho, a dynamic receiver, kick returner and place-kicker for the Kahuku Red Raiders, received his first Division I FBS offer on Friday. (Image credit: Elijah Abramo / Bedrock Sports Hawaii).

And it was with a bit of a sigh of relief that the 160-pound Kainoa Carvalho, whose friends call Kai-Kai, got his first Division I FBS offer. It came from the University of Utah, where his father Stewart Carvalho went, making the team in the 1990s as a walk-on.

Most of the time, the shorter you are, the harder the scholarship offers are to land, so this is huge for Carvalho, who is only a junior. More offers are likely on the way, especially if the kid has a senior season nearly as good, as good or better than the his fall of 2021 campaign.

“I just got my first Division I offer on Jan. 7,” Carvalho told Bedrock Sports Hawaii on Monday in an interview on the Kahuku campus. “University of Utah. That’s my dad’s alma mater. It’s always been in my heart to go to Utah and follow my dad’s footsteps. All the love they showed me and they’re the first school to believe in me, so that speaks volumes.”

Before moving to Oahu, Carvalho grew up in Utah watching the Utes play.

“Second period, they called up and offered me a full-ride scholarship,” the kid said. “I was emotional a little bit, speechless. So crazy, a whole stress reliever for my family.”

Carvalho, who played his sophomore year at Skyridge, Utah, due to COVID-19, caught 64 passes for the Open Division state champion Red Raiders (10-0) this year for 1,023 yards and 10 TDs. He also rushed 10 times for 93 yards and another TD.

In addition, Carvalho scored five touchdowns returning kicks and kicked 45 extra points and six field goals.

 

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