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Fautua Maiava Jr. is on his way!

 [photo: courtesy]

Fautua Maiava Jr. will be departing the territory on July 7 on his way to Colorado Mesa University to play football, thanks to a $19,000 (per semester) athletic scholarship. The Class of 2017 graduate of Samoana High School is from Fagasa and is the son of Fautua Sr. and Florence Tua-Maiava.

Fautua Jr. was one of 220 Sharks who graduated yesterday.

The 17-year-old is the first Samoan player to ever be directly recruited from American Samoa by Colorado Mesa, an NCAA Division II school.

Just like any other Samoan kid playing football, Fau hopes to make it to the pros,  playing in the National Football League (NFL).

But he told Samoa News earlier this year that playing professional football isn’t the only thing he’s working towards. “I just want to get an education and graduate,” the soft spoken 17-year-old said. “It’s great and all to be in the NFL, but having a college degree, to me, is a MUST because once you get injured or get cut from a team, you will need something to fall back on.”

In addition to Colorado Mesa, Fautua Jr. was accepted to a dozen schools and also received scholarship offers from various colleges and universities off island including Monmouth College ($58,000 Dean’s Scholarship), St. Norbert College ($36,000 Van Dyke Award), Augustana University ($44,000 Scholarship), and Culver-Stockton College ($13,000 Athletic Scholarship). He is also a APIASF scholarship recipient.

“Right now, I consider myself half-way there,” Fau said, after being asked to comment about his full-ride to Colorado Mesa.

 “I really love the game, but even more so, I just want to get an education and graduate with a degree,” said Fau, who is pictured with his strongest supporter, Grandma Faimalie Tua.

Good luck Fau! Alo i ou faiva!