Offensive lineman from America Samoa set to sign with Colorado
Modesto, CA — Vaatofu Sauvao's journey began nine years ago in American Samoa when he first donned a helmet and shoulder pads. He showed enough promise on the gridiron to earn an opportunity to join the football program at Modesto Junior College in California in 2016.
"Football is like our ticket to come here on the Mainland and get an education and make a life for yourself," said Sauvao. "It is a huge difference, a huge transition coming over here, though.
"I wasn't used to the weather and had to get used to using a computer and all the technology people over here are used to using every day. It was hard at first but as time went on, I got used to it. I started feeling normal waking up here and that helped me take care of what I needed to take care of. I still miss the food from back home, though. (Laughing)"
A 6-foot-2, 315-pound offensive guard, Sauvao was an all-state selection for the Pirates as a freshman and sophomore. But he needed another year in the classroom at Modesto Junior College, and as a result, he fell off the radar of most FBS programs.
Colorado was the one program that stayed in the picture. With the help of the Buffaloes' academic staff, Sauvao had a plan to get his associate's degree.
"Colorado has been with me through these past two years now," he said. "They have been the one contacting me every day, consistently checking up on me. I have one more class to finish up, which I will be done with around the first week of January. Then I will be ready to transfer."
Fresno State, New Mexico and Lamar University have made a run at Sauvao, but he plans to sign a letter of intent to play for the Buffaloes on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.