HAYWARD, Calif. -- In a back-and-forth battle that continued all the way into the Final Five for the offensive line/defensive line one-on-one drills, Honolulu (Haw.) Farrington defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko and Corona (Calif.) De La Salle defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie went back and forth beating every offensive linemen put in front of them at the recent Oakland Nike Football Training Camp at Chabot College.
Call both of them victors after each earned an invitation to The Opening, the prestigious event that features 150 of the nation's top prospects competing at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon.
After the event, Fehoko spoke with SB Nation Recruiting about his arsenal of moves and his recruitment, which ended in mid-April with his pledge to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Still holding his invite to The Opening, the consensus four-star prospect talked about what it meant to him to receive that honor.
"It feels great to get open," Fehoko said. "It's a new stepping stone for me. It's a great honor to get that invite and I worked hard for it. Now I get to go to The Opening and so my work doesn't stop now. Now I have to work even harder. I gotta work like I didn't get invited and work twice as hard now. So I'm excited because I'm going to get that opportunity to compete with the best and there's nothing like competing with the best. Going to Oregon and being able to do that, it's going to be an honor."
After showing off a variety of pass-rushing moves, it was worth wondering whether there's a favorite for the versatile prospect.
"As of right now, I really have no favorites -- it's a combination of moves that I like to use, like the rip-swim, the bullrush, a lot of counter moves, the club, all that kind of stuff," he said. "Everything plays a role into it. I'm just excited that I'm going to be able to go to The Opening and pass rush is a big strength of mine. Like I said, I have thing to work on and I have things to work on, so I'm just going to try to get better."
As it goes with learning the technique it takes to be successful along the defensive line and incorporating such a wide variety of pass-rushing moves, it didn't happen by accident, though Fehoko did benefit tremendously by coming from a football-playing family.
"At a young age, dad, brothers, family, everyone just put their work in to me," Fehoko said. "It was just a thing that I caught on to -- I would see them working in the backyard with the bags and pop-up dummies and I decided that I wanted to do that. They said it would take a lot of work, but I hopped right in."
The 6'3, 290-pounder plays up and down the line of scrimmage for his high school, but said that Texas Tech plans to use him as a three-technique defensive tackle in their scheme, which uses only three down linemen, but have also told him that they will move up him and down the line of scrimmage, too -- at nose tackle and defensive end.
For his part, Fehoko just wants to get on the field.
"Whatever is going to get him on the field and make me impactful, whatever is going to help me win for the team," he said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to be going to Tech, excited for the fact that I can go on and continue my legacy in Division I football."
One of the major reasons that the big Hawaiian is planning on playing his college football in Lubbock is because of linebackers coach Mike Smith, who formed a relationship with the Fehoko family while he was coaching linebackers at Hawai'i in 2009. After a season there, he moved on to the NFL in several capacities with the New York Jets, then made his way back to Texas Tech, his alma mater.
"Coach Smith, we've known him for a while now," Fehoko said. "He's such a great guy -- like an older brother. The fact that coach Smith is like an older brother to me, I've known him since he was a GA at Hawai'i before going to the Jets. Seeing where he's gone, from Hawai'i to the Jets to Texas Tech, everything happens for a reason. Coach Scott, coach Wallerstedt, coach Morris, coach Kingsbury, all of those coaches on the staff are great coaches and I'm looking forward to working with them come January."
Asked about his impression of head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Fehoko was succinct but precise with his answer.
"A young coach with swag," he said.
Since Fehoko's April commitment, he said that the recruiting process hasn't exactly slowed down for him. In fact, he said that every school that has offered is still recruiting him, though he said the schools respect the fact that he is committed.
Fehoko also said that he's "pretty positive" that he's still going to take some visits despite the strength of his commitment to the Red Raiders. The primary impetus behind those plans are the fact that he doesn't get to see many big-time games in person out in the islands and wants to do that before enrolling at Texas Tech.
In case that might concern some of the Red Raider faithful, Fehoko did say that he has a message for those fans.
"I'm glad to be part of the family," he said. "Guns up and let's go get 'em in January."