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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame & Marcus Freeman Impressing 2022 Vyper Tevarua Tafiti

January 21, 2021

Hawaii has been good to Notre Dame on the recruiting trail over the years and new defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman wasted little time making waves in the Aloha State. 

In fact, Freeman made sure to make 2022 Punahou (Hawaii) vyper Tafiti a priority his first week on the job.

"I talked to Coach Freeman twice last week," stated Tafiti. "He wants to build a strong relationship. We've talked about the Hawaii pipeline and what he wants to do at Notre Dame. We're building a relationship."

The four-star prospect is still getting to know Freeman, but he's walked away impressed so far.

"He feels like a straight-forward guy," Tafiti said. "He wants to grind and make a huge impact at Notre Dame." 

Freeman isn't the only coach in contact as area recruiter Brian Polian has stayed on the Punahou star. 

"I've known Coach Polian since I was a freshman when he was recruiting Marist (Liufau)," explained Tafiti. "Our relationship has been built since my freshman year. Every time he came to visit, I saw him visiting with our head coach. He's a regular." 

Hawaii didn't play football this fall due to the COVID pandemic and the 6-foot-2, 222-pounder took matters into his own hands as he knew he needed more film and reps. 

"We've been working out every day," Tafiti explained. "In October, we went up to Utah to play some games. I think I got some of my film from that camp. It was 11-on-11 with full pads."

It's unknown if Tafiti will get a junior season, but that's not stopping him from continuing to prepare.

"They're trying to set up a club league in Hawaii, but right now, I don't know what's going to happen," said Tafiti. "I'm just doing my own thing and working out and doing some 1-on-1s with other guys so I can get some reps." 

Notre Dame vyper Jordan Botelho is back in Hawaii and has worked out with Tafiti, including this week, but there hasn't been too much talk about life in South Bend. 

"I was just working out with him today," stated Tafiti. "I haven't really talked about Notre Dame with him. Jordan is a quiet guy and when he's in the weight room, he just works. 

"I know he really likes it there." 

As for his recruitment, Tafiti is playing it by ear and hopes to be able to take visits in the late spring or summer and plans to make a late fall commitment.

"My family and I talked about if they opened up traveling towards the summer, I could take one or two trips," said Tafiti. "I'll probably narrow it down around the beginning of my senior year." 

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