Jared Afalava is a 6-2, 220-lb. aggressive, hard-hitting outside linebacker from football hotbed Bingham High of South Jordan, Utah, the 13-0 5A State Champions. He was 1st team All-State and junior MVP last season, recording 87 tackles, 5 interceptions and one sack.
Jared has the size and agility to play very early as a collegian.
He’s an explosive hitter who drives through ball carriers and sends them backwards, playing with a nasty edge and tremendous pursuit and instincts. In the highlight video, note his athletic ability carrying the ball after an interception at 2:10, how he ranges into the hook zone and snares the ball out of the air.
No 40 time is listed for the Bingham star, but he plays fast. He tackles with authority and runs down plays all over the field, shedding blocks or simply out-quicking would-be blockers, especially fierce on the run blitz, a very sure tackler who finishes plays, as quick and dangerous on the football field as a sling-blade knife. He has an exceptional back pedal for a big man, very agile in pass coverage, adept at recognizing the flow of play and taking a perfect angle in coverage or pursuit. He’s extremely well-coached.
What jumps out throughout the video is Afalava’s intensity and desire. He plays alert football, great effort. His high school coach, Dave Peck, had 14 players sign letters of intent last season, from a team that allowed just 123 points in 13 games, winning the Final over Fremont High 30-7.
Rated 3-stars by scout.com, 4-stars by espn.com and 247 sports, he told Brandon Gurney of the Deseret News, “Oregon is probably my favorite school right now. I have a cousin, Ricky Heimuli, who plays there, and he absolutely loves it. He texts and calls me all the time, trying to convince me to go up there with him, and I think I might do just that. They have incredible facilities, and they’re a great football program. Them and Utah are my top two schools right now for sure.”
With a season to go in high school football the gifted linebacker holds offers from BYU, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Nebraska, Oregon and UCLA. The in-state schools offered him a scholarship when he was just a sophomore.
The young man has strong Polynesian and LDS roots, which are important to him in considering his school choice, with friends and former teammates at both BYU and Utah. His sister is an undergraduate at BYU, and staying close to home and near family are considerations also. A strong Mormon and Polynesian community are very important to him in feeling at home at the university. He’s stated that currently he’s not planning on taking a religious mission.
He plans to make an official visit to Oregon in the fall, and will attend football camps this summer at both of his home-state schools (he’s simply too good to play at Utah State).