From American Samoa to Miami, with many stops in between, Francis and Francisco Mauigoa have taken long, rarely traveled paths to reuniting as Miami Hurricanes. Growing up in American Samoa as two of six brothers, Francisco and Francis were raised in a family and an area that saw the value in football as a way to improve their current situations. “Football is a really big sport in American Samoa. It is what has gotten most of our teenagers to the mainland to play football and get a free education.” Said Francisco Mauigoa. Family and football are arguably the two most important things in the lives of the Mauigoa’s and in Miami they’ll be able to enjoy the comfort of both.
Francisco is the older of the two new Hurricanes and attended Washington State University where he was a starter before transferring to Miami this offseason. The move from American Samoa to the mainland for sports and school was not an easy one for the 6’3-230lb linebacker “It was a rough transition, to be honest. It was not an easy thing to transition or be able to move from a small island to the big cities here… It’s kind of crazy to think about. And it just took time. It really took time to really adjust. And I think I’m doing fine.”
After adjusting to life on the mainland in Washington, Francisco went through another massive change as he moved completely across the country to attend the University of Miami, but this time he’d have a familiar face with him. Family is the most important thing to the Mauigoa’s and a huge part of American Samoa culture, so the opportunity to play again with his brother Francis was something they couldn’t pass up. Having Francis in Miami with him made this transition a much smoother one “I’ll say being able to be with my brother is huge. Somebody that I could relate to, somebody that I am really, really comfortable talking to when I’m feeling down. So having my brother beside me and here in Miami is really a good impact on me and my transition here.”
While Francisco was at Washington State, Francis Mauigoaquickly became a rising star at the high school level and alsomade the move to the mainland. Francis transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton where he was regarded as the top high school offensive lineman in the country. As a five-star prospect, Francis had offers to play at just about any school in the country, but decided to come to the University of Miami and play for Mario Cristobal. Having a former offensive lineman as a head coach was a big selling point for Francis “There’s not many head coaches that played offensive line, so having that as a head coach and seeing how he focuses on the offensive line is truly a blessing.”
While the move from IMG to Miami is just a four-hour drive, the jump to the college level is never easy, but Francis is excited to have his older brother in Miami to help along the way. Having Francisco Mauigoa at UM with him will make a huge impact both on and off the field “It’s truly a blessing, having your brother there with you to get that motivation. You’ll always get supported by each other and with me being on offense and him on defense we can talk to each other about each side. We can motivate each other and try and step up his game and he can step up my game.”
For Francis and Francisco, the brotherly bond goes far beyond the football field in Miami. Both love food, video games and staying in away from distractions. When asked what they’re looking forward to most in Miami outside football, Francisco wasted no time giving his answer “I like the food. Really! The food. The food is really good around here, so I’m excited to really explore that.” Francis went on to add “I’m like an introvert. I can cook my own meal and I can stay back. I really just play football and video games with my brother.”
Whether it’s battling on the field, fighting for food at the dinner table, or going toe to toe in a video game, the Mauigoa brothers are poised to help each other transition to life in South Florida and make an immediate impact for the Miami Hurricanes. Both are anticipated to have major roles on their respective sides of the ball this season and feel prepared to contribute right away. From offense, to defense, to special teams, anyone watching the Hurricanes this year should get used to hearing the name “Mauigoa” very often.
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