Family Ties Give Maryland Familiarity for Four-Star Lineman

Maryland was able to get three productive seasons from defensive lineman Ami Finau, but now he’s off to the NFL as the staff rebuilds the trenches starting this spring. Only now, he may not be the last Finau at Maryland after the staff jumped into the mix for Paki Finau, a 6-foot-4, 252-pound lineman from Oak Hills (CA).

“Ami is my grandpa’s brother’s son,” Paki told IBG. “It was crazy. My dad flew out to Texas and met up with [Ami’s] dad and was like ‘I have some of Ami’s Maryland stuff that he doesn’t use.’ So my dad came back with it and that same day, that’s when coach [Brian] Braswell called me and he told me he offered me a full scholarship to Maryland. That was really cool.”

Paki also took the chance to share the news with his uncle. “I called him the same day I got the offer and he said ‘coach Braswell is my guy.’ He wasn’t trying to sell me [on] Maryland, he told me it’s a good school if I want to go there and if it feels right, go there. Coach Braswell is a good guy, not just a good coach. I’m already familiar with Maryland because he’s been there for a while but I know he’s declaring for the draft right now.”

Since picking up the offer, Finau and Braswell have gotten a chance to begin building their relationship. “When the Super Bowl came around, he asked what team I’m going for and I said the Eagles because they’ve got a really good [offensive] line, and I’d say the best line in the league. Braswell told me I’ve got good eyes because he thought the same way.”

Nebraska, Boston College, Baylor and several Pac-10 schools have extended offers to the four-star prospect but now that Maryland has extended an offer, they’re emerging as a viable contender early on. “Ami has been there and did good and he told me it’s a good program, not just a football team. They have a good culture, good players, good coaches. I’m definitely going to push to get out there but maybe an official just because it’s all the way out there. I’m definitely going to try and get out there because Ami told me so much about it and now that they’ve offered, it motivates me more. We were actually planning to go to a game. It wasn’t even because Maryland was interested, it was to go watch Ami play but now that they’ve offered I’m definitely going to put more effort into coming out.”

Finau knows of a handful of schools he’ll look to visit next month.

“Utah and BYU, maybe UCLA.”

Finau is rated a four-star prospect and a 90 overall by On3. He’s rated the 21st-best prospect in California and the nation’s 213th-best prospect nationally.

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