FARMINGTON — Navajo Prep's Mikaele Mauga will be continuing his football career close to home.
Mauga has committed to play for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
The Kirtland resident said being able to stay in the Four Corners area and keep playing football was a major factor in choosing the Skyhawks.
"I had a couple other offers, but they were kind of far away," Mauga said. "It will be nice being close to home and being able to catch a few Prep games next year."
He also had offers from schools in Oregon and North Dakota.
Mauga adds an explosive athlete to the Skyhawks' squad, and he will get an opportunity to compete for time at a slot receiver spot on offense or in the secondary on defense.
The Prep senior served as a two-way player for the Eagles, putting up record-setting numbers for a receiver in New Mexico, catching 80 passes for 1,658 yards and 25 touchdowns.
He notched 10 interceptions on defense and finished with 34 total touchdowns for Prep.
"I think they are getting a quality football player," Eagles' head coach Rod Denetso said. "We've already started our football offseason program and Mika is still in there working, and the younger kids get to see what it takes to compete at that next level."
Mauga said his versatility is his biggest asset, and he hopes to contribute in any way possible.
"Wherever they want me to play, I'll play," he said. "I'll help out anywhere I can."
Mauga credited his coaching staff for developing him into a player who has a chance to compete in college.
"I started as a lineman in fourth grade and didn't even play receiver until my freshman year. Just seeing that work pay off in a short time is nice," he said. "I just want to thank coach Rod and all our coaches. They are really changing the direction of our program."
Fort Lewis competes in NCAA Division II in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Skyhawks tied for seventh place with a 3-6 record in RMAC and finished 4-7 overall in 2013.Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.