The rising junior quarterback who has been generating recruiting hype before even taking a full-contact 11-on-11 snap this season has already transferred schools.
Kahi Neves, 16, told The Tribune that he's going to Brighton this fall after spending the summer workout and camp circuit with Bingham. In doing so, the transfer from Hawaii is cross a gulf of a big in-state rivalry between the schools that fought for last year's 5A championship.
Bingham won the title last fall, but it seems Brighton has come up with a consolation prize to add to their arsenal of weapons that includes top prep prospects Osa Masina, Cody Barton, Semi Fehoko and Sione Heimuli-Lund among others. Coach Ryan Bullett confirmed that his adminstration had notified him of Neves transferring to Brighton.
While Neves said that part of the decision was that he would likely have to wait behind Bingham's returning senior quarterback Kyle Gearig, who coach Dave Peck has stood behind all offseason. But there were other factors for his family, which is living in a house near Brighton and includes his two younger sisters who wanted to play volleyball and run track for the Bengals.
Neves said his parents are handling the details of the transfer, but he anticipates being able to play this fall since he didn't take classes at Bingham before hopping to Brighton.
"I'm just going to come in and work at everything I do," he said. "I want to try to help this program win."
The odd thing about Neves' transfer is that he moves from one QB logjam to another: Brighton had two starting quarterbacks last year, Drew Jensen and Robbie Hutchins, who both return. Hutchins, who transferred in from Cottonwood, had turned a few heads at All-Poly Camp running through drills with other passers.
Neves, however, might be the most hyped young quarterback in the state after just moving into the borders. The son of former Ute lineman Kani Neves, Kahi is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound dual threat passer with a powerful arm. He has offers from Utah and Hawaii, and has interest from Oregon, Washington, and many other schools after tearing up the Ute Shoot, BYU team camp and All-Poly camp.
Bingham had been working on ways to incorporate his talents into its offense and even if Neves doesn't start at quarterback, it seems likely he'll see the field in some capacity.
Neves said he knows Hutchins as well as a few other players on Brighton's team, and knows he'll likely be in another position battle when the Bengals begin camp next week.
"Everywhere you go, there's going to be competition," he said.
The latest move for Neves is likely to draw some critical eyes: Brighton is the third program Neves is trying to join this offseason alone, including Bingham and Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.
Neves has bounced around for his whole high school career, starting at Cardinal Newman in Santa Rosa, Calif., before playing for Kaiser in Hawaii. Although he told the Tribune a few weeks ago he thought Bingham might be the end of the road, Neves said Brighton may now be the last stop for his pinball prep days.
"I think this will be a good move for our family," he said. "I believe this will be my last school."
Of course, Brighton's coach still has yet to meet the buzzed-about addition. Bullett told the Tribune he had heard that Neves was looking to transfer from Bingham, but hadn't yet met him or watched him play. Neves said he is planning to meet with Bullett later this week.
Reached by Tribune for comment, Peck said he hadn't yet heard from Neves about the transfer, but wasn't surprised and wished him all the best at his new program.
- Kyle Goon
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