Nainoa Lopes, a standout quarterback in the class of 2026, recently etched his name into the minds of the coaches and scouts at the Quarterback Universe (QBU) Camp in Los Angeles, where he was not only a standout participant but was selected as the “Must Watch” athlete.
His journey from a multi-sport enthusiast to a quarterback on the verge of D1 recognition is both compelling and promising to those looking to follow in his footsteps.
Grateful for this experience and this award! MVP 🏈💪🏼Mahalo Coaches, mahalo mom & dad for your support! @ChrisHixsonQB @QBUniverseQBU @QBIQsystem @alecsimpson5 @JeffHecklinski @lacaden51 @vinnypassas @qbinfluence @QBHitList @QBimpactHI @markbeede1 @CoachJoeSloan @CoreyDennis_ pic.twitter.com/vSk47UOkGq
— Nainoa Lopes (@NainoaLopes) January 14, 2024
A Journey Forged in Competition
For Nainoa Lopes, sports have always been more than just games—they are a way of life. From soccer to basketball, baseball, and even golf, he dabbled in various sports during his formative years. However, it was football that captured his heart.
“I love anything that involves competing, I still do,” said Lopes in an interview with The Wire. “I realized at a young age that I was pretty good at any sport I tried, even kickball at recess. As I got older I got more intense, more competitive and zeroed in on getting really good at the sports I loved, mainly football.”
Starting as a versatile player who could move all over the field, filling positions wherever his team needed, he eventually gravitated towards the quarterback spot. It was here that he realized the unique impact a quarterback can have on the outcome of the game, and he began dedicating himself to mastering this pivotal position.
“As I got more vocal and more assertive it was only natural that I grew to love the Quarterback position.”
QBU Camp: A Platform for Growth
Lopes’ recent recognition at the QBU Camp was no accident—it was the culmination of intense training, dedication, and a love for the game. His motivation to participate in the camp stemmed from a previous experience at the QBIQ camp, where he gained valuable insights into improving his quarterback skills. Eager to dive deeper into the intricacies of the position, he embraced the challenge of QBU.
Reflecting on his experience at the camp, Nainoa expressed genuine enjoyment. Attending alongside talented quarterbacks and under the guidance of knowledgeable coaches, he found himself in an environment that fueled his passion for the game.
LA 2024 highlight 🏝️ pic.twitter.com/N1pnOWRFb8
— QBUniverse (@QBUniverseQBU) January 17, 2024
To be recognized as the “Must Watch” athlete among a pool of talented quarterbacks is an honor that Nainoa humbly accepted. Surrounded by exceptional talent, both among players and coaches, he acknowledges the significance of such recognition.
“It’s an honor to be recognized at the camp,” said Lopes. “I was among some great talents so I’m very appreciative and humble to be called out that way.”
His standout moment came during a Pro Day event, where he achieved a personal best in the Broad Jump—a testament to his commitment to continuous improvement.
“I believe that this position requires that I work year round to better myself. If I’m not in the weight room, I’m on the field or I’m looking at film.”
A Glimpse into the Future
Peering into the future, Nainoa Lopes has both short-term and long-term goals. Short term, he eagerly anticipates hitting the field with his team for spring practices at Saint Louis High School. Having recently transferred, he is excited about the prospect of showcasing his arm in a passing offense, complemented by talented receivers. Long term, Nainoa harbors the aspiration to play at the next level, a goal pursued with relentless determination alongside his parents.
“I have big goals for myself, I know it will take work and persistence but I am all in,” said Lopes.
As Nainoa gears up for spring practices and upcoming camps, including the Polynesian Bowl National Combine & Showcase and the Northwest Showcase, he epitomizes the spirit of a quarterback, always striving for improvement. His summer plans include college visits to a handful of prestigious schools and football programs.
From his roots in playing just about every sport to emerging as a star quarterback, his journey is one of resilience, passion, and an unyielding commitment to the game he loves. As he continues to navigate the path ahead, one thing is certain: Nainoa Lopes is a name that football enthusiasts will be watching closely, eagerly anticipating each next step.