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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Signing Day Wrap-Ups, Update: Super Games vid

Jason Kaneshiro and Paul Honda write about Hawaii's new recruiting class. Here's an excerpt about Paipai Falemalu and Alema Tachibana:
The commitments from Falemalu and Tachibana broke new ground for a rebuilt bridge between local powerhouse Kahuku and the University of Hawaii.

While the two entities never officially cut ties in recent years, the recent fall season and ensuing offseason marked renewed contact. That face-to-face connection, which did not exist on the Kahuku campus in the 2006 season, netted two outstanding Red Raiders linebackers.
Tachibana hopes to gain 15 to 20 pounds by fall camp, where UH will switch him to defensive end. Both players turned down other offers to stay home, even though their parents wanted them to play college football on the continent. Tachibana spurned Utah by choosing the Warriors.

"I always wanted to play for UH," Tachibana said. "I'm happy."
Stephen Tsai talks to a couple of the new Warriors.
"What can I say? It's Hawai'i," Alexander said. "I love the offense. That's a big part of why I decided to go there."
The next-to-last signing came from wideout Mike Tinoco of Saddleback Community College. He had waited for his parents to co-sign.

"I am a Warrior," Tinoco said. "That's pretty sweet."
The article details the need for a "stealth courtship" of Greg Alexander:
Noticing that several schools appeared to chase players the Warriors were recruiting, UH coaches took special care to hide Alexander's name from recruiting services and message boards.
Nice. Tsai also writes that former UH linebacker Chris Brown is re-joining UH as a student manager, and has a few details about the start of the "Super Games."
Yesterday, the teams competed in arm-wrestling and wall sitting, in which a participant is in a sitting position, with his back square against the wall, as if he is on an imaginary chair. A 45-pound plate is placed on the lap.

Backup linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane, who held the sitting position for nearly 5 minutes, won one competition.

"I sit on the bench all of the time," Kiesel-Kauhane said. "It comes natural. Nah, it takes strong legs and a strong heart."
UPDATE: Tombo forgot to include video from the great Princess Leila covering the Super games. The guys are having a blast. It'll definitely bring them all closer together.

Here are two articles covering NLI Day at Honolulu Hale from Paul Honda and Stanley Lee. And judging from Honda's article, seems like UH had some interest from Shiloah Te'o, but perhaps the timing was off.
All-State first-team safety Shiloah Te'o stuck to his early oral commitment and signed with BYU, which backed off its plan to switch him to linebacker. Looking back, Te'o had just one regret.

"It's my fault. UH liked me," he said of a recent visit to Manoa. By then, UH had given out its scholarship offers and was no longer a viable option.
Even though Shiloah signed with BYU, it seems like UH wouldn't have had the slightest chance at him (or Paipai and Alema for that matter) if it wasn't for Greg McMackin and his coaching staff. With just three weeks to put this class together, they did a phenomenal job of recruiting, meeting with high school coaches and athletic directors, traveling to the mainland, visiting players in their homes, and making a good impression all around. I'm already looking forward to next year's class! In the meantime, McMackin will have a press conference later today to discuss this year's class, and the details should be posted at this UH Athletics Dept. web page. I'll repost it again when the info is up, and link to any media coverage as well.



  • At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 10:08:00 AM HST, Anonymous Kaimuki boy said…

    Excellent coverage Tombo! I think regardless of the short time, this is an outstanding class. But given the short time, it makes this class even better. Quality kids for a Quality head coach. We are going to the next level! I would be happy to repeat as WAC Champions. Everything else is gravy.

  • At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:17:00 AM HST, Anonymous uhfootballgirl said…

    I'm very impressed and proud of what our new coaching staff has done within the time frame given and despite the huge recent changes that have occured in our program. Obviously this is going to be a transition year. As Coach Mack proves himself, coupled with the monetary funding hopefully coming in to provide the team with it's needs, and as the fans continue to support our team, we should attract better and better players. Come on, who wouldn't want to play in paradise?

    I'm grateful for what JJ started, and extremely excited about the next level Coack Mack is taking us to!!!

  • At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:20:00 AM HST, Anonymous uhfootballgirl said…

    Oh, I forgot one more thing...mahalo Tombo for all the updates!!! It's so appreciated!!!!

  • At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 12:39:00 PM HST, Anonymous fuzzylogic said…

    Loved the video of the Super Games--McMackin continues to amaze and impress me by how he and his staff continually thinks of things to get the players bonding and at the same time concentrating on improving their performance while keeping attendance at a premium.


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