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Friday, February 26, 2010

WitP: Stutz, Colt, Bess

Former UH receiver and grad assistant Craig Stutzmann will coach at Memphis this season.
Stutzmann, a Saint Louis graduate, joins a staff headed by first-year coach Larry Porter. His official duties will be ironed out upon his arrival in Memphis, Tenn., but he will assist offensive coordinator and receivers coach Eric Price, son of UTEP head coach Mike Price.
Jason Reid of the Washington Post writes that Jim Zorn wanted to cut Colt Brennan before the start of the 2009 season.
But Zorn expected Brennan to challenge Todd Collins for the backup job in the 2009 preseason, and that didn't happen because Brennan struggled. Also, some in the organization grew frustrated with Brennan because of what they perceived to be his cockiness despite never having accomplished anything in the NFL, team sources said.

Brennan, a popular player, hurt his left hip during the final preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the team decided to put him on the season-ending injured-reserved list and he underwent surgery. In addition to his left hip damage, Brennan had surgery on his right hip before his rookie year.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying the Redskins definitely would have released Brennan if he had been healthy or that he lacks potential. And I don't know what Coach Mike Shanahan thinks of Brennan, though I plan to ask him this morning during his media availability at the combine.
And finally, Hawaii News Now interviewed Davone Bess last week.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Warriors Going to Kauai

For a spring scrimmage:
The University of Hawai‘i Athletics Department and the County of Kaua‘i have announced plans for a football intra-squad scrimmage on the Garden Island, Saturday, April 10, at Vidinha Stadium.

The Warriors will fly to Kaua‘i that morning aboard two Hawaiian Airlines flights, then hold a two-hour scrimmage beginning at 11:00 a.m. An autograph session on the field will follow. The event is free to the public.

WitP: Travis LaBoy

Former UH defensive lineman Travis LaBoy, who sat out the 2009 season due to injury after being released by Arizona, is currenly visiting with other NFL teams. He's reportedly visited with the Jets, as well as the 49ers. However, his original team, the Tennessee Titans, do not appear to be pursuing him.
“We have not heard anything,’’ C.J. LaBoy said of the Titans. “I know he’d definitely be interested in coming back but at the same time he has several teams already in the hunt right now and they haven’t made any overtures. So I’m going to have to say no at this point.

“He is right in the mix and several other teams are interested in him as well. We are just trying to find out what the best spot is for him and we should make a decision rather shortly.’’

Off-Topic Tuesday

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super Games: Warrior Ball

Via the Advertiser, Leila Wai has video and some interviews from the Super Games.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Coaching Moves... Part 2 (w/UPDATE)

The Star-Bulletin has some news.
Hawaii defensive line coach Dave Aranda has been promoted to defensive coordinator, one of several changes on the Warriors staff, multiple sources close to the situation told the Star-Bulletin today (Wednesday).

Cal Lee, who was the defensive coordinator, will remain as linebackers coach, sources said.

Sources also said Tony Tuioti will move from director of player personnel to defensive line coach (replacing Aranda), and George Lumpkin will move from defensive ends assistant to Tuioti's former spot.
UPDATE (2/18/10): Jason Kaneshiro has a follow-up article.
"There will be some changes on the staff and we're going through the hiring process right now. We won't announce anything until mid-March," said head coach Greg McMackin in a statement released last night.
Here's an article about the process of making changes, from Stephen Tsai.
The assumption is that Tuioti and a current assistant coach would switch positions. By law and the Board of Regents' hiring policy, any move between an assistant coaching position and a non-coaching position must be advertised for 10 work days.

"I'm going to give a fair look at all of the applicants," McMackin said last night.
And Dave Reardon takes a look at the possible changes.
Who would've thought that before the start of McMackin's third season he'd have taken the play-calling duties from Ron Lee, whom he described as his "offensive coordinator for life," and demoted Ron's brother Cal? It was a strange situation from the beginning, as McMackin retained defensive play-calling responsibilities; Cal Lee's role seemed more adviser than coordinator.

Now, how much room will McMackin give Aranda?

And you had to know Tony Tuioti would eventually get to the field. He's probably a better fit as a defensive line coach than head of recruiting; he was in the trenches for UH as a defensive tackle himself, and he's still young enough to relate to the players. George Lumpkin was June Jones' recruiting coordinator; now we'll see how he does on a second go-round — this time without having to be a position coach, too.


It was officially confirmed yesterday:
The Warriors' Sept. 2 opener against the Trojans has been picked up by ESPN and the Thursday kickoff will be at 5 p.m. at Aloha Stadium, UH athletic director Jim Donovan confirmed yesterday.
And here's some info on other possible games that could be on ESPN:
WAC associate commissioner Jeff Hurd said ESPN may select additional UH games, although they would likely be Saturday dates. UH's Dec. 4 home game with Nevada-Las Vegas and road games at Fresno State and Boise State are possibilities, people involved have said.

UH's schedule is expected to be completed by March 11, when the WAC should have the conference schedule in place.

Coaching Moves...

Stephen Tsai writes about some upcoming coaching reassignments.
Head coach Greg McMackin said this morning "there will be some changes." But he refused to reveal the details.

Our people tell us that no current coach is expected to leave the football organization, which includes but is not limited to the coaching staff.

But Coach Mack refused to comment on any scenario, and said he will make an announcement in mid-March.
Here's an excerpt of the job posting:
# Assist with all aspects of NCAA Division I football program, including student recruitment and development, on field coaching, compliance with NCAA, Conference and University of Hawaii rules and regulations, student-athlete academic achievement, and other duties assigned by the Head Coach. Additionally, the incumbent must maintain collaborative working relationships with administrators and coaches in the department, other college offices, and appropriate relationships with members of the media, donors, and other individuals interested in the football program.
# Assist and participates in practice and intercollegiate competitions. Teach necessary skills from the basic fundamentals to the techniques and strategies of team play.
Pure speculation: Tony Tuioti becomes a defensive coach. One of the current coaches moves to recruiting coordinator. Somehow Nick Rolovich becomes offensive coordinator. And maybe the return of Craig Stutzmann?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Davone Bess on The Warrior Beat Show

Davone Bess will be the guest on the Tsai & Wai Warrior Beat Happy Funtime Hour today at around 1pm HST. Be there!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Warriors at the Expo

Some current and former Warriors, including Chad Owens, Adam Leonard, Kenny Patton, Jake Ingram, Greg Salas, Spencer Smith, Bryant Moniz, Kealoha Pilares, and Rich Miano participated in the Great Aloha Run Sports, Health and Fitness Expo yesterday. Here's some video by the Honolulu Advertiser's Rebecca Breyer.

And here's a photo gallery.

WitP: Colt Brennan in the White House

Following up on Stephen Tsai's post from a few days ago, Matt Terl of the official Redskins blog talks to Colt Brennan about his trip to the White House.
Brennan met both President Barack Obama -- who was born in Hawai'i -- and Vice President Joe Biden -- two meetings that he described as "really, really, really cool."

The feeling, apparently, was mutual -- at least as Brennan describes it. "You're in a huge line to meet the president and you have a designated time," he explained. "They kind of shoo you in and shoo you out. I mean, I've met a lot of celebrities, a lot of big time people, but meeting the President ... it was an honor. Just sharing thirty seconds to a minute with him, and him saying [to wife Michelle], 'Honey, this is the best quarterback that ever came out of the University of Hawai'i.'"

The memory clearly made Brennan proud. "So right then and there," he recalled, "I was like, 'I like this guy a lot.'"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

WitP: Leonard Peters

Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal profiles former UH football and current US Sevens rugby player Leonard Peters.
"Other guys, internationally, would never think about putting a player on the national team who only has (eight) months of experience. But it's just a reflection on Leonard's athletic ability and how much he's become a student of the game," said U.S. coach Al Caravelli, who described the 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound Peters as an "impact player coming off the bench."

"He's got great footwork, he starts and stops very quickly, and he's an amazing hitter and tackler. When he hits you, you'll definitely feel it."

Friday, February 12, 2010

UH interested in PAC-10

According to The Sporting News, Hawaii is among the reported candidates for PAC-10 expansion, should it ever happen.
Speculation has swirled about Pac-10 expansion since the 1990s, when the SEC started a football championship game and eventually a more lucrative TV contract as a 12-team league. Reported candidates for expansion range from Hawaii to Texas, Boise State to UNLV.
Ferd Lewis wrote that UH is a 2500-mile longshot.
But as the Pac-10 ponders what would be its first expansion in 32 years, UH is not so ideally positioned to take advantage of realignment. Unfortunately for UH, between soaring travel costs, a mounting deficit and its TV market size, there have been few worse times to be 2,500 miles off the beaten major college path.
But eh, if she's giving you chance, you know what you gotta do?

Chance um!
University of Hawai'i athletic director Jim Donovan said yesterday he talked to the Pac-10 to inquire about "potential opportunities" for the school.
Donovan said, "I asked what process they would be looking at and they said it hadn't been determined at this point."

Donovan said he brought up, "some attributes the Pac-10 may want to look at."

Donovan said his talk with the Pac-10 was followed by discussions with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority on possible assistance.
One of Dave Reardon's readers is already dreaming big.
Wouldn’t that be a great sell for PAC-10 coaches ~ we will be going to ‘HAWAII’ every other year to play games! Hmm… Utah or Colorado in the winter time OR Hawaii anytime of the year? Duh

And maybe local kids will stay ‘home’ if UH was in the PAC-10. And the Aloha Stadium would be packed every game.

Hawaii is the right fit…

It’s a long shot, but oh to dream BIG…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spring Walk-Ons

Stephen Tsai has a list of spring walk-ons. They are participating in the offseason conditioning program and some may eventually make the team.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Coach Mack on WB Show / Malcolm Lane Suspended

Greg McMackin is today's guest on the Tsai & Wai Warrior Beat Show today at 11AM HST. Be there!

UPDATE: During the show, Coach Mack announced that Malcolm Lane was suspended. Stephen Tsai has some details:
Head coach Greg McMackin announced on the Warrior Beat Show that Lane, who did not play last season to focus on academics, has been suspended for violating team rules.

That means Lane will not participate in the offseason conditioning program. He also is not expected to be available for spring practice.

Monday, February 08, 2010

First and 10, Spring Schedule

UH AD Jim Donovan is answering fans' questions on SportsHawaii.com starting at around 10AM HST today (in about 5 minutes!) So if you have a question for the athletic director... be there!

And Stephen Tsai has a spring UH football calendar up on the Warrior Beat. It includes the dates for the Super Games, Pro Day in Carson, coaches clinic, camps, as well spring practice, which starts March 31st.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

WitP: Mat McBriar

The Australian Sportscenter profiles Mat McBriar. It's mostly about his time in Dallas, but there's some UH stuff starting at around 1:15 into it.

2010 Recruits: Info, Quotes, Etc.

Na Koa has a report from Coach McMackin's 2010 Recruit Review up on their website.

UPDATE (2/8/10): They now have video highlights of the players on that page.
Warrior Head Coach, Greg McMackin declared this year’s football recruiting class a success as the recruits who signed on the first letter of intent day “met our needs to complement our returning starters.

“We have 17 returning starters who are very young, so there are several who could start right away.” McMackin said this was the best recruiting class since he has been here. “Every player we recruited was recruited by BCS schools.”
And as I've done the past few years, below is a compilation of info about the new recruits from UH Athletics, the Advertiser, the Star-Bulletin and various other places. In this year's list, player info is taken from NaKoa.org while quotes from UH coaches are taken from Stephen Tsai's recruiting wrap-up from February 4th. Any other sources are linked.


Kody Afusia (OL, 6-3, 285, Fr, Midway City, Calif./Ocean View HS)
Named first-team all-league as a junior and senior...played both sides of the ball as an offensive guard and center and defensive tackle...named Golden West League’s Defensive Player of the Year...selected to the all-CIF Southern Division first team on offense...also competed in wrestling, where he compiled a 32-10 record in the 285-pound division...picked UH over San Jose State and Montana State...sister plays Division I softball at Arizona State.

Gordy Shaw: "Kody never came off the field. I believe he was an All-CIF defensive lineman. Based on his stature and talent, we could project that he was going to be just what we're looking for at that position (center)."

Afusia: “I felt Hawaii is the place for me... Just the people. ... And I love the environment. It feels like I’m at home. All the guys I met for a day are now my close friends. They all feel like my family.”

Fun Fact: According to his senior year highlight video, his nickname is "Samoan-Beef"


Samson Anguay (WR, 5-8, 155, Fr, ‘Ewa, O‘ahu/Campbell HS)
Three-year varsity letterman...rated the 27th best recruit out of the state of Hawai‘i...named to Honolulu Advertiser Division II all-state first team in 2008 and to the second team in 2009...played slot back, running back, and kick returner...as a junior, helped team win the OIA White Division...finished fourth in the 100-meter dash (11.1 seconds) in the state track championships as a junior...competed in the Hawai‘i/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl.

Nick Rolovich: "Samson is that quick, make-a-guy-miss-type slot we've had success with in the past. I know his size is not the biggest, but he's built really well. He'll make some plays for us in the future."

Campbell coach Amosa Amosa: "He's a great example for all of our players... The kid works ... I mean, everything he does is 100 percent. All out. I gotta tell him, 'Man, take it easy sometimes.' But that's how he's been doing things all his years here at Campbell...It's been a blessing for me. These kind of players come, maybe once every 10 years to see one like this."

Anguay: “When I went to their Junior Day, I already felt like I was part of a family, even though we (participants) were from different schools. They care about their students there, and Coach Greg McMackin is a great guy. He’s like a father figure to me. He keeps in touch with me through e-mails all the time, and he calls me up. That makes me feel like I made the right choice - and I think I did make the right choice.”


Darius Bright (WR, 6-5, 225, Jr., San Francisco, CA/College of San Francisco)
Enrolled at UH in spring semester...played two seasons at City College of San Francisco...caught 21 passes for 227 yards and four TDs in eight games in 2009...clocked in the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds...picked UH over Oklahoma.

CCSF coach George Rush: "Darius is a great guy... There's nothing not to like about him. Football-wise, he's a hard worker, and very athletic. He's big, fast and physical. He likes to block. He's a good team player. He's unselfish... On a personal side, he's fun to be around... He comes to school with a big smile on his face, and he's ready to go work. He'll bring all of those qualities to UH and do extremely well. There are not many receivers as big as he is and as fast as he is. He's going to be a great fit."

Bright: "I already knew the football was good, but they were talking to me about the academic side of it"


Siaki Cravens (LB, 6-3, 240, So., Temecula, CA/Long Beach CC)
Played one season at Long Beach City College...recorded 14 tackles, including four for loss, three sacks, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries in 2009...signed with Utah out of high school and redshirted during 2008 Sugar Bowl season...lettered four years in football and basketball for Temecula Valley High in California...named to all-CIF, all-valley and all-league in basketball...member of two league championship teams in basketball...honor roll all four years of high school.

Dave Aranda: "Cravens is a great athlete. He played tight end/receiver out of high school. A great basketball player, very athletic. We feel outside back on the line of scrimmage is a great position for him. He's 6-3, 240 pounds, but at this point, he's one of our faster players. He's a 4.5 guy. The issue with him is he's going to be raw. In terms of the tools and the mentality. That's there."

Cravens: "That's another reason I chose Hawai'i... They're known for their defensive linemen. With me playing d-end, it's the perfect place for me to go."

Fun Fact: Can dunk.


Desmond Dean (DL, 6-7, 215, Fr., Tyler, TX/John Tyler HS)
Played for one of the top-rated schools in Texas which won the District 11-5A league championship with a 12-2 record...earned all-state and all-district first team honors...also honorable mention all-East Texas...finished the regular season with 25 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 20 quarterback pressures...ran track and was the anchor of the 4x100-meter relay team...grandfather, Fred, played for the Washington Redskins and was an original member of the infamous Hogs offensive line...father and two uncles were All-American football players...also recruited by Utah, Illinois, and Southern Miss.

Dave Aranda: "Desmond is a guy we've had on our radar for a long time. He has all of the potential in the world. He has all of the bloodlines. He has all of the ability: the length, the speed. I feel Desmond has the most potential of all of the guys we brought in. His pop is 300 pounds. His grandfather played in the (National Football) League for how many years. What people look at is the weight. He's 6-7 and 215 pounds. But if you look at his family and his genes, weight is not a problem."

Dean: "I think it'll be a good fit for me," Dean said. "I was wanting to go to Hawaii so it was real exciting for me and my family."


Dustin Elisara (LB, 6-2, 245, Fr., Kapolei, O‘ahu/Kapolei HS)
Two-way player who played linebacker and fullback...rated the 32nd best middle linebacker and ninth best fullback in the country by one scouting service...ranked No. 36 recruit in the Northwest region and 15th best in the state of Hawai‘i...led the team with 89 tackles...also had two sacks and two interceptions...competed in the All-American Bowl in Austin, Texas, where he had eight tackles...picked UH over Arkansas, Arizona, and Oregon State.

Cal Lee: "(Elisara) is very athletic. He has a great sense for the ball, and he has a motor. He's a big and strong athletic guy who can go out there and control the middle, and make sure nobody runs up the middle."

Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez: "Dustin is a classic middle linebacker," Hernandez said. "He's a banger, real strong against the run. He's big and athletic."

Elisara: “It just felt right to commit to U-H. This is where we grew up. I grew up watching U-H. I just wanted to stay and play for Hawaii. My family is really happy about it. It would be hard if I went away to college for them to fly out and watch my games.”


Ipulasi Eselu (DL, 6-2, 215, Fr., Waipahu, O‘ahu/Moanalua HS)
Played linebacker at Moanalua...named Honolulu Advertiser Division II all-state first team...also selected all-OIA White Division...ranked as the 28th best recruit in the state of Hawai‘i...participated in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl...brother Savai‘i is a tight end at California.

Dave Aranda: "We like (Eselu's) aggressiveness and his knowledge of the game, with his pop being a coach, and his mentality. He's going to grow into being a defensive end, at 240 (pounds). When we saw him in the summer, he was 190. He's 215 now. He's on his way."

Moanalua coach Arnold Martinez: "Lasi's kind of like another coach on the defense for me... Great football IQ and then obviously he has great dimensions and he's able to make plays. ... Just a real versatile player for us off the edge."

Eselu: "This is big for me... I look forward to going to the next level and competing with high intensity."


Calen Friel (DL, 6-2, 260, Fr., Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu/Kailua HS)
Did not play in his senior year due to season-ending injury...ranked the 11th best recruit in the state of Hawai‘i...also rated the 49th best weakside defensive end in the country...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl.

Dave Aranda: "At the (UH coaches camp), he was 220 pounds. He's 260 right now. Both of those guys, in a year, will be 280. We feel they're active, tall, longer than some of the tackles."

Friel: "I was a Warrior fan since I was a little kid."

Not-so-fun fact: Stephen Tsai writes that Friel won't join the Warriors until January 2011 so he'll have time to recover from an ACL injury.

Fun Fact: His recovery is ahead of schedule.


Tyler Hadden (K, 5-11, 175, Fr., Whittier, CA/California HS)
Bio info from the Star-Bulletin: 13 of 15 on field goals last season with a long of 50 yards...All CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division First Team selection...11th-ranked kicker in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking...Chose UH over New Mexico State and Weber State.

Sailer: "His leg strength is well above average, his ability to kick off the ground is well above average and his kickoffs are well above average."

Hadden: "I sat down and thought about it with my family, and with Hawaii being my first choice it seemed like a better fit for me."


John Hardy-Tuliau (DB, 6-1, 165, Fr., Temecula, CA/Vista Murrieta HS)
As a senior, had league-leading 10 interceptions in 14 games and returned three for touchdowns...also had 65 tackles and five blocked kicks...named to MaxPrep’s All-California Division I second team and all-CIF Southern Section...also selected to Riverside Press-Enterprise all-Area team and all-Inland Valley County...helped team finish 10-0 in the Southwestern League...two-time all-league performer...blocked 26 kicks during his varsity career, a new state record...also had 18 career interceptions, 140 career tackles, scored 10 touchdowns and set a school record with 38 career starts...also competed in the Inland Empire All-Star Classic...father played two years for the Chicago Bears.

Dave Aranda: "I think John can help us right away, in terms of blocking kicks. Everywhere John has been, he's won. Everything that John has wanted to do, he's done. He's one of those guys. He has a magic touch to him. He has the height we want at corner. Our conference is a running conference, no doubt about it. We have to load the (tackle) box to play the run. Every team has that one receiver who has jump-ball possibilities. I think height at corner was a need, and he fits that need."

Hardy-Tuliau: "It's a great fit for me...I like the coaches. I like the people."


David Katina (DL, 6-2, 225, Fr., American Samoa/Fa‘asao Marist HS)
Attends Kanana Fou High School but played for Fa‘asao Marist High School in American Samoa...named all-league first team as a senior and all-league honorable mention as a junior...selected to represent American Samoa on the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Team that played Team USA...also played in the Samoa Bowl...attended Word of Life Academy as a freshman and Campbell High School as a sophomore...picked UH over Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, SMU and Tennessee.

George Lumpkin: "The most positive things about (Katina) are his work ethic, his character, and his ability to understand what is required of him. He should be an outstanding defensive end."

Fa'asao coach Time Fitala: "He's an awesome player...He's the best defensive end on the island."

Katina: "I always wanted to be a Warrior...Most of my family went there."


Corey Lau (WR, 5-8, 145, Fr., Honolulu, O‘ahu/Kailua HS)
Two-sport athlete who was also the starting point guard for the Surfriders’ Division II state championship basketball team...in 2009, led Kailua High School in receiving with 35 receptions for 501 yards and five touchdowns...a two-time all-OIA Red East selection...also selected as Honolulu Advertiser all-state honorable mention...participated in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl and was the East team special team MVP...named to Honolulu Star-Bulletin honorable mention all-state and first team all-OIA in basketball in 2009...attended Saint Louis School as a freshman and sophomore.

Nick Rolovich: "Corey Lau is the same type of player as Samson. He has enough straight-ahead speed to be successful. But he has the ability to make that one guy miss and get the extra yards."

Lau: "I'm excited about this."

Fun Fact: According to his senior year highlight video, he had the fastest times in the 40-yard dash, T-drill and L-drill at the 2009 PIAA combine.


David Lefotu (OL, 6-4, 290, Fr., Pearl City, O‘ahu/Pearl City HS)
Three-sport athlete who also competed in wresting and basketball...rated No. 33 best recruit in the Northwest region...ranked 18th best offensive guard in the country...named Honolulu Advertiser Division II honorable mention all-state...picked UH over California and Wyoming.

Gordy Shaw: "David is a big, physical guard-type guy who has tremendous strength."

Lefotu: "It's the overall hospitality," Lefotu said. "I grew up here. I lived here my whole life. I don't think there's anything better than playing in front of the people you love and the people you grew up knowing. It's the friendly environment the people of Hawai'i have to offer."


Tu‘ulauena Lolohea (LB, 6-2, 240, Fr., Pearl City, O‘ahu/Kapolei HS)
Rated the 12th best recruit out of the state of Hawai‘i and 82nd best in the Norwest region...also ranked the 35th best inside linebacker in the country...as a senior, recorded 86 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, one blocked kick and two interceptions...named the MVP of the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl...transferred from Radford High School...also recruited by Arkansas, Arizona and Colorado.

Dave Aranda: "What Tu'u brings on the field are what you look for in a linebacker. What he showed on his visit was the leadership qualities that he had, the take-charge qualities that you need on the defensive side of the ball. He's like a quarterback guy who's going to make people play hard. His actions speak louder than his words. He's not only an action guy, but he's a motivator."

Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez: "He makes big plays...I can't think of someone who is both a pass rusher and cover backer. He can do both."

Lolohea: “The coaches said I could be an outside linebacker, or a rush end... I would play anything, I just want to play. I know they are bringing in a lot of guys on defense, and there is going to be a lot of competition, it should be fun.”

Fun Fact: His nickname is "T"


Frank Loyd (OL, 6-5, 275, Fr., ‘Aiea, O‘ahu/Moanalua HS)
Two-year starting left tackle...rated 30th best recruit in the state of Hawai‘i and 99th in the Northwest...also ranked as the 99th best offensive guard in the country...named to Honolulu Star-Bulletin third-team all-state and Honolulu Advertiser Division II first-team all-state...all-OIA White Division...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl.

Gordy Shaw: "Frank is an interesting guy. Last spring, he was a little over 6-3 and 230, but very athletic. He has long arms; that wing span that they talk about. He has a lot of upside. Today, he's touching 6-5 and he's 275. That's over a nine-month period, and he hasn't lost a step. He's going to be a very good tackle-type guy for us."

Moanalua coach Arnold Martinez: "They're going to get one heck of a kid... He had a goal of playing college football. We have a plan to help kids do that, but it takes a lot of work, but Frank never shied away from any of it. He deserves it. ... Frank is critical for us. We looked back at the stats, Frank did not give up a sack on his side (last season)."

Loyd: "I've always wanted to be a Warrior... I was born and raised here. I watched a lot of their football games. It was exciting to be in the stands. It's going to be wonderful to be on the field."


Dee Maggitt (DB, 5-10, 175, Fr., Tacoma, WA/Lakes HS)
Rated 39th best recruit in the Northwest region and the best cornerback in the state of Washington...named Seattle Times Class 3A all-state first team...competed in the Hawai‘i/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl and had four pass breakups and two tackles...starting point guard on the basketball team and member of the 4x100 relay team...picked UH over Washington and Washington State.

Chris Tormey: "Dee was the top cornerback prospect in the state of Washington this past year. He was highly regarded. He comes from one of the very best high school programs in the state of Washington. They're going to be top-5 in the state every year, and they have Division I players every year. Great background there. He played at a high level. Fundamentally, he's very sound. Good feet. Good hands. Breaks on the ball well."

Lakes coach Dave Miller: “In my mind, Dee (Maggitt) is the best corner we’ve ever had at Lakes... I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I think Washington and Washington State missed out.”

Maggitt: "I just loved the coaches and all of the players and Hawai'i in general."


Christian “Bubba” Poueu-Luna (WR, 6-0, 180, Fr., Temecula, CA/Great Oak HS)
Played quarterback and receiver...named first-team all-CIF, all-valley and all-league...honorable mention all-area...threw for over 1,700 yards, rushed for 754 yards and accounted for 32 touchdowns in 15 games as a senior...ran track and set the school record in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 21.64 seconds...also ran anchor leg of 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relay teams...member of school- and Inland Valley record-holding 4x100 relay team (42.03)...named to all-league and all-valley first team in track...picked UH over Nevada, San Jose State, and Montana.

Dave Aranda: "Bubba is a great athlete. He can play receiver or DB. He played quarterback this past season. He's really in a similar mode to Siaki. He's a super, super athlete. He's a force with the ball in his hand. As a junior, he played safety. We're going back and forth on him in the office. He's a guy who can go either way."

Luna: "I really like Hawai'i football program... They have really good coaches."


Zachary Quines (LB, 6-3, 210, Fr., Mililani, O‘ahu/Mililani HS)
Rated the fifth-best recruit in the state of Hawai‘i and 88th in the Northwest region...ranked the 17th-best inside linebacker in the country...named to Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin all-state second team...two-time all-OIA first team...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl...also recruited by Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington.

Cal Lee: "Zach is another one who can run to the ball. He's 6-3, a long, rangy kind of guy. The thing about Zach is he can make tackles in the open field. He's like a DB playing linebacker. He has great speed, great range. If we blitz, he's the kind of guy who can come off the edge."

Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux: "He understands his keys, and he understands the game... The great thing about him is he brings it every day. Once he turns it on, it's on. He has a great future. He'll fit right into college ball."

Quines: "Ever since I was little, this is something I always wanted to do... I always watched their games. Being a fan of UH, my dad was always telling me I would go there and 'one day we'll tailgate at your games.' Ever since then, I've been keeping that in mind. Finally, the day has come, and I'm going to be a Warrior."


Moses Samia (DL, 6-2, 250, Fr., ‘Ewa Beach, O‘ahu/Saint Louis School)
Three-year varsity letterman...played fullback and defensive end...two-time first team all-ILH and Honolulu Advertiser all-state honorable mention as a junior...four-year ILH scholar-athlete...invited to play in Samoa Bowl...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl...picked UH over Baylor...also played baseball and earned Honolulu Star-Bulletin all-state third team honors in 2008 as a catcher and ’09 as a first baseman...possible Major League Baseball draft pick...also recruited by Baylor and Weber State.

Dave Aranda: "Moses has unbelievably long arms and unbelievably big hands. He's 250 pounds right now, and doesn't look it. We recruited Moses as a defensive tackle."

Samia: "I talked to my mom, and she told me, 'I'll support you in anything you do,'" Samia recalled. "I told her: 'I want to go to UH.' "


Allen Sampson (WR, 5-8, 155, Fr., Tampa, FL/Plant HS)
As a senior, caught 56 passes for 867 yards and 11 touchdowns...named to the all-county first team...averaged 31.6 yards on kickoff returns and 14.8 yards on punt returns...member of two-time Florida state championship team...as a junior, hauled in 49 catches for 788 yards and 11 touchdowns and was named to the all-state second team...can run 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds...also recruited by Syracuse, Toledo, Florida International, and Florida Atlantic.

Nick Rolovich: "People will first notice (Sampson) has world-class speed. But his personality and the person he is will make him a great teammate. He's going to make an immediate impact on our kick return. We have to try to get the ball in his hands to make something happen."

Plant coach Robert Weiner: "Allen is one of the most electric players that I've ever seen... He is the kind of player that makes you stop coaching and start watching like an excited spectator... And to top it off, he is an even better human being.""

Sampson: "I know a lot of the people go to Hawai'i for the scenery and the weather, but I fell in love with the program."

Fun Fact: Nickname is "Turbo"


London Sapolu (OL, 6-1, 295, Jr., Costa Mesa, CA/Orange Coast CC)
Enrolled in UH in the spring semester...played two seasons at Orange Coast CC...named to all-SCFA Southern Conference team...attended Costa Mesa High School...father Jesse, played for UH and was a four-time Super Bowl champion with the San Francisco 49ers...picked UH over Tennessee.

Gordy Shaw: (Sapolu will) either battle for the starting center position or be a backup. Physically, he's a good player."

His father Jesse Sapolu: "I'm happy he's going to become a Warrior. I think Hawai'i will be a more comfortable atmosphere for him. I always wanted at least one of my sons to go to my alma mater. I'm happy they're representing the name."

London (also doubles as Fun Fact): "They still tell me a story about how they wanted to take me to a Super Bowl, but I told them I'd rather stay in the hotel and watch the Power Rangers."


Sean Shigematsu (OL, 6-6, 255, Fr., Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i/Kapa‘a HS)
Three-sport athlete...named to Honolulu Advertiser Division II all-state honorable mention...also selected to all-league first team...played on the basketball and volleyball teams...an all-league performer in volleyball...also recruited by Wyoming and Utah State.

Gordy Shaw:

"At the All-Poly camp, Sean was the guy everybody's eyes were going to him. At the time, he was 6-5 and about 235. A great athlete. He really stood out in that camp. He's 6-6, 250 now, and starts on the basketball team, starts on the volleyball. He has tremendous upside. He's going to be one of those tackles who's played here and gone on to play in the NFL."

Shigematsu: “Today was pretty overwhelming... But it was exciting to be able to represent my family, my school, the island and UH.”


Dominick Sierra (LB, 6-1, 205, Fr., Whittier, CA/La Habra HS)
As a senior, finished with 61 tackles and three interceptions...named the CIF Southwest Division defensive player of the year and first-team honors...member of three-time CIF Southwest Division championship team...two-time all-league and all-area selection...also recruited by Nevada, UNLV, and San Diego State.

Cal Lee: "Dominick has great potential. He can make plays. He started off at defensive back, but because of his size, he'll become a good linebacker. He's got great closing speed."

Dominick's father Felix: "He came back after a 2003 Pop Warner Tournament and told me he wanted to go there," Felix Sierra said. "I just remember thinking `Oh sure."'

Sierra: "Since then, I've always liked Hawai'i."


Kevin Spain (QB, 6-2, 205, Fr., Scottsdale, AZ/Paradise Valley HS)
Three-sport letterman in football, baseball and lacrosse...two-way player who played both quarterback and safety...rated as the 13th best recruit in the state of Arizona...ranked 30th best dual-threat quarterback in the country...passed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns in a run-oriented offense as a senior...also rushed for 268 yards and three scores...earned first-team all-region and all-state as a safety and honorable mention all-region as a quarterback...participated in the Elite 11 Regional Camp in Las Vegas...as a junior, named honorable mention all-region after passing for 1,278 yards and 12 touchdowns with two interceptions and a 59 percent completion rate...picked UH over New Mexico State and Northern Arizona.

Nick Rolovich: "He's unselfish. He wants to win. Physically, he's a good athlete. The best thing about him is the catch-ability of his passes. And his accuracy. He has a lot of natural tools that will make him special down the road."

Spain: "I used to play (football) video games, and I always wanted to play with Hawai'i because of its offensive style."

Fun Fact: Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson recommended Spain to UH.


T.J. Taimatuia (LB, 6-3, 225, Fr., Hawaiian Gardens, CA/Artesia HS)
Two-time all-league and all-CIF Southern Section first team selection...as a senior, recorded 115 tackles and six sacks ...as a junior, tallied 124 tackles, including 19 for loss, 10 sacks, and six forced fumbles...selected as Suburban League’s defensive player of the year in 2008.

Cal Lee: "T.J. is another tall, rangy kind of player, like Zach is. He's not afraid to make contact. Defensively, you want guys who like to make contact. He wants to get there, and put a helmet where you want to put it. He has all of the skills and athleticism."

Taimatuia: "Ever since I was 9 or 10, I've watched Hawai'i...I've always liked the way they've played and the way their coaches coach."


Marcus Umu (DB, 6-1, 190, Fr., ‘Ewa Beach, O‘ahu/Saint Louis School)
Three-year varsity letterman...also lettered four years in basketball...rated the 24th-best recruit out of the state of Hawai‘i and 97th in the Northwest region...named to Honolulu Star-Bulletin all-state first team...two-time Honolulu Advertiser Division I all-state second team...also a two-time all-ILH first team pick...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl and Samoa Bowl...also recruited by Washington.

Chris Tormey: "We had Marcus in (the coaches) camp last June, and we were really impressed with his ball skills. He must have had eight or 10 interceptions in the three days we worked with him. He has good instincts, and he showed good toughness. He has excellent size. He has great growth potential."

Umu: "It's going to be good to stay home and play in front of my family."


Beau Yap (DL, 6-2, 245, Fr., Pearl City, O‘ahu/Kamehameha Schools)
Two-sport start who competed in football and wrestling...rated the 20th-best recruit in the state of Hawai‘i...named the Honolulu Advertiser Division I co-defensive player of the year and first-team all-state...Honolulu Star-Bulletin all-state second team...also a two-time all-ILH first team pick...member of Division I state championship team as a senior...competed in the H.U.B. Goodwill Hawai‘i Senior Bowl...placed fifth at the state wrestling championships as a junior in the 215-pound division...picked UH over Baylor.

Dave Aranda: "(Yap) reminds me of a raw John Fonoti. He has a natural get-off. His explosiveness and his hips are a natural gift."

Kamehameha coach David Stant: "He's a great player... He's very coachable. He asks you what you want, then he goes up and beyond."

Yap: "I'm really excited because I grew up watching the University of Hawaii, and I'm proud to be a Warrior again."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Looking Ahead

Now that recruiting season is pretty much over, Jason Kaneshiro talks to recruiting coordinator Tony Tuioti about what comes next.
"It brings this season to a close, and come Monday we'll start turning our attention to 2011 recruiting and spring ball," Tuioti said.

Tuioti said the coaches have already identified some of next year's top local prospects, and the next major push will come in mid-April with the program's annual junior day.

As for the mainland, Tuioti said the coaches, "want to look at Washington, California, Las Vegas, Utah, and be able to keep that pipeline we have to Texas and Florida."

For now, with the 2010 class nearly complete, the next date circled on the calendar is March 31, the opening day of spring practice.

Two of the newcomers are already in school and will compete in the spring, while much of the class is expected to check in for summer school, with a few delaying their enrollment until January as grayshirts.

Tyler Hadden Signs with UH (w/UPDATE)

Stephen Tsai writes that kicker Tyler Hadden will become a Warrior.
The Warriors had scheduled a recruiting trip for a kicker from Texas this weekend. But yesterday morning, UH learned Hadden had mad a verbal commitment with New Mexico State. The Warriors then made a scholarship offer to Hadden, who accepted. Earlier, Hadden was given a letter of intent, just in case. He signed it last night, then faxed a copy to UH. Hadden and UH are working on arrangements for a Hawaii visit.
His website is TylerHadden.com. Here are some video highlights:

UPDATE: Jason Kaneshiro has a quote from Chris Sailer.
Sailer, a former UCLA kicker, has worked with Hadden since his freshman year through the kicking camps Sailer runs.
In listing Hadden’s strengths, Sailer cited “his technique and consistency, and he’s a very polished kicker.” He also rated Hadden’s leg strength as well above average.
UPDATE (2/6/10): Jason Kaneshiro profiles Hadden.
"His leg strength is well above average, his ability to kick off the ground is well above average and his kickoffs are well above average," Sailer said. "I see him as a guy who can play right away.

"He's a guy who's still going to develop physically. Give him a year or two and he's going to add so much strength and flexibility."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Recruits

Stephen Tsai talks to the coaches who talk about this year's recruiting class.
UH coach Greg McMackin dismissed talk of the lack of four-star recruits, insisting that he valued his staff's evaluation of talent over scouting-service rankings.

"I'm excited about this class," McMackin said.

The feeling, apparently, is mutual.

"It's chicken-skin time," Kapolei High linebacker Tu'ulauena Lolohea said after signing his letter. "It feels good to finally get it written down. I'm ready to play for Hawai'i."
Jason Kaneshiro has a signing day wrap-up.
The Warriors received 26 letters on signing day, and UH head coach Greg McMackin said the class isn't complete just yet, with the staff continuing to recruit a kicker.

"We are going to scholarship a kicker, we need competition at that position and we need to get better at that position," McMackin said.

McMackin said the staff emphasized adding size and speed to the roster in crafting the latest class.

For the size element, the class includes five offensive linemen -- four 6-foot-4 or taller -- seven defensive linemen and five linebackers.

As for speed, the Warriors signed five receivers to replenish the ranks when they lose six following the upcoming season and two prep cornerbacks.

"We think we've recruited to help us for the future, and some of these guys are going to complement us right away," McMackin said.
Dave Reardon writes about the ones that got away and the ones who decided to go to UH.
The new Warriors linebackers are big ... we'll find out if they can run and pass cover. I saw the new quarterback, Kevin Spain, make a pretty pass to his left while running right ... I don't know if he can make all the throws, but I know for sure he can make one of the more difficult ones.

There are five receivers, including diminutive speedster Allen Sampson from Plant High in the Tampa area. Plant is a perennial Florida powerhouse, and "Turbo's" high school teammate could be the nation's No. 1 prospect next year. Running back James Wilder, Jr., will likely choose Florida or Florida State ... but go ahead, dreaming is free.
Rivals.com's Barry Every writes about five super sleepers that bigger schools passed up on but who could make a big impact. One of the players highlighted is Kevin Spain.
DQB Kevin Spain, Phoenix (Ariz.) Paradise Valley (Hawaii)
Spain (6-3, 190) has played in a run-oriented offense for most of his career. Because of that fact, his stats over the past two years seem fairly pedestrian (2,494 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes). But it’s his combination of arm strength, size and athletic ability that reminds me of Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels - who was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. Spain earned top quarterback honors at the National Underclassmen Combine held last February in Arizona. He followed up that performance with a good showing at the Las Vegas Elite11. He has the ability to make unscripted yards with his feet. He is also mobile enough to buy more time in the pocket while defensive coverages break down. If Spain can pick up the pass-happy offense while improving his footwork, I expect him to put up huge numbers - on the ground and through the air - for Hawaii before his career is over.
Dee Maggitt's high school coach thinks UH got a sleeper as well.
“In my mind, Dee (Maggitt) is the best corner we’ve ever had at Lakes,” Miller said. “I don’t want to sound too harsh, but I think Washington and Washington State missed out.”
Allen Sampson's high school coach has a lot of good things to say about his player.
"Allen is one of the most electric players that I've ever seen," Plant coach Robert Weiner said of Sampson, who led the Panthers last season with 39 receptions for 671 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and three returns for touchdowns, averaging 11.3 yards on punt returns and 37.3 yards on kickoffs.

"He is the kind of player that makes you stop coaching and start watching like an excited spectator," Weiner said. "And to top it off, he is an even better human being."
And Dominick Sierra talks about his life-long goal of signing with UH.
As for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Sierra, choosing Hawaii was a life-long goal.

"Hawaii looked at me and my friend Joshua Quezada. I always wanted to go there," Sierra said. "He got an offer, so I was going to try real hard (to also get an offer)."

Sierra's father, Felix, recalled his son had been infatuated with Hawaii for some time.

"He came back after a 2003 Pop Warner Tournament and told me he wanted to go there," Felix Sierra said. "I just remember thinking `Oh sure."'
UPDATE: David Simon of The Garden Island talks to Sean Shigematsu about becoming a Warrior.
Even though he knew about seven months ago that he would likely end up as a Warrior, Wednesday’s events were still exciting and a lot to handle.

“Today was pretty overwhelming,” he said. “But it was exciting to be able to represent my family, my school, the island and UH.”

The jump up from the KIF to a Division I program can be a daunting one, but Shigematsu seems to know what to expect and sees the challenge as one he is prepared to handle.

“Guys are going to be a lot bigger, but I’ll be able to handle my own once I get up to their stature,” he said.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Signing Day, Update: Vid from LOI day

EVENING UPDATE: The most awesome chawancut brings us this compilation of today's signing day coverage:


Follow the news:

HawaiiAthletics.com 2010 Signing Day Central

The Warrior Beat

SportsHawaii.com Signing Day Thread

Streaming video from the Advertiser


Info for Coach McMackin’s 2010 Warrior Football Recruit Review at the Hukilau.

UPDATE: Names have started posting to the HawaiiAthletics.com's page, including this new name:
Desmond Dean (DL, 6-7, 215, Fr., Tyler, TX/John Tyler HS)
Played for one of the top-rated schools in Texas…earned all state and all-District 5-A11 first team honors…also honorable mention all-East Texas…ran track and was the anchor of the 4x100-meter relay team…grandfather, Fred, played for the Washington Redskins…father and two uncles were All-American football players…also recruited by Utah, Illinois, and Southern Miss.
Congrats to Desmond and the rest of the new Warriors!!!

Recruiting News and Notes

Stephen Tsai has an article with a bunch of recruiting news, including:
The Warriors received a boost when Moses Samia, a defensive end from Saint Louis School, accepted a scholarship offer.

"I wanted to play in front of my family," Samia said. "Some players miss that opportunity. To me, family means everything. Now I get to play for a great program and I get to play in front of my family. I'm excited about the opportunity."
The Warriors also are expected to sign a kicker this morning.

According to people familiar with the situation, a scholarship offer was made last night.

The kicker and his family met last night to discuss the offer. The kicker wants to delay an announcement until this morning, although he has indicated he will sign with the Warriors.
The Warriors reportedly are ahead in the recruiting skirmish for Farrington High linebacker V.J. Fehoko, a member of The Advertiser's All-State first team.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said that appeal was denied, and that (Jovonte) Taylor will not be eligible to play in 2010.
Two players who made verbal commitments to UH — defensive tackle Viliami Fonokalafi of Kaimukī High and defensive end Charles Tuaau of Leilehua High — have decided to attend junior colleges. They are expected to go to Arizona Western.
Jason Kaneshiro has some news as well.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Moses Samia Commits to UH

But now for some good news. PIAA DS, a very reliable source, writes on SportsHawaii.com that St. Louis defensive end Moses Samia will become a Warrior.
Moses Samia will put pen to paper to be a Warrior next year! I am told "right now it is not a greyshirt"
Congrats to Moses! Here's his 2009 highlights:

Cooper Pelluer Decommits

Let's hope it's the only one. Scout.com's Chris Fetters writes that Cooper Pelluer will decommit from UH and accept a scholarship from Washington.
The hard part of everything that happened Monday night was the call made to UH Assistant Coach Chris Tormey. "It was tough," Pelluer said of the conversation with Tormey, also a former UW assistant coach. "I appreciate everything he's done for me. But he understands where I'm coming from. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I just love it here, and U-Dub…it's just one of the coolest places to be.

"I had no idea this would happen. I was set to go to Hawaii. The coaching staff is great, and I really enjoyed my visit over there. I definitely saw myself going there, but once this opportunity came about, it was just tough to say no."

Signing Day is Tomorrow

UH recruiting coordinator Tony Tuioti is today's guest on The Warrior Beat Show, starting at around 11am HST. He can't answer any questions about specific recruits, but can talk about the process.

Dave Reardon is getting tired of a particular signing day tradition.
With national letter-of-intent day tomorrow, I have just one favor to ask of the participants: Please, please, this ain't hockey — scrap the hat trick.

High school seniors choosing from among a collection of caps has become a tired cliche and just the latest element of fabricated newsmaking to hit recruiting.
He also has some notes about UH recruits:
We won't know how the University of Hawaii's class shapes up until the pens hit paper tomorrow ... and maybe not even then. Beau Yap is a huge late catch, but one thing you learn early on is if a guy changes his commitment once, you can't be surprised if he does again (Exhibit A: Jeremy Perry). I guarantee you Baylor hasn't given up.

Another defensive lineman, Lawrence Lagafuaina, was on the waver wire over the weekend, trying to choose between UH and Washington. The latest report yesterday had him headed to the Huskies.
And Ferd Lewis has a follow-up to his and Tulsa World's "recruiting in Hawaii" articles from a couple days ago.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Allen Sampson Commits to UH (w/UPDATE)

Stephen Tsai writes that Allen Sampson will become a Warrior.
"I know a lot of people go to Hawai‘i for the scenery and weather, but I fell in love with the program," Sampson said.
Sampson, who is 5 feet 8 and 155 pounds, said he can run 40 yards in 4.38 seconds. A scout timed him at 4.39 seconds.Last season, he caught 56 passes for 867 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 31.6 yards per kickoff return and 14.18 yards per punt return .
Woot woot! Congrats to Allen. Here are some of his highlights.

UPDATE (2/2/10): Tsai profiles Sampson.
Accompanied by his mother, Sampson completed his UH visit Sunday. Yesterday in Tampa, he was making plans for a return trip to paradise.

"I love the coaches and the program and the offense they run," said Sampson, who was recruited by quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich. "I really like Coach Rolo. He's laid back. He's funny. He's so cool."

By signing his letter of intent with UH tomorrow, Sampson is spurning offers from Toledo, Syracuse, Florida Atlantic and Florida International.

"I think some teams backed off because of his size, but he's a special one," Plant coach Robert Weiner said. "He can do a lot of things with the football."
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