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Wednesday, January 29, 2003


[UH FOOTBALL]




Top defender
Afoa commits
to Washington

But UH gets Kailua offensive
lineman Xavier Ho'olulu


By Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro
dreardon@starbulletin.com jkaneshiro@starbulletin.com

Saint Louis defensive end Wilson Afoa, the Star-Bulletin's defensive player of the year, has agreed to accept a football scholarship at Washington.

Afoa, the No. 7 prospect in the state, chose the Huskies over Hawaii and Washington State.

"It was a very tough decision," Afoa said. "But I like their facilities and their school. School is a big factor and they have a good engineering program."

The Warriors did get a commitment from Kailua's Xavier Ho'olulu, the fourth offensive lineman to select Hawaii.

Ho'olulu, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound guard, was a Star-Bulletin first team All-State selection as a senior with the Surfriders and is rated No. 12 among the state's top high-school prospects.

Afoa said joining former isle prep stars Brandon Ala (Kamehameha) and Donny Mateaki (Iolani) in Washington's defensive line corps is "a bonus."

"It wasn't a huge factor, but I know those guys pretty well," Afoa said.

Afoa led Saint Louis with 19 tackles for loss, including 6 1/2 sacks.

Ho'olulu is the fourth Kailua offensive lineman to commit to UH in the past two years and could join former Surfrider teammates Samson Satele, Marques Kaonohi and Kahai LaCount on the Warrior roster.

"It was my dream school," Ho'olulu said.

Seven of the state's top 13 prospects have committed to UH and four to Mainland schools. No. 1 prospect Tolifili Liufau (Afoa's Saint Louis defensive linemate) and No. 3 Viliami Nauahi, a Kahuku safety, have yet to commit.

Liufau may need to go to junior college, but Hawaii and USC are among schools still interested, at least down the road. Nauahi is thought to be leaning toward Brigham Young, but visited UH last week and is scheduled to go to Penn State this week.

Next Wednesday is the first day high school seniors can make their decisions binding by signing a national letter of intent.

Ho'olulu was also recruited by Utah and Western Illinois, but gave his commitment to UH offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh yesterday morning. Ho'olulu said the fiery assistant played a big part in his decision.

"He's like a friend off the field, but he's a coach on the field," Ho'olulu said. "He's so intense, he's always getting you to work your hardest."

Ho'olulu will make his official visit to UH this weekend. He was an Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference first-team all-star and displayed his mobility in pulling out from his guard position to plow the way for Kailua's backs. The Surfriders rushed for 2,092 yards last season.

"He's going to bring a good positive attitude and he's very coachable," Kailua coach Darren Johnson said. "He's very mobile and runs very well."

Ho'olulu said he still needs to get a qualifying score on his SAT to be eligible to play next season. He took the test in October and again last Saturday.



UH Athletics



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