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High School Beat
Sunday, December 14, 2003


[ FOOTBALL ]


Colorado recruiter has
Super Bowl credibility


Some of Hawaii's top high school football players are getting to know and learning about Colorado assistant coach Brian Cabral, a guy who was in their position a generation ago.

The fathers of today's prospects played against Cabral when they were in high school, or watched him in the 1986 Super Bowl. They can tell to their sons stories about Cabral being a pretty good player at Saint Louis School and in the NFL. Cabral also made 297 career tackles as a linebacker for the Buffaloes, and has been an assistant coach at his alma mater since 1990.

"These kids weren't born when I played in the Super Bowl," said Cabral, 47, who was a special teams standout for the Chicago Bears when they beat the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX. "It's happening more and more that the parents might know who I am, not the kids."

Colorado's linebackers and assistant head coach was here last week trying to seal some deals. He hadn't recruited Hawaii for a couple of years.

"The biggest reason is grades. There are always good athletes," Cabral said. "This year there are good athletes with good grades. If I bring coach (Gary) Barnett a recruit, his first question is 'How are his grades?' "

Cabral can't talk specifics due to NCAA rules, but other sources say the Buffaloes are very interested in several Hawaii athletes in the current class. Cabral has recruited successfully here in the past, signing Kahuku offensive lineman Chris Naeole (now of the Jacksonville Jaguars) and Saint Louis defensive linemen Vaka Manapuna (a redshirt sophomore at CU), Vili Maumau (who went on to the Denver Broncos) and Sam Talealea.

"I enjoy recruiting, especially in the islands. The biggest thing is relating that you can go away and have a great experience," Cabral said.

His brother, Jeff Cabral, was a defensive back for the University of Hawaii. Brian said Jeff doesn't give him grief about going after the same players the Warriors want.

"He knows I have my job to do, and my job is to take kids away from Hawaii," Cabral said. "But June Jones has made that job harder in recent years."

On the trail: Two defensive linemen -- Campbell's David Veikune and Saint Louis' Tavita Thompson -- took trips this weekend to Colorado.

Colorado offered Veikune a scholarship, according to Sabers coach Tumoana Kenessey.

"Brian Cabral came down and saw him and loved him," Kenessey said. "They really love the boy. Utah came (earlier in the week), also, and are going to look at some film.

"I told David that the word is going to get out about him and for him to do what's best for himself and pick the school that will offer him the best education. He's going to have a lot of choices."

Veikune was a hard-charging defensive leader for Campbell the past two years, but went under the radar because the Sabers went 2-6 this year.

Thompson was a big part of the Crusaders' Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship and state runner-up season. Most schools recruiting him, including UH, see his future on the offensive line.

The Buffaloes are also keenly interested in three players from state champion Kahuku, according to Red Raiders coach Siuaki Livai: linebacker Walker Vave, defensive back Afa Garrigan and center Jeremy Perry.

Livai said Perry has received an offer to start as a freshman at Brigham Young and is also being recruited by Nebraska and Penn State, as well as UH.

Garrigan is also being pursued by Hawaii and Utah.

The Buffaloes got an oral commitment earlier this fall from Waimea linebacker and running back Jordon Dizon.

Hawaii Prep's Max Unger is the only other Hawaii player who has given an oral commitment to accept a scholarship from a top Division I school. He vowed to sign with Oregon.

Saint Louis' soft-handed Desmond Hanohano has potential as a tight end. But the 6-foot-5, 220-pound wide receiver also wants to play basketball in college.

McKinley running back, slotback and wide receiver Quinton Sayers, who is being looked at by a bunch of junior colleges, has a famous great uncle -- former Chicago Bears star Gale Sayers.

"He (Quinton) was a big part of our offense," Tigers coach William Moeava said. "When we needed a play, we went to him. He made critical catches on big downs.

"He keeps it (having a famous relative) to himself. Not everybody knows about it. I see some similarities; he moves side to side somewhat like Gale Sayers did. But Quinton is a lot bigger (6-foot, 225 pounds)."


Hawaii high school football recruits

ORAL COMMITMENTS
Player Pos School College
Jordon Dizon RB Waimea Colorado
Max Unger OL Hawaii Prep Oregon

RECRUITS
Player Pos School Colleges interested*
Jimmy Afamasaga WR Nanakuli Hawaii, UNLV
B.J. Batts RB Saint Louis Hawaii, Pitt, Washington
Kyle Beck RB Nanakuli New Mexico Highlands, Mesa St.,



W. Washington, W. Oregon, San Diego
Matt Bell RB, WR Farrington Hawaii, New Mexico St., Pitt, Utah St.
Travis Beyer RB Kamehameha Portland St., N. Colorado, N. Arizona,



Southern Utah, Mesa St., San Diego
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada QB, WR Kapolei Air Force, Navy, Georgia Southern
Randy Faletoi DL McKinley Florida St., Hawaii, USC, Washington St.,



Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Ariz. St.
Elwen Freitas OL Kamehameha Arizona St., Oregon St.
Afa Garrigan DB Kahuku Colorado, Hawaii, Utah
Abe Medeiros OL Hilo Colorado, Oregon, Washington
Asti Merino LB Kamehameha W. Washington, W. Oregon, N. Arizona,



St. Francis, San Diego
Keao Monteilh DB Saint Louis Oregon St., Idaho St.
Dylan Moss LB Saint Louis St. Mary's, Northern Arizona, Northern


Colorado, Portland State, Eastern



Washington
Jeremy Perry OL Kahuku Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Penn St.
Quinton Sayers RB McKinley Pasadena CC, Golden West,



Northern Colorado, Weber St., Utah St.
Tavita Thompson DL Saint Louis Colorado, Hawaii
Travis Tyler WR Pac-Five Portland State, N. Colorado, E. Washington,



Weber St., St. Francis, San Diego
Walker Vave LB Kahuku Colorado, Hawaii
David Veikune DL Campbell Colorado, Hawaii, Utah



Ariz. St.,Utah, Ore. St., Stanford
Keala Watson OL Nanakuli Colorado, Nebraska, Stanford
Abel Werner QB McKinley Mesa St., New Mex. Highlands, St. Francis

* "Colleges interested" does not necessarily mean the student-athlete has been offered a scholarship or visit. This list, compiled by Star-Bulletin sports writers Nick Abramo, Jason Kaneshiro and Dave Reardon, with the assistance of recruiting analyst Doris Sullivan and other sources, is a general guide that will be updated regularly up to letter-of-intent day on Feb. 4. Exclusion of a player from this list does not mean he is not being recruited or is not academically eligible.



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