High School Beat
Sunday, January 25, 2004


Kapolei star has
several options

Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada's recruiting weathervane isn't pointing strongly in any direction yet, but at least there are four solid choices.

The Kapolei quarterback/wide receiver has been offered scholarships by four colleges, including Hawaii, where he is on a visit this weekend.

Part of Kaheaku-Enhada's decision will boil down to which position he wants to play, according to Hurricanes coach Darren Hernandez.

"He visited Washington and they want to make him a safety," Hernandez said. "He visited Navy and they want him as an option quarterback, obviously. He's at UH this weekend and they want him as a wide receiver. Next week, he's going to Air Force (which is also interested in him as an option QB).

"When he's done all the trips, we'll sit down and write down all the plusses and the negatives for each place and see if there's one place that stands out most. I think it's going to be a real close race. They all want him -- a lot."

Hernandez mentioned the possibility of Hawaii using Kaheaku-Enhada in much the same way the Warriors use Se'e Poumele -- a wide receiver who occasionally comes in as an option quarterback in goal-line situations.

"Kaipo-Noa's 4.4 speed, his moves and his play-making ability have opened everybody's eyes," Hernandez said.

The Kapolei coach said Hurricanes defensive lineman Warren Simanu and linebacker Drake Kula will attend Dixie State College of Utah and wide receiver Brandon Pieper is taking a visit to UNLV next week.

Kaheaku-Enhada is among 15 prospects visiting UH this weekend.

Kaiser's Chris Assily is another of the more intriguing local players at Manoa this week. He played safety for the Cougars at 6-feet, 195 pounds and also has possibilities as a linebacker.

From Trojan to Warrior?: A former USC player is getting a firsthand look at the Hawaii program this week, and vice versa. Austin Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive lineman, left the Trojans for Mount San Antonio College (Calif.), the junior college that produced former Warriors Kelvin Millhouse and Michael Miyashiro.

A 2001 high school graduate, Jackson started out as a linebacker at USC, redshirted, then was listed behind future All-American Omar Nazel at one of the defensive end spots on the 2002 preseason depth chart before transferring to Mt. SAC.

Peko to MSU: Despite optimism after Donata Peko's visit last week, Hawaii won't continue to pursue the highly regarded DT after he made an oral commitment to Michigan State on Monday.

Judging from a quote in the Lansing State Journal, it seems very unlikely Peko will change his mind.

"They answered all the remaining questions I had about the program," Peko said. "It feels great and I can't wait to come there and play for MSU."

Peko's brother Tupe went to Michigan State and now plays for the Indianapolis Colts.

Apted update: OT Terrance Apted is probably the top prize coming out of American Samoa this year. By all accounts, his visit at UH went well last week. He was hosted by fellow Samoa native Mel Purcell.

Competition is tough, though, as Apted is also being pursued by Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Penn State.

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