COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECRUITING
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
After signing a letter of intent to attend UCLA at Kapolei Hale yesterday, Micah Kia, center, embraced his father, Malcolm, and mother, Wally.
Kahuku has big day, UH a gray 1
Red Raiders send 12 to college football ranks
Color letter of intent day in Hawaii red and gray. Red for Kahuku's Red Raiders and gray for the University of Hawaii's grayshirts.
Kahuku added to its astounding number of football players sent to the college ranks, with eight more Red Raiders signing up with Division I schools and four more with I-AA and Division II institutions.
Meanwhile, UH received signed letters from its new players. But more than a half-dozen of them turned in scholarship acceptance agreements rather than letters of intent, because they will be entering school in 2007 rather than this fall and count against that year's 25-recruit limit.
At the end of business yesterday, the Warriors had attained LOIs or other signed agreements for the future from 19 players. The school had not received correspondence from six others.
Kapolei's first Warriors, defensive end Alasi Toilolo and linebacker Po'okela Ahmad, both agreed to join up as grayshirts, starting school full-time in January 2007.
"I'm just planning to put in a lot of hard work and be coachable," Toilolo said. "It's a great feeling knowing that I'll be part of the Warriors in January."
Saint Louis defensive end Elliott Purcell and Leilehua defensive lineman Clayton Laurel also signed with UH yesterday.
While a good share of UH's recruiting plan involves delayed gratification, the coaches do expect some immediate results from junior college transfers brought into plug the gap at cornerback. Chris Camacho, Keenan Jones and Myron Newberry will all get long looks in fall camp and could be in the starting lineup when UH opens at Alabama on Sept. 2.
UH coach June Jones was scheduled to comment on the incoming class at an 11 a.m. news conference today.
UCLA also had a big day in Hawaii, lanidng Mililani offensive lineman Micah Kia and Konawaena defensive end Dylan Rush.
The eight Kahuku football recruits, plus 2005 graduate Brysen Ginlack, give the Red Raiders 36 Division I football players. Offensive lineman Ginlack joins UH this fall.
"What's sweet is that eight
of the nine guys we have (in Division I) qualify," Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai said. "I'm so glad this is done. Now we can start getting ready for next season."
Kahuku volleyball player Camilla Ah-Hoy also cemented her future by signing to play at Oregon State.
Livai deflects praise for Kahuku football's year-round study-hall program, but credits principal Lisa DeLong and athletic director Joe Whitford. Some D-I recruits, though, were quite successful without study hall. They included honor students quarterback Krebs and running back Malosi Te'o. Both take advanced-placement calculus.
B.J. Beatty, second in the balloting for Star-Bulletin defensive player of the year, inked his pledge to Colorado.
"I'm gonna prepare myself for that transition from defensive line to linebacker," Beatty said.
By yesterday morning, he already had learned that Damien defensive lineman Michael Sipili had reversed his commitment to Oregon State. Sipili, who recently visited Colorado, will join Beatty as a Buffalo.
"It was stressful," Sipili said. "Comparing the two schools, both were good. A plus for Colorado was Coach (Brian) Cabral. He'll be my position coach, and he's a Hawaii guy."
Sipili highlighted a big day for Damien, as running back Kealoha Pilares signed with Air Force and defensive lineman Lolomana Mikaele made it binding with Arizona.
Oregon State scooped up three Red Raiders: linebacker Kevin Unga (6-1, 230), quarterback Krebs and tight end Devin Unga (6-1, 210). Devin Unga will switch to linebacker at Oregon State.
The Unga twins chose Oregon State over other schools, including Utah.
Offensive lineman Ken Livai (6-4, 298) opted for Weber State, which will accept him as a Prop 48 candidate.
Te'o, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards despite being a backup for half the season, signed with UNLV.
UNLV offensive line coach and island recruiter Keith Uperesa also left an impression on Radford offensive lineman Ramsey Feagai, who visited the UNLV campus over the weekend and came to a pivotal decision. Uperesa's efforts led Feagai, who had Hawaii and New Mexico State high on his list, to run to the Rebels.
The other Radford player to sign yesterday was defensive end Russell Wantowski, who will play outside linebacker at New Mexico State.
Farrington offensive lineman Whitley Fehoko received a Parade All-American plaque before signing with San Diego State.
Kapolei also made noise with two other signees. Quarterback Brad Padayao and slotback Jon Santiago signed to play at Air Force.
"It's a privilege to have this kind of opportunity that a lot of people don't have," said Santiago, who was shunned by many Division I schools despite his outstanding speed and skills. "Air Force gets a lot of athletes that get overlooked."
Padayao's familiarity with the option makes him a good fit with the Falcons.
"They don't really need the 6-2, 220-pound passer. They like more mobile athletes," he noted.
Another signal-caller, Kali Kuia, was like several of the players in attendance who will play at Division I-AA or II schools. The 5-11, 180-pound Aiea senior will play at Northern State (S.D.).
"I got interest from some D-I schools, but they offered me a chance to play next year," the two-sport standout said, not forgetting the frigid weather of the region. He has a plan for the climate change. "I'll stay indoors and play PS2," he said.
Russel Fisher, the Mid-Pacific Institute senior class president, was stoked about the signing celebration and news conference at Kapolei Hale.
"It was exciting and I was a little nervous. I got to meet the mayor," the 6-1 1/2, 251-pound Pac-Five standout said. "I didn't want to look stupid."
After graduation, he'll set his focus on football and academics at St. Francis (Pa.), a Division I-AA school. The first-team all-state defensive end was hampered in the recruiting process because his videotapes weren't sent out early.
A.J. Victorian, who returned to Kahuku from Texas after football season, signed a letter-of-intent to play football at Weber State.
Also, Kapolei soccer star Brooke Sorrell signed with Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo.
Doris' Day: Doris Sullivan of Pacific Islands Athletics Alliance was recognized by Mayor Mufi Hannemann for her work with student-athletes, helping hundreds to connect with universities over the past few years at no charge. "What she's doing for them, I'm grateful for. I want to commend her and PIAA, and I want to see her grow it," said the mayor, who proclaimed Feb. 1 as Doris Sullivan Day.