Farrington coach sees a bright future for Lesu
Elijah Lesu was a valuable multi-skilled offensive threat for Farrington. In addition to an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Lesu returned a punt 60 yards for another score. As a receiver, he amassed 44 catches for 736 yards and eight touchdowns and was selected to the All-State second team.
Hawaii high school players
» Solomona Aigamaua, DE, Saint Louis to California
» Kalani Aldrich, DE, Kamehameha-Hawaii to Washington
» Bryson Beirne, QB, Pac-Five to Arizona
» Savaii Eselu, TE, Moanalua to California
» Sam Fehoko, DE, Farrington to San Diego State
» Nai Fotu, DL, Kahuku to Utah
» Kaneakua Friel, TE, Kamehameha to BYU
» Brandon Hardin, DB, Kamehameha to Oregon State
» Brett Kan, QB, Punahou to Princeton
» Joshua Manupuna, DT, Kamehameha to Portland State
» Matthew Masifilo, DE, Campbell to Stanford
» Michael Matamua, OL, Kapolei to San Diego State
» Gary Nagy, DB, Kahuku to BYU
» David Paaluhi, DE, Waianae to Oregon State
» Thor Salanoa, DE, Radford to Utah
» Scott Smith, DE, Saint Louis to California
» Sione Tau, OL, Damien to Arizona
» Ana Tuiasasopo, OL, Saint Louis to New Mexico State
» Alex Tupulua, OL, Waianae to Weber State
Local UH commitments
» George Kauwalu, OLB/S, Waianae
» Levi Legay, OL, Kealakehe
» Elijah Lesu, S, Farrington
» Vaughn Meatoga, DL, Kamehameha
» Miah Ostrowski, SB, Punahou
» Gabe Tuata, SB, Kealakehe
other UH commitments
» Ray Hisatake, DT, San Mateo (Calif.) JC
» Leon Jackson, RB, Nebraska
» Kevin Konrath, LB, Brother Rice (Chicago) High School
» Chris Leatigaga, DE, Foothills (Calif.) JC
» Matagisila Lefiti, OL, Mater Dei High School (Calif.)
» Josh Leonard, DE, Sierra (Calif.) JC
» Francis Maka, OLB, San Mateo (Calif.) JC
» Ryan Mouton, CB, Blinn (Texas) JC
» Korey Reynolds, DL, Hoover (Ala.) High School
» Erik Robinson, S, Navarro (Texas) JC
On the trail: This is a big weekend for what some people are calling "package deals." Three teammates from Plant (Tampa, Fla.) High School and two offensive linemen from Norco (Calif.) High School are among the prospects visiting Hawaii. ... The highest profile player among them is Plant quarterback Robert Marve, who is the second coming of Brett Favre or Drew Brees, depending on what message board you read. Also, depending on your "source," Marve is either A) leaning toward Miami, but seriously considering UH, B) trying to get his teammates offers from the Warriors, or C) merely taking a vacation in Hawaii with his buds. Based on Marve's published comments, and not second or third hand anonymous cyber-babble, he is here with an open mind, although the Hurricanes have the lead. His teammates might be deserving of offers on their own merits: Safety Chris Kuzdale (5-11, 180) and linebacker Brent Thomas (5-10, 220) are first-team all-staters along with Marve in Florida's 4A classification (6A is the largest schools). ... The Norco linemen, Garth Gerhart (6-2, 285) and Adam Tello (6-4, 290) committed to Colorado early on but have since opened it up and have also been courted by the Arizona Pac-10 schools. They come from a run-first prep program, but are considered athletic enough for pass protection. ... Kahuku DT Kaniela Tuipulotu is the local star of the current visitors. Things got tougher for UH with him as USC started to sniff around late last week. ... The Warriors were still in the game for Blinn (Texas) JC defensive back Walner Leandre (6-1, 220), but he is visiting Arkansas this weekend.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin
Earlier in the week, Lesu gave Hawaii an oral commitment to play next season. Farrington coach Randall Okimoto is hoping his former player can produce as well in the classroom as he did on the gridiron.
"We're still waiting on a few classes. It's up to the boy, if he passes his classes, takes summer courses," the longtime coach said.
If he can qualify, Okimoto sees a bright future for Lesu in a green, black and silver uniform.
"He's very coachable. He worked hard this year in the offseason, so I can see him contributing to the (UH) team if he does all the things required on him," said Okimoto, a former Hawaii running back.
Defensive lineman Tonu Tuimalealiifano (6-1, 235) will visit Oregon State next weekend. "I think he's already (academically) qualified. UH has asked about him, but hasn't offered yet," Okimoto said.
A handful of other Governors are en route to junior colleges. They include offensive linemen Fetalaiga Fatu and Manusoka Tonga, quarterback Elijah Filifili and wide receiver Maeli Siliga. Tonga was an All-State third-team selection, while Fatu and Siliga were honorable-mention picks. Filifili was one of the top passers in the OIA, but missed half the season with a hand injury.
Ram tough: Thor Salanoa has given an oral commitment to play football at Utah. The speedy defensive end made official visits to Utah and New Mexico State, but he gave the Utes his commitment during a home visit earlier in the week.
"They're gonna have him at inside linebacker or outside. They're banking that he'll get big like his father," Radford coach Fred Salanoa said.
Two of Radford's key skill-position players are drawing interest from small colleges. Wide receiver Kyle Blair (32 receptions, 651 yards) could end up walking on at a Pac-10 school.
"He has Linfield, Western Oregon, Eastern Oregon really hot on him right now. It's either there or Oregon State. He's been to their football camp, and if he doesn't want to go to the other schools, he'll be invited to come in and walk on," Salanoa said.
Eastern Oregon, he added, really likes defensive back Travis Daniels.
Busy Alii: Wide receiver Lofa Liilii will visit Oregon State next weekend, Aiea coach Wendell Say said.
"The offer is on the table. Idaho is going to bring him up, too," he said of the All-State selection.
Hawaii is also interested in the speedster as a slotback.
"He's not qualified yet. He's gotta complete his classes and his SAT score has to come up higher," Say noted.
Several more Aiea players will be playing at the next level this fall. Safety Mana Ohia is looking at NAIA schools Whitworth and Eastern Oregon. The hard-hitting senior, who saw plenty of action as a linebacker, is an academic qualifier.
Offensive lineman Mako Malepeai is among several Na Alii who will be at a junior college, Say added.
Marauders on a mission: Waipahu lineman Castro Masaniai, a two-sport standout, is visiting Oregon State this weekend.
The 6-3, 245-pound senior also got an offer from New Mexico State this week.
"He moves around well. He's got a frame that can add a lot of weight," Waipahu coach Sean Saturnio said. "What Oregon State likes about him is that he can help them either way. Cav likes him on O-line and Seumalo likes him on D-line."
"Cav" would be former UH offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, and Joe Seumalo is a former UH player and grad assistant.
Matt Soueira, the Marauders' leading pass catcher, is drawing interest from Navy.
In the Navy, maybe: The Mililani-Kapolei connection isn't limited to coaches James Millwood and Darren Hernandez.
Trojan middle linebacker Josh Andrews and Hurricane slotback Aaron Santiago are visiting the Naval Academy this weekend.
For now, Andrews' only other offer is from Division II St. Francis (Penn.). Santiago is one of the fastest receivers in the state but suffered an ankle injury midway through the season.
Hurricane Watch: After leaving the Air Force Academy more than a year ago, former Kapolei quarterback Brad Padayao's options seemed limited. He continued to work out, though, and with help from his ex-coach, Hernandez, doors opened up.
Division I-AA schools Rhode Island and Bucknell made offers to him, but Padayao has opted to attend Western Oregon.
There are more Hurricanes on the move. Safety Kamuela Foki will have some D-I choices after his trips to Idaho and New Mexico State are done. The hard-hitting 5-10, 200-pound senior was an All-State second-team selection.
Linebacker Justin Cossey, a converted lineman, and nose tackle Tuaumu Taimaleilagi (6-2, 320) have strong interest from I-AA Mississippi Valley State. Scholarship offers from MVSU will be determined by their pending SAT scores.
Quarterback Ryan Burciaga (Radford) and offensive lineman Esrom Pascual (Saint Louis) are currently at MVSU. Burciaga is projected as the team's starting signal-caller next season.
Rivers may run through Idaho: Mililani tight end David Rivers could be running through Idaho.
Millwood said that the Vandals would like to admit the 6-3, 235-pound senior as a Prop 48 entry. Going away to school might be best for the talented youngster.
"There's times when he's so driven, but it's not consistent. I think going away would help him," Millwood said.
Idaho, which established its new staff recently after Dennis Erickson departed for Arizona State, has been hot on the trail locally.
Trojans marching: Idaho was also interested in Matt Hunt.
"They were gonna offer Matt, but he's not a qualifier," Millwood said of Mililani's All-State second-team defensive end.
Hunt will likely attend Fresno City College. Other Trojans en route to JCs are offensive lineman Kenneth Peneku, Brandon Dela Cruz (Pasadena or Saddleback, Calif.) and running back Isaiah Lawelawe.
Offensive lineman Shane Um will be at Western Oregon, possibly joined by Peneku. Dela Cruz and Peneku were All-State third-team picks.
Tigers on the prowl: Idaho is also considering McKinley's Keawe Kalama. The bruising running back will likely play linebacker in college.
The 6-foot, 207-pound senior ran for 215 yards in a win over Kalaheo, but likes defense better, Grey said.
"He's got all the potential. He's a real coachable kid, a kid I look at as a coach, if you brought him to the right system, he'll stay," Grey said.
Linebackers Isaac Iuta and Mike Lekona, quarterback Tilton Kaluna, defensive back Josh Ward and wide receiver Alan Hashimoto are among the Tiger seniors who should play at the next level, Grey added.