Hawaii nets 2 Kahuku linebackers
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Greg McMackin is showing why he was named the Big 12 recruiter of the year when he was at Texas Tech.
Hawaii's former defensive coordinator seems to be turning what could've been a lost recruiting class into an edition featuring hard-hitting local linebackers. McMackin and his staff have hustled to earn some significant late oral commitments heading into letter-of-intent day on Wednesday, including sleeper JC quarterback Brent Rausch.
And if the pledges made over the weekend by Kahuku defenders Paipai Falemalu and Alema Tachibana hold up 48 more hours, the new UH head coach may have opened a pipeline to the talent-rich North Shore school.
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Paipai Falemalu and Alema Tachibana say they will play football at the University of Hawaii.
Now comes the hard part for the Warriors -- waiting until Wednesday when those commitments are binding.
UH has some things going for it in addition to the oral pledges the Kahuku linebackers made Saturday while on their Manoa recruiting visit. Family ties, and the desire of Falemalu and Tachibana to continue as teammates may seal the deal come letter-of-intent day.
Falemalu's uncles, Louis and Walter Santiago, played at UH.
"Keala (Louis) has been training Paipai and helping him get ready for college," Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. "The whole family (are) UH supporters. Paipai grew up a Rainbows fan."
As for Tachibana, a medical condition being endured by his father may influence him to stay home, Torres said.
Also, "we want to play together," Falemalu said.
As of yesterday, Hawaii was the only school that had offered scholarships to both.
Tachibana was reported as a Utah commitment after his visit there last month, but has changed his mind.
Falemalu has offers from Cal, Oregon State and Washington.
Torres said he thinks Tachibana (6-3, 220) can develop into a rush end in UH's 4-3 defense, and Falemalu (6-4, 215) "is good enough of an athlete to play anywhere."
Falemalu said he'd like to remain at linebacker.
"Outside or inside, either one," he said.
He said yesterday he knows all three Pac-10 schools will "keep coming" at him.
"I'm pretty strong to UH," Falemalu said.
Torres said Falemalu and Tachibana would make 11 former Kahuku players either on the UH roster or trying out for it in the fall, including his son, cornerback Richard Torres.
"Especially if those two guys go there, it's great," Reggie Torres said. "The meetings with Coach (Greg) McMackin last week (at Kahuku and the players' homes) were great. They feel like they'll get an honest shot."
UH has about five or six scholarship offers remaining and will likely use them on receivers and offensive linemen.