Wyoming trolling islands for prep football recruits


POSTED: Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The trail to Laramie is getting busier all the time.

The Wyoming Cowboys, who lassoed Kaimuki safety Trendt “;Tonka”; Marsom in mid-December, are zeroing on more local prospects. Among their targets are Campbell wide receiver Daniel Masifilo (6-foot-1, 177 pounds), Waialua lineman Hunter Thomson (6-2, 266) and Kapolei cornerback Kalani Brackenridge (6-0, 175).

Masifilo will visit the campus this weekend, but there is no offer on the table just yet, Campbell coach Amosa Amosa said.

The same goes for Thomson and Brackenridge, who have not received offers yet from the Cowboys.

Wyoming assistant Mike Fanoga, who spearheaded a pipeline to the islands while at New Mexico State, is trying to do the same with his new team.

Other Campbell players who could strap on the pads in college include defensive lineman Christian Kelii (6-1, 295) and quarterback Lalo Respicio (5-11, 190). Kelii is an NCAA academic qualifier and may go on a visit to Baylor. Humboldt State has already expressed interest.

Respicio, who passed for 2,644 yards and 28 touchdowns, has interest from Mesa State.


USC yes, Washington no

Running back/linebacker Simione Vehikite of Kapolei already has given an oral commitment to USC, but went on a trip to Washington over the weekend anyway.

There, rumors about a change of heart circulated, but Vehikite shot that down yesterday.

“;They put me on the spot,”; Vehikite said of his conversations with UW coaches. “;I just wanted to cruise and take the free trip. I'm still committed to USC. No more visits. That's it.”;

However, shortly after his interview with the Star-Bulletin, Ohio State came calling. The Buckeyes want Vehikite to make a visit this weekend, when they'll offer him a scholarship, coach Darren Hernandez said.

The difference? At USC, Pete Carroll wants Vehikite (6-1, 245), a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team linebacker, to play fullback. Ohio State wants him as a middle linebacker.

Whether he trips to Ohio State—traditionally a strong program for linebackers—or not doesn't change much in Vehikite's life.

The former Lahainaluna player is trying to ignore his cell phone; he received almost 50 calls on Monday.

“;I'm looking forward to next week,”; he said of letter-of-intent day, Feb. 4. “;And get it over with. I didn't know it was gonna be this crazy.”;



Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo has secured another local recruit with the oral commitment of Kapolei running back/safety Cyril Ontai (5-10, 205).

Though Ontai was a Star-Bulletin All-State third-team safety (102 tackles, two interceptions, eight pass deflections, four forced fumbles), Navy wants him to compete for a starting fullback position as a freshman.

“;Right now, I'm pretty excited. I wouldn't mind playing either position, but when I visited the school in Annapolis, I liked it. When I went to the banquet, they showed a highlight video. The fan base, all the players are close to each other. They call it a brotherhood over there,”; he said.

Ontai rushed for 461 yards on just 58 attempts as a senior and has a 3.7 grade-point average. He had offers from Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah State, Wyoming and D-II Savannah State, but those schools projected him at safety.

Ontai joins Kalaheo linebacker/lineman Shawn Reed, who previously made an oral commitment to the Midshipmen.


Toma rumor untrue

Punahou wide receiver Robby Toma refuted Internet rumors that he would turn down UCLA's scholarship offer to attend Utah.

“;I don't know where that started,”; said Toma, a Star-Bulletin All-State first-team selection.

Utah has never made an offer, he added. Toma and Buffanblu teammate Dalton Hilliard gave their oral commitments to the Bruins in October.