Offensive lineman
will sign with
Warriors tomorrow

Gatling, a tackle, made his
decision after a recruiting visit

By Jason Kaneshiro

The Hawaii football team figures to add a sizable chunk of beef to its offensive line tomorrow when high school seniors put pen to paper to cap the recruiting process.

DeJuan Gatling, an offensive tackle from California, was the sixth offensive lineman to orally commit to the Warriors after completing his recruiting trip to Oahu this past weekend.

Tomorrow is the first day Gatling, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman at Silverado High School in Victorville, Calif., and other high school seniors can make their decisions binding by signing national letters of intent.

"They have a great coaching staff, everybody was real friendly and we just get along," Gatling said of the Warriors. "I think everything fell in place and that was the place for me to be."

Gatling joins local products Michael Lafaele (Farrington), Jeremy Inferrera (Saint Louis) and Xavier Ho'olulu (Kailua) as offensive lineman who have pledged to UH. The Warriors also have commitments from Hercules Satele of Long Beach Poly and Larry Sauafea of Samoana High School in American Samoa.

Gatling said he has met academic qualifying standards and expects to redshirt as a freshman and later compete at offensive tackle. He also started at defensive tackle for Silverado.

He was a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division VIII all-star and chose Hawaii over Wyoming, Arkansas and Utah State.

He said he first took notice of the Hawaii program watching Warrior games televised in Southern California.

"Their offensive line always comes out with big strong dudes," Gatling said. "They like to pass the ball a lot and I'm a good pass blocker so I think I'll fit right in to what they're doing."

Satele is slated to compete at center or tackle and was in the same group as Gatling that visited UH over the weekend. He said he's looking forward to joining his cousin, offensive lineman Samson Satele, after picking UH over Idaho State and Fresno State.

"The team is like a family, and I actually have family on the team," Hercules Satele said.

Punter Tim Wright of Southwest Mississippi Community College also confirmed his commitment to the Warriors.

Wright said he was leaning toward Hawaii all along, but cemented his decision yesterday after visiting Memphis last weekend. Wright will enter the program as a sophomore after averaging 43.5 yards per punt as a freshman last season for Southwest Mississippi.

"You can't beat the location," Wright said of Hawaii. "It's an up-and-coming team, and it looks like they're going to be a Top 25 team the next three years, a bowl-bound team."

UH Athletics

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