Warriors lineman
commits to Boise

For the second time in two days, a prominent Kamehameha student-athlete has committed to play football on the mainland.

Warrior defensive end Kapono Rawlins-Crivello gave Boise State a verbal commitment yesterday. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Molokai native impressed many recruiters at camps recently in California and Utah. San Diego State, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Utah State are among other schools showing the strongest interest, according to his mother, Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello.

"I'm not gonna close any doors. I'm just gonna leave it in God's hands and see what happens. But I'm committed to Boise as of right now," he said.

The Broncos, who were ranked in the top 10 for part of last season, operate a 3-4 scheme on defense. That fits Rawlins-Crivello's strengths as a defensive end who has cover ability.

"There were four others they offered at that same position, and I didn't want my opportunity to slip away," he said.

Washington, UNLV, BYU and Hawaii have expressed interest in the past month.

At the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance combine in May, Rawlins-Crivello put up these numbers: 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, 19 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, 30-inch vertical leap, 4.71 in the pro-agility drill and 8 seconds flat in the L-drill. He also maxed out on his bench press with three reps at 315.

It was at the Utah camp where Boise State finally got a live look at Rawlins-Crivello. After last week's Just Win Camp on Maui, Boise made its move.

"I called coach Vili (Tuivai) after the camp and he liked how I performed, and he offered me a scholarship," Rawlins-Crivello said.

PIAA executive director Doris Sullivan, who assists student-athletes at no cost, wasn't surprised by the early offer.

"He's talented and intelligent. He spoke to his parents about it and his parents feel like this is the right fit for him. He feels comfortable with the decision," she said. "When you have a kid who works that hard in the classroom, it's very easy for a coach to make him an offer."

Rawlins-Crivello carries a 3.1 grade-point average and scored 1100 on the SAT last year.

"The bottom line is the education. You're a scholar first, then an athlete," Lori-Lei Rawlins-Crivello said. "He's done everything we've asked of him. He's a good role model for his sister."

Rawlins-Crivello began playing football during eighth grade, one year after transferring to Kamehameha. Until then, he had always played baseball. A cousin, Keahi Rawlins, currently pitches for UH.

"It was hard at first for my family to make the transition, but they've always supported me," Rawlins-Crivello said.

He'll be following a similar path set by former Molokai resident Kimo van Oelhoffen, a defensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The longtime pro played college football at Boise State after graduating from Molokai, which doesn't have a football program.

"Kapono went with his uncle to visit Kimo in Pittsburgh for the AFC championship game. They stayed with Kimo and Kimo gave him some pointers," Lori-Lei said.

Rawlins-Crivello remembers the trip vividly.

"He's always been positive and said to keep working hard, to put God and education first. If you do that, then good things will happen," he said. "He also told me to get stronger, but not lose speed. And be more of a student of the game. I took that to heart."

Rawlins-Crivello may switch to outside linebacker at the next level. For now, he's preparing daily, through workouts with his father, David, and former UH lineman Peter Pale.

"His dad always says, 'Be the best you can be,' " Lori-Lei said.

Rawlins-Crivello also placed fifth in the shot put at the state track and field championships.

Pohl set on orange and black: Ryan Pohl is happy to be with Oregon State, and he says there will be no changing of his mind.

The Kamehameha offensive tackle made a verbal commitment to the Beavers early this month. Unlike other recruits who are still open to other schools all the way up until letter-of-intent day next February, Pohl is rock solid with OSU.

"A big part of it was the coaching staff. The way they coach, they're family-oriented. They stress being close. I felt real comfortable up there," said Pohl, who spoke about his decision for the first time yesterday.

He attended the Oregon State camp recently and was honored as the top offensive lineman.

"The program's going in the right direction under coach (Mike) Riley. It's a small town so I won't get too distracted," he added. "Plus, I want to major in business and they have one of the best business schools."

At OSU's camp, the offensive linemen ran plays, and Beavers O-line coach Mike Cavanaugh liked what he saw in Pohl.

"They ran similar formations and plays to what we do at Kamehameha. The plays weren't too out of my league. I like run blocking better. You get to slam the guy more often," Pohl said.

Former Warrior assistant Cavanaugh is the same feisty taskmaster that UH fans remember.

"It's very exciting. You know you have to pay attention to the guy. He helps you focus and he knows what he's talking about," Pohl noted.

He intends to focus on school and sports, including soccer, now that his big decision is final.

"I can focus on my season and concentrate on high school. I feel safe and comfortable. I don't have to go searching around for any colleges," he said. "Also, I think it's good for the college, as well. They're taking a big risk. I'm not going on the official trips any more."

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