Hawaii convinces highly regarded kicker to join program


POSTED: Saturday, February 06, 2010

After a dizzying turn of events, Tyler Hadden found himself pointed toward Hawaii.

Hadden, a kicker from California (Whittier, Calif.) High School, committed to join the Warriors' recruiting class Thursday night, reversing an earlier commitment to New Mexico State.

“;It's a huge relief; I've been so stressed out about it,”; Hadden said yesterday.

Hadden said he also had offers from New Mexico State and Weber State, but had Hawaii at the top of his wish list. He orally committed to New Mexico State on Thursday morning, but got a call from the UH coaches offering a scholarship later in the day. He accepted the UH offer, then called the NMSU coaches back to break the news.





        Tyler Hadden can kick as well as anyone, according to kicking instructor Chris Sailer:




1. Cody ParkeyJupiter H.S.FloridaAuburn
2. Kip SmithLegacy H.S.ColoradoUCLA
3. Drew BasilChillicothe H.S.OhioOhio State
4. Michael HunnicuttJJ Pearce H.S.TexasUndecided
5. Jordan WilliamsonWestwood H.S.TexasStanford
6. Billy BennettMira Costa JCCaliforniaNC State
7. Carey SpearMayfield H.S.OhioVanderbilt
8. Cade FosterSouthlake Carroll H.S.TexasAlabama
9. Zach OlenBerkner H.S.TexasNorth Texas
10. Kyle FrenchMenomonee Falls H.S.WisconsinWisconsin
11. Tyler HaddenCalifornia H.S.CaliforniaHawaii







“;I sat down and thought about it with my family, and with Hawaii being my first choice it seemed like a better fit for me,”; said Hadden, who cited UH's business school as a factor in his decision.

Hadden was an All-CIF Southeast Division selection and was the 11th-ranked kicker in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking.

Sailer, a former UCLA kicker and now a prominent instructor, runs camps for kickers and punters and has worked with Hadden since his freshman year of high school. Sailer said Hadden had a strong showing at a camp last month in Las Vegas and listed his strengths as “;his technique and consistency, and he's a very polished kicker.”;

“;His leg strength is well above average, his ability to kick off the ground is well above average and his kickoffs are well above average,”; Sailer said. “;I see him as a guy who can play right away.

“;He's a guy who's still going to develop physically. Give him a year or two and he's going to add so much strength and flexibility.”;

Hadden said he made 13 of 15 field goals last season, with a long of 50 yards. He kicked off a 1-inch tee in high school and has worked on kicking off the turf, which he'll have to do in college.

Senior Scott Enos handled all of UH's place-kicking duties last season and went 12-for-19 on field goals and made all 34 of his point-after attempts.

The Warriors were looking for a kicker who could compete for the job this season and provide depth with Enos entering his final season.


Soares in all-star game

Former UH linebacker Blaze Soares will have a chance to perform for the scouts in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge today at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The game will be shown on CBS College Sports.

Soares is listed as a linebacker and long snapper for The Nation against a team of college seniors hailing from Texas. He has been training at Triple Threat Performance in Arizona to prepare for the game and for UH's pro day, set for April 1 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

While Soares is looking forward to hitting in a game setting today, most of the evaluations took place in the practices leading up to the game.

“;I felt I competed and made some plays and turned some heads,”; Soares said yesterday. “;I showed what I can do. ... It was great exposure being in this game.”;