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Warriors add 20 recruits

By Stephen Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 04:47 p.m. HST, Feb 06, 2013

The Hawaii football coaches began to feel as if they were left  high and dry when they did not get any recruiting updates from a desert city.

In a Kapahulu restaurant in January, safety Tigi Hill of Arizona's Mesa College said he would accept a football scholarship from the Warriors. This past weekend, Hill called to from Arizona to say UH was one of five schools he was considering.

"That's 20 percent," UH coach Norm Chow recalled glumly.

Then Wednesday morning, the first day recruits may signing national letters of intent this period, Hill could not be reached.

"I was second-guessing myself," Hill admitted.

A half-hour before a news conference to announce UH's recruiting class, Hill signed with the Warriors. He faxed a copy to UH.

"I wanted to make sure UH was the right fit," said Hill, a 2011 Kahuku High graduate who pondered offers from Auburn, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona State. "After thinking and praying, UH felt right."

While acknowledging the situation was "stressful," Chow said: "We like to compete. We competed today."

Indeed, the Warriors withstood several challenges to assemble one of their top recruiting classes in several years.

They signed six of the 11 Hawaii high school players they pursued, including Kahuku running back Aofaga Wily and Waianae defensive tackle Kennedy Tulimasealii. Chow said both were considered their top offensive and defensive targets locally.

Washington sent Tulimasealii a letter of intent Wednesday morning. A New Jersey newspaper reported that receiver Keith Kirkwood had de-committed to UH and signed with Rutgers. That report proved to be false. Despite objections from key family members, Kirkwood signed with UH.

The Warriors were not done. They also received an oral commitment from running back/defensive tackle David "The Horse" Fangupo of Kealakehe High. He turned down offers from Brigham Young and Georgia Tech. He said he will sign in two weeks after taking the SAT.

Here are the new Warriors:

>> Ammon Barker, WR, Alta High (Utah)

>> Keelan Ewaliko, QB/WR, Baldwin High

>> Rashaan Falemalu, LB, Kahuku High

>> Julian Gener, LB, Mount San Antonio College (Calif.)

>> David Griffin, OL, Mesa College (Ariz.)

>> Vasquez Haynes, WR, Blinn College (Texas)

>> Trayvon Henderson, S, Grant Union High (Calif.)

>> Barry Higdon, CB, Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Fla.)

>> Tigi Hill, S, Mesa College

>> Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton High (Utah)

>> Keith Kirkwood, WR, Neptune High (N.J.)

>> Matt Koloamatangi, Woodside High (Calif.)

>> Tevita Lataimua, LB, College of San Mateo (Calif.)

>> Josh Long, TE, Riverside College (Calif.)

>> David Manoa, DE/LB, Aragon High (Calif.)

>> Drake Miller, LB, Bingham High (Utah)

>> Terrance Polk, WR, Los Medanos College (Calif.)

>> Diocemy Saint Juste, RB, Santaluces High (Fla.)

>> Ualesi Sale, LB, Aiea High

>> Jamie Tago, LB, Samoana High (American Samoa)

>> Kennedy Tulimasealii, DT, Waianae High

>> Elijah Tupai, OL, Cottonwood High (Utah)

>> John Waa, OL, Kahuku High

>> Darzil Washington, LB, Eastern Arizona JC

>> Aofaga Wily, RB, Kahuku High

>> Aaron Zwahlen, QB, Downey High (Calif.)

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JackFlash wrote:
Welcome Warriors!
on February 6,2013 | 03:43PM
serious wrote:
And the graduate rate after five years of free college is???? That's how Joe Paterno
on February 6,2013 | 03:56PM
warriorrebel wrote:
Good job coach Chow!!!!!!!!!!!!
on February 6,2013 | 04:01PM
ponowai wrote:
Good job coach Chow, nice to have players that were sought after by bigger programs sign with UH, especially the local recruits. This will be a better year for UH football. Another year or two of good recruiting and the Rainbows will be chasing championships. GO BOWS!
on February 6,2013 | 04:18PM
kk808 wrote:
True; another good recruiting year next year and anything can happen.
on February 6,2013 | 06:03PM
fairgame947 wrote:
Congrats to the coaches - recruits look good!
on February 6,2013 | 04:21PM
hawaiiguy50 wrote:
Looks like a great start towards building a solid foundation. Nice to see top local recruits staying home. Great job coach Chow.
on February 6,2013 | 04:27PM
st1d wrote:
good to see kahuku raising warriors, again.
on February 6,2013 | 05:10PM
HOSSANA wrote:
Where are all you critics and naysayers saying Coach Chow wouldn't be able to recruit quality athletes?? The criticisms were certainly hot and heavy but I don't see your blogs here, you idiots....all of the recruits that submitted LOI's were and are quality athletes and hopefully, like every one of the Div. 1 schools, hopefully, that will be translated on the playing field. Just as much you folks criticized Chow...how about you critics come and give him and his staff credit where credit is due.....This looks to be one of the best recruiting classes in the last ten years....think about it and this after Chow and his staff had a full season to recruit.......
on February 6,2013 | 05:46PM
capt_comment wrote:
Agreed that this was a good start. But the issue was not that he couldn't recruit good players...the issue was whether he could recruit ENOUGH good players based on his offensive style. One class does not a good/great team make. If he can SUSTAIN this recruiting success year-in, year-out, THEN you can start singing 'hosanna.' To early to judge success right now, the jury is still out until another couple years down the road.
on February 6,2013 | 10:51PM
nippy68 wrote:
this years recruits sounds exciting. now lets all see the puzzle be put together. i dont expect instant success but by coach chows third to fourth year should be interesting.
on February 6,2013 | 05:49PM
oldertimer808 wrote:
Wow that young man, David Fangupo, from the Big Island is a huge running back with good feet but I think he will be either on the OL or DL but will be fun to watch him at fullback leading the blocks for our tailbacks. Hmmm for a guy 6'2 350 lbs he can move.
on February 6,2013 | 05:57PM
oldertimer808 wrote:
I think Coach Chow and his staff have done well and have done their homework on these recruits and made great efforts in talking to all the high school coaches in Hawaii to get their feed back on these players.
on February 6,2013 | 05:59PM
Opelu wrote:
What is the total $$ given out for football vs other scholarships - Good question and part of the "bait" for successful recruiting - How much did Chow give away $$$$
on February 6,2013 | 06:17PM
nippy68 wrote:
dude only the sec's, pac 12's, and the other bcs conferences do that stuff.
on February 6,2013 | 07:04PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Get a life and realize UH does it right.
on February 6,2013 | 07:24PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
Signed--sealed--hopefully these recruits will deliver. Go Warriors!
on February 6,2013 | 07:35PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
It is great to see the UH football program in the hands of a pro like Norm Chow. Winning the recruiting battle over the likes of Rutgers, BYU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona State is what it's going to take to compete against MWC (and better) competition. Go Bows!
on February 6,2013 | 08:55PM
entrkn wrote:
more on the way... next season is going to be a lot more enjoyable.
on February 6,2013 | 09:40PM
niimi wrote:
2014 season is going to be awesome, folks.
on February 6,2013 | 10:01PM
Kapaho wrote:
Looks like a great recruiting class. Good to see the better local players staying in Hawaii. The UH football team is on a definite upswing.
on February 6,2013 | 10:13PM
fshnpoi wrote:
ho'omaika'i to the new warrior's and the coaching staff..2013 may be the start of better things to come.
on February 7,2013 | 12:24AM
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