POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2011
Running back Jared Leaf insists the smart choice is Hawaii.
Leaf, who played running back and linebacker at Alhambra (Calif.) High, said he has accepted a football scholarship from the Warriors.
He said he will put his commitment in writing Feb. 2, the first day recruits may sign national letters of intent.
By choosing the Warriors, Leaf is withdrawing an oral commitment he made to San Jose State. He said he notified Spartans coach Mike McIntyre of his decision.
Leaf scored 2,030 (out of 2,400) on the SAT. He received offers from Navy and Army. He also was recruited by Cornell, an Ivy League school that does not offer athletic scholarships.
But Leaf, who pledged to San Jose State before taking a UH recruiting trip this past weekend, said he feels Hawaii is the best fit.
"I've followed Hawaii for a long time," Leaf said. "I have family out in Hawaii."
Leaf said his grandmother was born in Hawaii. His stepfather is Erin Hall, a former Saint Louis School quarterback who led the Crusaders to two Oahu Prep Bowl titles in the 1980s. Hall's coach at Saint Louis was Cal Lee, now the Warriors' assistant head coach.
Leaf said his friend and Alhambra teammate, receiver Trevor Davis, earlier committed to the Warriors.
Leaf said he is 6 feet 2 and 230 pounds.
In nine regular-season games in 2010, Leaf rushed for 1,347 yards and 19 touchdowns. Against El Molino High, he rushed for 334 yards and five touchdowns.
He was named to the 2010 Diablo Foothill Athletic League's first team as a running back and linebacker.
Leaf will compete for the running back's job vacated by Alex Green, who completed his UH football eligibility last month.
"It doesn't really matter," Leaf said of playing on offense or defense. "I'm happy to be given an opportunity to play."
Leaf will report in July, enrolling in UH's bridge session. He will take two three-credit classes leading to the start of the Warriors' training camp in August.
He said he plans to major in business and eventually pursue a career in sports management.