comscore Mililani running back Malepeai switches commitment to USC | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Sports Breaking | Top News

Mililani running back Malepeai switches commitment to USC


    Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai stiff-arms Moanalua’s Kea Rodrigues during the first half between the Moanalua Menehune and the Mililani Trojans at Moanalua High School. Malepeai today switched from his commitment to the University of Oregon.

Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai, the state’s most productive all-time running back, donned a USC hat in a dramatic switch from the University of Oregon this morning in national letter of intent ceremonies.

Seventeen local high school seniors signed binding letters for football at the annual Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance ceremonies at the Sheraton Waikiki.

But Malepeai, who had committed to the Ducks in June and visited USC over the weekend, stole the show by remaining a Trojan.

As soon as he picked up the cardinal and gold hat, a cheer of “Fight On!” rose from the crowd.

“It was something I was still thinking about last night,” said Malepeai, who set state career records for rushing yards and touchdowns.

Malepeai is one of two local signees with the Trojans, joining Saint Louis linebacker Jordan Iosefa.

Three players — Mililani receiver Kalakaua Timoteo, Leilehua two-way lineman Netane Muti and `Iolani offensive lineman Joshua Hauanio — signed with Hawaii.

Other signings will be announced throughout the day.

Today’s local Football Bowl Subdivision signees at PIAA ceremonies:

`Iolani’s Keoni Makekau (Navy), Kamehameha’s Alema Kapoi (Navy), Saint Louis’ Nate Herbig (Stanford), `Iolani’s Joshua Hauanio (Hawaii), Kaiser’s Michael Eletise (Arizona), Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai (USC), Kapolei’s Tolefoa Auwae (Vanderbilt), Punahou’s Justin Matias (Air Force), Kamehameha’s Caleb Chow (Air Force), Punahou’s Jet Toner (Stanford), Punahou’s Wayne Taulapapa (Virginia), Leilehua’s Netane Muti (Hawaii), Mililani’s McKenzie Milton (Central Florida), Kamehameha’s Tainoa Foster (Fresno State), Saint Louis’ Drew Kobayashi (Cal) and Saint Louis’ Jordan Iosefa (USC).

Comments (64)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • “Independent Lens” recently “aired” a segment on young Polynesian Americans seeking to excel in Football–Sports… Very interesting and informative.

    • Couldn’t agree more! I can never understand why the Star Advertiser runs stories on local players that go away. Outside of that players family and close friends, no one cares what they are up to if they are not playing for UH….

      • Can’t understand why everyone hates on these kids that want to move away. What’s wrong with wanting to try something new, wanting to live on the mainland or doing what is best for their futures? They are all kids of the nei and their personal decisions should be supported.

        • No one is hating! I’m not related to them, I don’t know them, so why would I as a UH fan, be interested in hearing about them if they don’t sign with UH?

        • Not hating on the fortunate kids who have talent to lure the mainland schools. But I agree with the posters, now spend the time on highlighting the UH kids. Bolster and build up the local recruits. Actually I also lose interest in the careers of kids that go away. Not because I don’t hope the best for them, I just want the best for the ones who defend the UH shield. No matter if they not 4 or 5 star products.

        • I’m a UH alumnus (83), a UH season ticket holder, and a UH fan. primo1 what “big picture” am I missing?

        • “I’m a UH alumnus (83), a UH season ticket holder, and a UH fan. primo1 what “big picture” am I missing?” Your reply says it all.

        • primo1 I have no idea what the he!! you are talking about. You mentioned the “big picture” You can’t even explain what your talking about? Or maybe you have no idea what you are saying?

        • Let me spell it out for you harold: for a lot of the kids that signed a letter of intent today – and a lot of people in general – there’s a whole world of opportunity out there. Unlike you they’re not confined by the whole “UH-this, UH-that” mentality. That’s the big picture. And thanks for making my point.

        • I fully understand that there is a big world of opportunities out there. Like I said I got my undergrad from UH but I got my graduate degree on the mainland and i lived and worked there for many years. Also, my oldest daughter played college volleyball on a scholarship on the mainland. My point and the point of this thread (Oahuan said “it’s not UH so who cares”) that you commented on is that other than the players family and friends, why would the general public in Hawaii, which has only one major D1 college (UH) and only one major paper (SA), why would they care about some player that is going away to play ball on the mainland? If you are a UH fan, and I am assuming you are, why would you care about some player that you don’t even know that decides to go away to play ball?

        • There’s really no point in explaining further – you just don’t get it. Have fun in your little corner of the world. And thanks for making my point yet again.

        • It’s pretty pompous to think that people who want to hype the local recruits, don’t understand the values of going away to school. No one is missing the bigger picture. We care more about the ones who choose to stay home and want to hear more about them. These local kids may not be the 4 star kids, but the fact that they want to rep the state is all good in my books. I understand haroldm. Outside of Mariota, I don’t really follow or care about the progress of the kids who choose the bigger schools. But tell me more about how the kids who choose UH will improve the home team.

        • “Outside of Mariota, I don’t really follow or care about the progress of the kids who choose the bigger schools.” You make a statement like that and you’re calling me pompous?

  • USC has a history of great running backs so Vavae is making a smart move. Best wishes to one of the greatest running backs in Hawai’i prep football. Make Hawai’i proud!

  • Watch this kid for years, Very talented but Sorry to say ….If he’s lucky…He might be a back up. USC is a Power house School which means top grade All american
    Running backs all come there to want to play. He’s good at this level (high school ) But at USC….we will see. I think he would have a better chance at stardom at Oregon..

  • Sorry, but decommitting a day before signing is not very reputable. His uncles went to Oregon. Fortunately, Oregon has many talented backs and I wonder if he would have made an impact! Go Ducks!

    • Agree, even though USC seems to be a better fit it really screws up the school who he choose first. They could have used his scholarship to fill that position. Sorry but hate those kids who do that, I don’t know if they think it’s funny.

      • Yup…kinda like when peeps rsvp that they going attend your wedding… and they don’t show up. Those frickas waste two spots and it was paid for too. I can understand if its an emergency. But other than that, NO EXCUSES. If you say you going go… then go.

      • The term “verbal commitment” is an oxymoron. The only real commitment is made when they sign on the dotted line. These kids are 17-18 yrs. old so give them a break. Not many of us had to make such a huge decision at that age. It happens a lot and I’m sure the rejected schools will just offer the scholarship to the next blue chipper waiting on deck.

  • Wishing all the kids success – wherever they choose to play and go to school. Don’t hate on the kids – consider that it is possible that the commitment to the player may have changed by the coaches over the past months. The kids have to make the best choice for themselves and their future. You can’t always count on others to have your best interest at heart. The decision is theirs and so are the consequences – good or bad.

  • The big breaking news story should be the 18 signees that UH landed today. Not a kid who changed his mind from Oregon to USC. Good luck to him but that’s not what I’m most interested to read about.

  • Interesting story but why is this TOP NEWS for the SA? Just a high school football story but really, top news? If the top interests of our locals is football, then we are in trouble. With all the non sports news breaking, one has to rely on CNN or FOX for real news. Guess Hawaii is still a hick state with limited outside interests.

  • Congrats to the kids and families who are seeing the fruits of their labor and dedication. Big props to the kids both local and mainland that chose to defend U of H! Especially fortunate are those who will honor our country and attend the military academies.

  • So happy for Vavae, he’s been an exemplary young man on and off the field, a credit to his Mom and reflected well for our Mililani community especially. McKenzie Milton too, Kala Timoteo should tone down the on-field pimping, but he’s basically a good kid. Goes without saying that nothing unethical went on in the USC backrooms to woo Vae away from Oregon, we’d be naive to think no “incentives” were at least offered. Time to hit the weight room hard Vae! Go Trojans!

  • 17 FBS. why dont you mention the othe 30 or so who signed with FCS D2 or other levels. they work just as hard, maybe they are not big enough or fast enough but they work just as hard. I was there. at least 30 were football players.

  • OK, SA, do an article on high school football player standouts that are staying … to play at UH. Count them, on one hand? Maybe, two? Plus one iddy biddy little toe?

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up