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).