With speed and thoroughness, Todd Graham signed seven football players to his first recruiting class as Hawaii’s head coach.
In the 15 days from when he was hired to Wednesday’s opening of the spring-semester signing period, Graham added receivers with sprinters’ speed, shut-down cornerbacks, a hard-hitting safety, and a ferocious offensive lineman.
“My big deal is discipline, speed and physicality,” Graham said. “There’s no question we did a solid job with that.”
FBS teams are limited to 25 scholarship recruits each year. The Rainbow Warriors entered Wednesday with 14 commitments — 10 players signed in December, a grayshirt who delayed enrolling until last month, and three blueshirts who were on scholarship during the 2019 season but count toward the 2020 class.
>> Photo Gallery: Hawaii students participate in Signing Day ceremony
That leaves the Warriors with four scholarships to use — or not use — if prospects become available. “I wanted to make sure we had some flexibility moving forward,” Graham said.
The Warriors are open to adding a quarterback, running back, hybrid back-receiver, and a pass rusher.
Soon after Graham was hired, he consulted with holdover assistant coaches Jacob Yoro and Abraham Elimimian, and recruiting specialist Josh Omura. “They did a tremendous job,” Graham said. “Being able to evaluate in a hurry, it happens like that. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I really came in and said, ‘if we don’t sign a soul, I’m not going to worry about it. What I’m not going to do is make mistakes.’ My goal was to make sure the players we were going to sign fit our immediate needs.”
Graham said four of the signees were not offered scholarships before he was hired. One of them was Quinshone “Quin” Bright, a speedy receiver from Cedar Hill High in Texas. Cedar Hill’s head coach, Carlos Lynn, played for Graham.
“When Quin de-committed from Texas Tech and he became available, Carlos called me,” Graham said.
Graham said Bright can run 100 meters in 10.78 seconds, receiver Zion Bowens in 10.7 seconds, and cornerback Jalen Perdue in 10.8.
“We’ve got guys who are fast guys, track guys,” Graham said.
Graham said the “sleeper” is Sergio Muasau, a 6-foot, 315-pound center from Mililani High. “They were concerned about his height,” Graham said of other recruiters. “Let me tell you, you don’t have to worry about his height. He’s explosive. He reminded me of a rhino the way he plays the offensive line. Very powerful, very explosive.”
>> 6-1, 200
>> Long Beach City College
>> Todd Graham: “When I think of him, I think of character, leadership. I’m so impressed with how he carries himself. He’s a deep-threat, stretch-the-field-vertical, knock-the-top-off type of a guy. I like that. One-play touchdowns are the key to winning football games and scoring points. It’s so hard now to go 13, 14 plays and score. It’s not just the speed. That’s awesome. It’s the character, the leadership, the discipline. Dean’s honor roll. I’m very impressed with him.”
Quinshone “Quin” Bright
>> 5-9, 170
>> Cedar Hill High (Texas)
>> Graham: “Dynamic, explosive, 10.7-in-the-100-meter guy. He’s a playmaker. He’s the prototypical slot that we want, a guy who can catch the ball and take it to the house. He’s an explosive player.”
>> 6-0, 175
>> Reedley (Calif.) College
>> Graham: “Cameron is a big, physical boundary corner. He’s going to be a bump-and-run guy. He has great length, great physicality. He has great character. … I don’t want him in space. I want him to use his long arms and put his hands on people.”
>> 6-0, 315
>> Mililani High
>> Graham: “I went by his high school and talked to Coach (Rod) York. He recommended him. Coach was saying, ‘I don’t understand why people aren’t recruiting this kid.’ I watched the film, and I said, ‘I don’t know why they’re not recruiting him, either.’ I think he could be the steal of the class. … He has unbelievable feet for a big guy, unbelievable explosiveness. The first time I met him he’s talking about his family. And, man, a bright-eyed young man who loves his family. He talked about his teammates, talked about his faith. I couldn’t be happier to coach him. … That dude is a road grader.”
>> 5-10, 170
>> Antelope Valley (Calif.) College
>> Graham: “Jalen Perdue has great recovery speed. He’s going to be a great special teams player. A great punt returner, a great kick returner. He’s a guy who can play field corner or boundary corner. He definitely can play nickel in the slot. He’s a lock-down corner. He’s a guy you match up on their best guy. He has a lot of confidence, a very smart player, a very savvy player.”
>> 6-1, 200
>> El Camino (Calif.) College
>> Graham: “Logan is an enforcer, a safety. He’s a big-time tackler, a big hitter. He has great instincts, great leadership. He was a captain on his football team.”
>> 6-1, 180
>> Prestonwood Christian Academy (Texas)
>> Graham: “He’s a hybrid we can motion in and block with. He’s a very physical player. I like his physicality. He has a great ability to go compete for the football, fade balls. We’re going to throw a ton of fade balls. We’re going to need guys to compete for them. He’s a guy who actually played on my son’s high school team. I watched him practice every day.”