Hawaii Football: Warriors' Late-Season Success Leads to Big Recruiting Dividends

Mark BatorAnalyst IIJanuary 4, 2013

Nov 16, 2012; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Hawaii Warriors fans react to the early score by tight end Clark Evans (not pictured) in the first quarter of the game against the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a dismal 2012 campaign, the Hawaii Warriors' fans and alumni could finally take stock in their team, as it ended the season with a late-market rally, finishing on an up-tick. A two-game winning streak began with a convincing 48-10 romp over UNLV on Nov. 24, followed by a 23-7 victory over South Alabama on Dec. 1. It is likely no coincidence that nine of Hawaii's recruits committed immediately following both of these victories.

After months of slow developments on the recruiting front, the holiday season came to the Aloha State, with Norm Chow receiving a bumper crop of prospects to build the Warriors beginning in the second year of his program. At present, the 2013 recruiting class shapes up with these promising prospects (all ratings per Scout.com):

Dejon Allen: 2-star, guard

The 6'2", 265-pound Allen played both offensive and defensive line at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., and was rated as the 36th-best guard nationally by Rivals.com.

Rashaan Falemalu: 2-star, linebacker

At 6'2", 210 pounds, Falemalu has nice size and is rated as the 83rd-best middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com. Falemalu also plays tight end.

Ronald Fields: 2-star, cornerback

Coming from junior college, the 6'2", 180-pound Fields is listed as the 17th-best corner in the country by 247Sports.com.

Julian Gener: 2-star, linebacker

A JUCO product, the opportunistic 6'1", 230-pound Gener had one interception, three fumble recoveries, four sacks and 102 tackles this season.

David Griffin: 2-star, tackle

After receiving offers from three other schools, the 6'7", 290-pound lineman chose Hawaii as a transfer from Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Vasquez Haynes: 2-star, wide receiver

Another JUCO transfer, the 6'2", 200-pound Blinn College recruit is one of four receivers who have committed to the Warriors for 2013.

Tigi Hill: 3-star, linebacker

Sought after with offers from seven other programs, the 6'3", 215-pound LB chose Hawaii over Arizona State, Kansas and Oregon State (per Scout.com) and Auburn (according to 247Sports.com).

Stacey Howard: 2-star, wide receiver

A 6'3", 185-pound JUCO transfer, Howard reportedly runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds, which should help stretch the field for the Warriors' anemic passing game. In 10 games, Howard had 64 receptions for 1,082 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Marcus Kemp: 2-star, wide receiver

The 6'4", 180-pound prospect from Layton, Utah, should help the Warriors' passing game as a possession receiver, as he can reportedly jump six feet, five inches. Kemp committed in October despite receiving a competing offer from Utah State.

Tevita Lataimua: 2-star, linebacker

After giving strong consideration to BYU, the 6'2", 225-pound linebacker chose the Warriors. In 10 games, Lataimua had 89 tackles and 5.5 sacks while at San Mateo.

Joshua Long: 2-star, tight end

As a 6'4", 255-pound Riverside City College transfer, Long had 15 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He will need to compete with existing TEs Craig Cofer, Ryan Hall, Clark Evans and Harold Moleni.

David Manoa: 2-star, linebacker

The 6'3", 210-pound Aragon High School product was recruited as an outside linebacker who draws high praise from his coach. "He's a terrific pass-rusher," said Aragon coach Steve Sell (as quoted by ESPN.com). "Hawaii is getting a high-character, high-energy player who loves the game."

Drake Miller: 2-star, linebacker

"It seemed like a great opportunity," said Miller of his offer from Hawaii (as quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune). "I think I can go in there and compete for a spot right away." The 6'2", 210-pound prospect reportedly runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.

Anthony Pierce: 2-star, cornerback

Committing on Dec. 12, the 5'9", 170-pound defensive back is another Norm Chow find from the state of California. Pierce comes with a pedigree: His father is former New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce.

Terrance Polk: 2-star, wide receiver

Transferring from Los Medanos College in California, the 6'0", 180-pound recruit had 49 receptions for 1,084 yards and 13 touchdowns this past season.

Ualesi Sale: 2-star, defensive end

Despite offers from Utah, Kansas and San Diego State, the 6'3", 225-pound Sale chose Hawaii, reportedly due to his desire to play in front of family and friends (per Stephen Tsai's article in The Star Advertiser).

Charles Tuaau: 2-star, defensive end

With offers from Fresno State, Nebraska, New Mexico State and USC, the 6'4", 265-pound DE chose the Warriors. Tuaau reportedly runs the 40 in 4.9 seconds.

Kennedy Tulimasealii: 3-star, defensive tackle

At 6'1" and 300 pounds, the Waianae High School prospect is on the smaller side. But rated as the fifth-best at his position in his home state (per ESPN's Recruiting Nation) was good enough to get the young DT offers from Colorado, UCLA and Utah.

John Wa'a: 2-star, guard

At 6'3" and 279 pounds, Wa'a was the earliest (March 11, 2012) high school player to commit to the Warriors, despite the fact that the Oahu, Hawaii native claims (per Stephen Tsai of The Star Advertiser) that he was "not really" a fan of the Warriors as a youngster.

Aaron Zwahlen: 2-star, quarterback

The 6'3", 195-pound QB prospect said (per Stephen Tsai of The Star Advertiser) that "Hawaii felt like home," and made the commitment to Chow's program despite offers from Idaho and Washington State.

“This is just the start of what we think is a tremendous recruiting class,” Chow said (UH Athletics press release). “We realize there’s a lot to get done and this is just the beginning."


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