HONOLULU – University of Hawai’i head football coach Nick Rolovich completed his first signing class with the announcement of 18 signees on National Signing Day, Wednesday, the first day prospects may sign a National Letter of Intent. Rolovich made the announcement official during a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the UH Athletics Department.
Among the 18 signees are 16 high school seniors, one junior college transfer, and one FBS transfer. Seven of the signees are listed as offensive players, nine as defensive, and two as athletes. Among the position breakdown are three cornerbacks, three offensive linemen, two athletes, two wide receivers, two linebackers, two defensive linemen, two safeties, one quarterback, and one running back. The signees represent four states (7 – California, 5 – Hawai’i, 1 – Nevada, 1 – Washington), one U.S. territory (3 – American Samoa), and one foreign country (1 – Australia).
“This is an outstanding class, built on proven winners from championship programs and local recruiting,” Rolovich said. “We also opened up pipelines with Australia and American Samoa, places where we want to continue to recruit. We signed 16 high school seniors with the intention of building a foundation of stability and we started at the line of scrimmage with offensive and defensive linemen. We covered a lot of ground in the position groups and to do it in a condensed amount of time, is a testament to the staff.”
Local recruiting was a top priority for the coaching staff. The Warriors snagged the state’s defensive player of the year in Keala Santiago from Division I champion Kahuku High School and consensus all-state wide receiver Kalakaua Timoteo from 2014 state champion Mililani High School, both of whom were among the state’s top prospects. Santiago was also picked as KHON2’s Chad Owens Award winner as the state’s special teams player of the year. In addition, two highly regarded prospects, Leilehua High School defensive linemanNetane Muti and ‘Iolani School offensive lineman Josh Hauani’o also inked with UH along with Silverado (Nev.) High School linebacker Jeremiah Pritchard, originally of American Samoa who also attended Honolulu’s Farrington High School for one year.
UH beat out several Pac-12 schools for Norte Vista (Calif.) High School’s Freddie Holly, the nation’s 19th-best running back and cornerback Mykal Tolliver of St. John Bosco (Calif.) High School, the 11th-best corner in the West. Sonora (Calif.) High’s Cole McDonald was a dual-threat quarterback who threw for 2,313 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,091 yards and 10 scores as a senior. Linebacker Ikem Okeke, of national power Bishop Gorman (Nev.) High School in Las Vegas, was rated as the 10th-best outside linebacker in the West region. Washington power Ballard High School’s Davine Tullis, was the Seattle metro 3A offensive player of the year at quarterback but was recruited as an athlete. Wide receiver Marcus Armstrong-Brown, of Diablo Valley (Calif.) College, was a top-ranked JUCO receiver, who caught 102 passes and 20 touchdowns in two seasons at Diablo. Offensive lineman Kingjames Taylor was a two-way player at Narbonne (Calif.) High School while defensive back Eugene Ford was a first-team all-city selection, who played both cornerback and wide receiver at University (Calif.) High School in Los Angeles.
Australian rugby player Max Hendrie was one of the nation’s first signees, submitting his paperwork on Tuesday due to the international dateline. Two other prospects from American Samoa signed with UH, defensive back Scheyenne Sanitoa, the defensive MVP of the JPS Paradise Classic all-star game, and defensive lineman Viane Moala, one of the country’s top linemen. UCLA transfer offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry and Upland (Calif.) High’s Zach Wilson were mid-year enrollees and are also part of the 2016 signing class. Ulu-Perry was a four-star recruit out of Honolulu’s Saint Louis School in 2015 while Wilson attended Mt. SAC College last year but did not play football.
|Player Name||POS||HT||WT||CL||Hometown / Last School|
|Marcus Armstrong-Brown||WR||6-3||195||Jr.||Napa, Calif. | Diablo Valley College|
|Eugene Ford||DB||6-2||185||Fr.||Los Angeles, Calif. / University High School|
|Josh Hauani’o||OL||6-4||300||Fr.||Honolulu, O’ahu / ‘Iolani School|
|Max Hendrie||ATH||6-4||235||Fr.||Sydney, NSW, Australia / The Scots College|
|Freddie Holly||RB||6-0||210||Fr.||Riverside, Calif. / Norte Vista High School|
|Cole McDonald||QB||6-4||195||Fr.||La Habra, Calif. / Sonora High School|
|Viane Moala||DL||6-7||270||Fr.||Ili’Ili, American Samoa / Tafuna High School|
|Netane Muti||DL||6-4||275||Fr.||Wahiawa, O’ahu | Leilehua High School|
|Ikem Okeke||LB||6-0||210||Fr.||Las Vegas, Nev. / Bishop Gorman High School|
|Jeremiah Pritchard||LB||6-0||200||Fr.||Leone, American Samoa | Silverado High School|
|Scheyenne Sanitoa||DB||6-0||185||Fr.||Pago Pago, American Samoa / Samoana High School|
|Keala Santiago||DB||6-0||185||Fr.||Kahuku, O’ahu / Kahuku High School|
|Kingjames Taylor||OL||6-3||270||Fr.||Harbor City, Calif. / Narbonne High School|
|Kalakaua Timoteo||WR||6-3||195||Fr.||Mililani, O’ahu / Mililani High School|
|Mykal Tolliver||DB||6-0||175||Fr.||Bellflower, Caloif. / St. John Bosco High School|
|Davine Tullis||ATH||6-2||195||Fr.||Seattle, Wash. / Ballard High School|
|Fred Ulu-Perry*||OL||6-2||305||So.||Honolulu, O’ahu / UCLA|
|Zach Wilson*||DB||5-11||170||Fr.||Upland, Calif. / Mt. San Antonio College|
View highlight video put together by Video Coordinator, Dory Kong: