Deondre Powell commits to the Warriors!

One of the top high school receivers in California has accepted a football scholarship from the University of Hawai’i.

“I’m excited to be a Warrior,” said Deondre Powell, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound slotback from Gahr High in Cerritos, Calif.

Last season, Powell caught 73 passes for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. named him to the All-California second team. He is listed as the state’s No. 1 returning receiver for this season.

“He’s deadly when he gets his hands on the football,” said Brandon Huffman, West Coast Regional director for “He’s tough in the open field. He doesn’t have great straightaway speed, but he has great football speed. If he gets behind you, you’re not going to catch him. He’s a big-play type of guy.”

Two weeks ago, Gahr teammate Corey Nielsen, who led California prep quarterbacks in passing yards last season, made a verbal commitment to UH.

“I kept telling (UH coach Greg McMackin) to look at my receiver,” Nielsen said. “I guess he liked what he saw.”

Nielsen added: “I kept telling (Powell) to hurry up and commit. It’s great to have the No. 1 receiver coming to the 808.”

Powell, who also received an offer from Arizona, considers former Warrior slotbacks Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins as football influences. Grice-Mullins, a friend of Nielsen’s uncle Jon Nielsen, worked out with Powell in the spring.

“He tries to model his play after Davone and Ryan,” Nielsen said. “He looks like them, too. He has some baby dreads going on.”

Huffman said Powell and Nielsen have been “productive against good competition. They’re a big-time, pass-catching combo.”

Earlier, UH secured verbal commitments from wideout Billy Ray Stutzmann of Saint Louis School, defensive end Kimo Makaula of Punahou School, and linebacker T.J. Alofipo of Silverado High (Las Vegas).


“We’re really close, he’s like a brother to me,” Powell said of Nielsen, who committed to UH last month.

“We had been talking about Hawaii and playing at the next level together since before our freshman year. Hawaii has sort of been like my dream school.”

Powell, 5-feet-9, 165 pounds, was Nielsen’s top target last season when he led Gahr with 73 receptions for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He broke the 100-yard mark in five games, posting a season high of 219, for a Gladiators team that went 10-3.

“Our whole offense is based off Hawaii’s offense so we fit right into it,” said Powell, who also had an offer from Arizona.

Powell is the fifth player, and second receiver, to commit to the Warriors as part of their 2009 incoming class. The commitments can be made official when the signing period opens in February.


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