Feature on the early recruiting this season at UH

About why he signed with Colorado out of high school instead of UH, David Veikune said that UH:
“didn’t start to recruit me until the week before the signing date. If they tried earlier, I would have stayed home. This was the first place I wanted to go.” (HA)

HA Note: “The previous five years, the Warriors’ strategy was to bring in recruits in the three weekends leading to the start of the NCAA signing period, which is always the first Wednesday in February. Because of a limited recruiting budget, many of those prospects were discovered from videos they had submitted.”

About how UH contacted him late, Michael Washington said:
“They contacted me real late. I gave my verbal to Cal when (the UH coaches) asked me to visit Hawai’i.” (HA)

HA Note: “But the recruiting emphasis has changed under Greg McMackin, who was hired as the Warriors’ head coach in January. The recruiting budget was expanded, a trade agreement was reached with an airline, and former UH defensive tackle Tony Tuioti was hired as essentially a recruiting coordinator. McMackin also decided to push for early commitments. In doing so, McMackin and Tuioti set up a schedule in which the coaches would go on recruiting trips during bye weeks, and prospects would be brought in for visits during the fall.

The Warriors are on a two-game road trip to Utah State and New Mexico State. Because there is a bye week following the New Mexico State game, many of the coaches will remain on the Mainland to recruit. This is considered to be an evaluation period, meaning the coaches can speak with high school coaches and counselors, but not have face-to-face contact with recruits. In recent years, the UH coaches did not stay on the Mainland after road games to recruit.”

Happy that the UH coaches will visit his school during the bye week, Long Beach Poly coach Raul Lara said:
“I’m glad they’re coming around again.” (HA)

HA Note: “Poly graduates who went on to play at UH include quarterback Michael Carter, receiver Chris Roscoe, linebacker Mark Odom and offensive guard Hercules Satele.”

About how he recommends UH to some players, Lara said:
“I tell (some players), if I had an offer from Hawai’i, I’d go there.” (HA)

HA Note: “The decision to make early offers has been productive. UH already has secured commitments from 15 prospects. The drawback is that commitments are not binding until put into writing. And that the early interest also draws attention from other schools. Poly linebacker George Daily-Lyles gave a verbal commitment, but now wants to take other recruiting trips. Defensive end Liloa Nobriga of Silverado High (Henderson, Nev.) said he gave a verbal commitment Sunday, the last day of his recruiting trip. Nobriga was raised in Hawai’i, where his mother, girlfriend and best friends live. He also is a self-proclaimed “life-long UH fan.” But after consulting with his father, who lives in Nevada, Nobriga said he will take recruiting trips to Fresno State and Utah. Those close to the situation believe Daily-Lyles and Nobriga still will end up as Warriors.”

About how their early recruiting will have a positive impact, Veikune said:
“It’s been a real drastic change.” (HA)

About how Colorado recruited him, Veikune said:
“Colorado talked to me for two months. I had a relationship with them. … The head coach came down. He flew in all the way from Colorado just to meet me. Plus, the linebacker coach came. It showed they care that much about you.” (HA)

Veikune said that Uh recruiting:
“is definitely a positive now with this new coaching staff.” (HA)

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