Warriors sign an excellent 29 recruit class

When his news conference announcing their 2009 recruiting class was over, Mac said:
“We’re starting to work on next year.” (HA)

HA Note: “The Warriors signed 29 prospects, a number that actually swells to 32 when factoring three grayshirts — defensive end Alema Tachibana, and linebackers Art Laurel and Waylon Lolotai.”

Mac said that they went over the NCAA’s limit of 25 new scholarships, but he said that is isn’t like an airline’s overbooking in which:
“if a guy loses a seat, he’s in big trouble.” (HA)

HA Note: “The UH coaches felt they needed to use this recruiting class to restock the defensive secondary and bring in young quarterbacks who can be developed over the next couple of seasons.”

HA Note: “Tony Tuioti, UH football’s director of player personnel, said the plan was to land physical cornerbacks with speed in an effort to improve the Warriors’ bump-and-run coverage.”

HA Note: “While remaining true to a four-wide offense, the Warriors also wanted to add a complementary running attack. They signed three running backs — speedster Chizzy Dimude, and bruisers Alex Green and John Lister. Those additions create a ripple effect. Kealoha Pilares now can focus on being a full-time slotback, and Jake Heun can move to rush end.”

About their 5 JC transfers, the 3 grayshirts from last year’s class, and freshman Billy Ray Stutzmann, who are all enrolled at UH and participating in their offseason conditioning program and will compete in spring practice, Tony Tuioti said:
“We get a whole eight extra months to get these guys ready.” (HA)

HA Note: “Tuioti also said that most of the remaining recruits will report to the team in May, allowing them to take summer-school classes. The strategy has a double benefit. Recruits can earn extra credits and participate in the summer workouts.”

About how they wanted to sign recruits that could be at UH at the beginning of the summer and not require summer school classes to be eligible to go to UH, Tuioti said:
“All of the guys we signed, we made a point of making sure they’ll be here at the beginning of summer and not the end of summer. That’ll be big for us. They can come out here and train with their teammates.” (HA)

About signing 11 players from local high schools, the most since 2003, Mac said:
“When I came here, I wanted to keep the good Hawaiian players home.” (HSB)

About the importance on finishing the recruiting season strong, Mac said:
“Something that is really important to me is closing on guys. In this business … you’re going to lose some and you’re going to get some. We’ve been very aggressive in our recruiting, as aggressive as I’ve ever been. … Our commitment of guys decommitting and not decommitting is at 85 percent, which if I was in the business world, that would be a winning number.” (HSB)

Mac said that Billy Ray’s commitment last summer was:
“the foundation of this recruiting class. He was the first guy and he stayed with it. He had the guts to stay with it.” (HSB)

About taking 3 freshman QBs in this class, Mac said:
“I don’t ever want to get in the quarterback situation we were in this year, ever. I thought about it and you know what, he’s a good quarterback. He’s a great kid. He can fit in here, so that’s what got us three quarterbacks.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The recruits are split almost evenly between offense (14) and defense (15). Nine of the 29 recruits are junior college players, a trend that the coaching staff hopes to slim down in the coming years.”

About how they are trying to get balance in their recruiting, director of football player personnel Tony Tuioti said:
“Slowly we’re trying to get to the point where we’re balanced out every year. Last year it was offense. This year it was defense. We tried to get a balance and we want to get to the point that we’re going with all high school guys, because they get into the program and have four years to develop.” (HSB)

Happy to put the recruiting process behind him, Aulola Tonga said:
“I feel relieved it’s over. I feel good. My mom probably feels relieved, too. Coach Mack said, ‘We’re ready for you, No. 3.’ ” (HSB)

About how he had doubts about his BYU commitment after making an early commitment, Jray Galeai said:
“I was thinking about staying home and playing in front of my family.” (HSB)

About committing to BYU, Jray said:
“When I used to live there, I dreamed of playing for them.” (HSB)

Surprised Manti Te’o chose BYU, Cayman Shutter said:
“I was kind of shocked about Manti. I know he liked Charlie Weis a lot, but I would’ve bet the house on USC.” (HSB)

About how he’d love for Te’o to transfer to the Warriors, Shutter said:
“Hey, we’ll still accept a transfer. He can always come back.” (HSB)

About decommitting from UH and choosing Washington, Kimo Makaula (who wants to play TE) said:
“I wanted to play offense and Washington is a great school. They want me to play right away. Coach Mack’s a great person. I got to be friends with him.” (HSB)

About 6’2″, 200-pound safety Kamalani Alo, Tuioti said:
“He’s kind of like a ‘tweener. He might be a linebacker-safety-type of guy. He slipped through the cracks. He was a safety, but they had to use him as a linebacker. He’ll be a big asset because he can run and he’s an athletic player.” (HA)

About 6’2″, 240-pound LB T.J. Alofipo, Tuioti said:
“T.J. has closing speed. He has a knack for the ball. With this attacking defense, he can excel. He played in (a similar) defense. Hopefully, the transition will be smooth. He’s a basketball kid, he’s an athlete. He has great hands, and great feet. He has natural instinct to know where the ball is.” (HA)

About 5’11”, 165-pound CB Kalani Brackenridge, Tuioti said:
“He covers a lot of ground. He’s a playmaker. He can run. He’s athletic. I noticed he’s around the ball every time. He’s like an Ed Reed. He gets interceptions and he makes plays.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 190-pound WR Rodney Bradley, Tuioti said:
“He catches everything with his hands. Everything thrown at him, he catches. That’s because he doesn’t get a lot of passes, so he couldn’t afford to drop any.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 216-pound safety Aaron Brown, Tuioti said:
“He plays fast. He’s got the instinct. He’s a football player. He looks the part. He’s physical. He’ll be a steal for us.” (HA)

About 5’11”, 220-pound LB George Daily-Lyles, Tuioti said:
“I love the way he plays. He plays the game right. Every time I watch him, body-wise, he reminds me of Solly (Solomon Elimimian). He can find the football. He makes a lot of plays, a lot of tackles. He’s a vocal leader. A lot of guys follow him. Any time you can get a football player who’s a leader, that’s a good gift.” (HA)

About 5’11”, 180-pound CB Lametrius Davis, Tuioti said:
“He’s rangy, but he can cover and he can run. The advantage is he’s in school now. He can play in spring ball.” (HA)

About 5’11”, 180-pound Chizzy Dimude, Tuioti said:
“Chizzy is explosive. He’s like Michael Brewster. He’s a scatback, and he can go the distance if he gets out there.” (HA)

About 6’0″, 190-pound QB David Graves, Tuioti said:
“He’s accurate and very smart. We’re excited about him.” (HA)

About 6’2″, 220-pound RB Alex Green, Tuioti said:
“Alex has power and speed. He likes to be physical. He looks like Marion Barber when he runs the football. He’s got a great attitude.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 315-pound DT David Hafoka, Tuioti said:
“We need a guy like him. We need guys to help us stop the run, and David Hafoka is that type of player for us. He can clog those gaps, and let the linebackers make some plays.” (HA)

About 5’9″, 160-pound CB Melvin “Tank” Hopkins, Tuioti said:
“Hopkins has that attitude where he wants to be physical. He can flat-out run.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 190-pound safety Joey Iosefa, Tuioti said:
“He played quarterback, and he has a quarterback’s mentality. He’s an athlete. His role coming out might be on special teams. That’s an important role.” (HA)

About 6’5″, 305-pound OT Brett Leonard, Tuioti said:
“He’s agile and he’s athletic. We want to put some good weight on him.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 205-pound RB John Lister, Tuioti said:
“He’s a young guy. But when his number is called, he’ll come out of the gates. With his frame, it looks like he can hold 230 easy and still be a good running back. He doesn’t have any fat on his body. He’s a downhill runner. He’s a legit 4.5, 4.6 runner.” (HA)

About 6’5″, 280-pound OT Jordan Loeffler, Tuoiti said:
“He’ll be a project for us, but that’s good. That’s what you want to do sometimes. You want to bring him in, get him bigger and faster, and he’ll pay off. He’ll learn the system.” (HA)

About 6’2″, 250-pound LB Chad Lopati, Tuioti said:
“Man, Chad is a good player. He’s a big, physical guy. He also can play defensive end.” (HA)

About 6’3″, 305-pound OL Benson Ma’afala, Tuoiti said:
“He’ll be good for the line. He has a big body, and he can play.” (HA)

About 6’2″, 245-pound DT Marcus Malepeai, Tuioti said:
“He’s got a lot of talent.” (HA)

About 6’4″, 230-pound DE Veni Manu, Tuioti said:
“He can run. He’s got long arms. He’s another guy who can become a good player. He’s got a lot of upside. And Ma’a Tanuvasa coached him, so you know he’s had good coaching.” (HA)

About 6’2″, 285-pound DT Zach Masch, Tuioti said:
“He’s physical. He can add depth to our tackles.” (HA)

About 5’11”, 185-pound QB Corey Nielsen, Tuioti said:
“He’s a smart kid. He loves Hawai’i football. He wants to be here for the right reasons. Some people might have questions about his height. But he’s smart, and he finds ways to make plays. He’s a playmaker, and he’s proved that. He has a big heart and a lot of confidence.” (HA)

About 5’8″, 160-pound SB Deondre Powell, Tuioti said:
“He’s a Davone Bess-type; he gets a lot of yards after catches. He’s fun to watch.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 180-pound QB Cayman Shutter, Tuioti said:
“It’s a great thing when you can get a quarterback who won a state championship. It shows what it takes to win. We need guys like that in our program. Hopefully, he’ll be a leader for us.” (HA)

About 6’4″, 200-pound WR Destin Stewart, Tuioti said:
“He’s big and he’s physical. A lot of guys see him and think he’s a senior (in college).” (HA)

About 6’0″, 160-pound WR Billy Ray Stutzmann, Tuioti said:
“He’s a player. He proved he can play at a top level. He’s done everything the right way.” (HA)

About 6’3″, 200-pound safety Aulola Tonga, Tuioti said:
“He has a great attitude. He’s a physical player. He can be a linebacker or a safety. He has a knack for the ball. He can jump. He’s a basketball guy.” (HA)

About 6’1″, 190-pound safety Michael Wadsworth, Tuioti said:
“He’s smart, a 4.0 guy. And he can play.” (HA)

About 6’4″, 325-pound OL Chauncy Winchester-Makainai, Tuioti said:
“He’s big and athletic. He can help us in a lot of different ways.” (HA)


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