(Hawaii Athletics) - University of Hawai'i football head coach Nick Rolovich announced the signing of 10 prospects on National Signing Day, Wednesday. The group includes five junior college players and five from the prep ranks. Seven are listed as offensive players, two on defense, and one athlete.
With the addition of the 10 signees during the traditional regular period and 17 signees from December's new early signing period, the Warriors have inked 27 for the Class of 2018. The class includes 14 on offense, 10 on defense, and three athletes.
Highlighting the regular period signees are a pair of wide receivers from Hawai'i high schools – Jonah Panoke (6-2, 185) from state champion Saint Louis (Honolulu) School and Scott McLeod (6-2, 225) from Saint Francis (Honolulu) School. Both were first-team all-state receivers who competed in this year's Polynesia Bowl. Panoke is the third Crusader to join the Warriors along with quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and defensive back Kai Kaneshiro, both of whom signed in December. McLeod was a finalist for Cover2 Tommy Kaulukukui Award as the state's offensive player of the year.
"In the past couple years we haven't done a good job locally," Rolovich said. "(Our coaches) deserve a lot of credit for their persistence, for their relationship-building. It shows if you put some good effort into it and make that your emphasis, we can get it done."
Half of Wednesday's signees are listed as offensive linemen, including three from junior colleges – Alex Dalpe (6-4, 290) from Long Beach City College, Ernest Moore (6-8, 305) from City College of San Francisco, and Gene Pryor (6-3, 305) from College of the Sequoias. Dalpe was teammates with December signee Cedric Byrd at LBCC while Moore joins his CCSF teammate Kohl Levao, who signed in December. San Clemente (Calif.) High's Thomas Wade (6-7, 250) and Centennial (Calif.) High's Solo Vaipulu (6-3, 300) are among a group of seven offensive lineman in the Class of 2018. Vaipulu spurned several offers from Power 5 conferences to join the Warriors.
"With the way we're going with the offense, we felt if we don't have an offensive line we can't do anything," Rolovich said. "So I'm very happy that we were able to secure the JC guys and we're not against the high school guys coming in and competing either because I think we have some really talented young guys."
Defensive lineman Justus Tavai (6-3, 290), the younger brother of UH linebacker Jahlani Tavai, comes to Manoa from El Camino College and is the fourth Tavai brother to play FBS football. Tavai is the seventh defensive lineman in this year's class. Golden West College's Manase Time (5-11, 205) was rated as the No. 16 juco safety while Monrovia (Calif.) High's Michael Washington (6-0, 160) was a two-way player who also excels as a kickoff returner.
"You have to evaluate who they are as people, plus what they can bring on the field," Rolovich said about the recruitment process. "We had some immediate needs that we really didn't think when we began this class. We had to address the line of scrimmage, especially on the offensive side and I thought we did that. Four JC guys is not something you want to really live in every year but I felt like it was a necessity this year."
Class of 2018 Breakdown
Position – Offensive Line: 7; Defensive Line: 7; Wide Receiver: 5; Athlete: 3; Linebacker: 2; Quarterback: 2; Defensive Back: 2
School – High School: 17; Junior College: 10
Hometown – California: 14; Hawai'i: 6; American Samoa: 1; Arizona: 1; Canada: 1; Illinois: 1; Maryland: 1; Nevada: 1; Washington: 1
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Cl.||Hometown / Previous School||Highlights|
|Alex Dalpe||OL||6-4||290||So.||Anaheim, Calif. / Long Beach City College||Video|
|Scott McLeod||WR||6-3||225||Fr.||Honolulu, O'ahu / Saint Francis School||Video|
|Ernest Moore||OL||6-8||305||Jr.||San Francisco, Calif. / City College of San Francisco||Video|
|Jonah Panoke||WR||6-2||185||Fr.||Honolulu, O'ahu / Saint Louis School||Video|
|Gene Pryor||OL||6-3||305||Jr.||Visalia, Calif. / College of the Sequoias||Video|
|Justus Tavai||DL||6-3||290||So.||Manhattan Beach, Calif. / El Camino College||Video|
|Manase Time||DB||5-11||205||So.||Santa Ana, Calif. / Golden West College||Video|
|Solo Vaipulu||OL||6-3||300||Fr.||Corona, Calif. / Centennial HS||Video|
|Thomas Wade||OL||6-7||250||Fr.||San Clemente, Calif. / San Clemente HS||Video|
|Michael Washington||ATH||6-0||160||Fr.||Monrovia, Calif. / Monrovia HS||Video|
Alex Dalpe | OL | 6-4 | 292 | So. | Anaheim, Calif. | Long Beach City College
Played one season at Long Beach City College...helped the Vikings to an 8-3 season, while the team averaged 40.4 points per game with 441.8 yards per contest...earned all-National Central Conference second-team honors...teammates with December UH signee wide receiver Cedric Byrd…also received offers from Seton Hall, Ohio, New Mexico, Akron, Cincinnati, UAB and UTEP.
Scott McLeod | WR | 6-3 | 225 | Fr. | Honolulu, O'ahu | Saint Francis School
Named to the 2017 All-USA Hawai'i Football Team, Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State team and 2017 All-Hawai'i Football Team by ScoringLive…finalist for the Cover2 Tommy Kaulukukui Award for offensive player of the year…finished his senior season with 54 catches for 760 yards (14.1 avg.) and 11 touchdowns…two games of over 100 yards receiving…scored twice against Pac-5 and 'Iolani…caught at least one touchdown pass in all six ILH Division II regular season games…competed in the 2018 Polynesia Bowl and JPS Paradise Football Classic…two-sport athlete who also competes in basketball.
Ernest Moore | OL | 6-8 | 305 | Jr. | San Francisco, Calif. | City College of San Francisco
Played two seasons as an offensive lineman at the City College of San Francisco…helped team capture the Capital City Bowl title…instrumental in helping the offense generate 42.9 points and 458.5 yards of total offense per game… teammates with December UH signee fellow offensive lineman Kohl Levao…a graduate of Washington High School in San Francisco, Calif.
Jonah Panoke | WR | 6-2 | 185 | Fr. | Honolulu, O'ahu | Saint Louis School
Rated as the state of Hawai'i's top wide receiver prospect…ranked as the state's No. 14 prospect by Scout and No. 15 prospect by 247Sports…named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State team, 2017 All-Hawai'i Football Team by ScoringLive, and the 2017 All-USA Hawai'i Football second team…helped Saint Louis to the HHSAA Open Division championship as a senior…totaled 45 receptions for 682 yards and two touchdowns…during the State Championship win over Kahuku, caught eight passes for 152 yards and the game-winning 57-yard touchdown with 37 seconds left in the game…as a junior, caught three passes for 101 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown in the Open Division State Championship game versus Kahuku… selected as MVP of the GPA College Showcase Camp…competed in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl.
Gene Pryor | OL | 6-3 | 305 | Jr. | Visalia, Calif. | College of the Sequoias
Played two seasons at the College of the Sequoias in California...prepped at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia Calif., where he played 10 games as a senior on both sides of the ball...during his senior year, amassed 25 total tackles with two sacks...earned first-team All-West Yosemite League honors in 2015…also earned the Seth A. Miller Pioneer Achievement Award...has proven basketball dunking ability.
Justus Tavai | DL | 6-3 | 290 | So. | Manhattan Beach, Calif. | El Camino College
Played one season at El Camino College in Torrance, California...played 11 games during his freshman season, collecting a 41 total tackles with 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble...prepped at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., playing in 13 games and amassing a 83 total tackles, 37 of which were solo, 10.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks during his senior year...tallied 72 tackles and two sacks in eight games during his junior season...brother of current Rainbow Warrior linebacker and team captain Jahlani Tavai, as well as J.R. (Southern California, Tennessee Titans) and Jordan (Kansas).
Manase Time | DB | 5-11 | 205 | So. | Santa Ana, Calif. | Golden West College
Rated the No. 16 JUCO Safety and three stars according to GridironRR.com...did not play in 2017 due to an injury...played 7 games during the 2016 season...recorded 37 solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles for a total of 50 tackles on the season...tallied two sacks and one interception…also received offers from Colorado State, Iowa State, New Mexico, Utah State and Washington State.
Solo Vaipulu | OL | 6-3 | 295 | Fr. | Corona, Calif. | Centennial HS
Rated three stars by 247Sports...helped the Huskies lead the area in scoring at 56.4 points and 525 yards per game...competed in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl...earned all-CIF Southern California Section first-team honors, as well as HSGameTime first-team offense honors...participated in the Inland Empire All-Star Classic game...rated the No. 9 offensive guard in the West by Scout prior to his senior year…received offers from Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia State, New Mexico, Oregon, USC, Utah State, UTEP and Washington.
Thomas Wade | OL | 6-7 | 250 | Fr. | San Clemente, Calif. | San Clemente HS
Rated two stars by 247Sports...helped the Tritons to a 2016 CIF division 1-A championship, where they averaged 375.1 yards per game and 3.2 touchdowns...also received offers from Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado State.
Michael Washington | ATH | 6-0 | 160 | Fr. | Monrovia, Calif. | Monrovia HS
Rated a three star recruit by 247Sports...will graduate from Monrovia High School in Monrovia Calif. in the spring…played on both sides of ball during his high school career...rushed for 105 yards with 19 carries and one TD, hauling in 18 receptions for 513 yards for and five touchdowns as a senior…also collected 28 total tackles, 26 were solo, and recorded one interception for a score...also played on special teams, recording 13 kickoff returns for 331 yards, with a long of 92 yards for a TD.