Recruiting Road Trip - Kapolei

Darren Hernandez (© Barry Markowitz, 2009)

KAPOLEI, HI - The rain came with us to Kapolei High School the day we decided to check out one of the Hurricanes' spring practice, but the drizzle didn't dampen spirits. If anything, it boosted the energy and enthusiasm of their two-hour practice, all the way through their post-practice chant. was able to compile practice film on no less than 18 Kapolei players from three different classes, but missed out on three of the top players - Shaydon Akuna, Dustin Elisara and Paul Belford - because of injuries. Below is a quick, capsule look at each prospect, including recruiting information supplied by Hurricanes Head Coach Darren Hernandez.

2010 #2 RB/DB Donnie King (5-7, 165) 2009 Practice Film - - King may be short on stature, but he's cat-quick, and the fastest player on a very quick Kapolei team. "An electrifying player who can take it the distance, Donnie is great in space and has great run after the catch ability," Hernandez said. "He has great tools, runs smoothly and effortlessly, and has speed to burn." Air Force, Army, Hawai'i, Navy, Portland State and Wyoming are all over King as a playmaking athlete on both sides of the ball.

2010 #3 ATH Keanu Solidum (5-5, 150) - Solidum is undersized, and he didn't play at all last year, so he has no recruiting momentum to speak of. Yet when watching him practice you can tell he belongs and brings a swagger about him that is infectious. He's fast (4.5 40) and strong for his size.

2010 #4 Safety Shaydon Akuna (6-3, 215) - Akuna tried to work out, but a bothersome ankle sidelined him. He has six scholarship offers right now - Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Hawai'i and UCLA - and one school stands out right now. "I like Oregon State," he said. "Coach (Mike) Riley writes to me a lot." He added that Notre Dame has said they are close to offering, and he's been invited to USC's Rising Stars Camp.

2010 #7 RB/CB Elijah Tagura (5-10, 175) 2009 Practice Film - - Tagura is a bigger version of Donnie King, albeit about a tenth or so slower on his 40. "Elijah is a lightning-quick skill position player with great hands and can catch the ball in traffic. He can run the ball like a running back, and has the ability to return kicks and punts." Utah State and Weber State are the two schools to jump early on Tagura's recruitment.

2010 #10 QB/DB Noah Pascua (5-10, 175) 2009 Practice Film - - "The best athlete on the team," Hernandez said of Pascua, their dual-threat QB. "Noah is dangerous with the ball in his hands." Pascua totaled 900 yards passing and 500 yards rushing, as well as 20 total touchdowns. Because of his specific skill set for the Hurricanes, Pascua will most likely have to switch positions in college, but has the athleticism and ability to make that switch.

2011 #12 DB/QB Carlos Rodriguez (6-2, 190) 2009 Practice Film - - Another transfer, this one from Iolani, Rodriguez has become the heir apparent to Pascua for the 2010 season. He carries with him an 84-mph fastball, so baseball could also be an option for him down the road.

2010 #14 WR/S Kainoa Pakele (5-10, 175) 2009 Practice Film - - Pakele transfered from Hilo High on the Big Island of Hawai'i, and is expected to make an impact on both sides of the ball this fall for the Hurricanes. "A standout at every position, Kainoa can play a variety of positions with equal proficiency," Hernandez said. "He has the skill to make acrobatic catches, run with the ball like a tailback and play safety or corner at a high level." Hawai'i, San Diego State, Utah, Utah State and Wyoming are in on Pakele early on.

2012 #21 CB Kiatrell Zachery (5-10, 165) 2009 Practice Film - - A young man just learning his trade, Zachery is a rangy prospect that sure looks to have 'it'. I suspect we'll be hearing more from Zachery in the coming years as he gets bigger, faster, stronger and hones his craft as a shut-down corner.

2010 #30 FB/LB Clinton Wise (5-9, 220) 2009 Practice Film - - According to Hernandez, Weber State have their sights set on Wise as a fullback, and an offer is coming this summer. "Clinton is the classic block-busting fullback," he said. "A punishing lead blocker, he can unload on the defender with a bang."

2011 #34 RB/LB Keaka Fernandez (6-0, 200) 2009 Practice Film - - Another underclassman that flew around the ball during practice, Fernandez looks more the part of a tough, rugged linebacker, but we'll see how he does this fall before passing judgement. With Elisara, Lolohea, Ebanez, Togiailua, Uti, Wise, Faumuina and the rest ahead of him, it might be tough for Fernandez to get a lot of meaningful playing time.

2010 #40 LB Dustin Elisara (6-2, 230) - Elisara, like Akuna, has six scholarship offers - Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Hawai'i and UCLA - with LSU also showing interest. "Dustin is a tremendous athlete, and is a fluid runner for a big guy," Hernandez said. "(Elisara) can run and catch the ball with ease. Started both ways as a junior, and had an impact on both sides of the ball."

2010 #42 FB/LB Onosai Faumuina (5-11, 255) - Hawai'i and Portland State are showing early interest on Faumuina. "Onosai is a hard-nosed, north-south runner who brings it on every down," Hernandez said. "A devastating blocker, he is the prototypical fullback or power single back."

2010 #44 LB Tuu Lolohea (6-1, 228) 2009 Practice Film - - Lolohea is a transfer from Radford High School, and shows up immediately as a physical, instinctive player. "Tuu is a gifted athlete," Hernandez said. "He can play all linebacker positions and is a load at running back. Plays with great intensity and has all the necessary tools to be a tremendous player at the next level." UCLA, Colorado, Oregon State, Oregon, San Diego State, Wyoming, California, USC, Utah and Hawai'i have all expressed serious interest in Lolohea. Just like with Simione Vehikite last year, Lolohea looks the part of a player that is going to explode onto the recruiting scene this fall.

2010 #45 LB Josh Ebanez (5-11, 230) 2009 Practice Film - - Ebanez is another transfer, but he came all the way from Preston, Idaho. San Diego State, Utah State, Weber State, Hawai'i, Navy, Army and Air Force have all expressed interest. "A super-strong, super-intense competitor, Josh has the speed and power to play fullback and middle linebacker with awesome explosiveness," Hernandez said. "A stud in the weight room, he is a fiery competitor who loves to hit people."

2010 #54 OL Paul Belford (6-2, 305) - Hernandez considers Belford to be one of the top OL prospects in the state. "(Belford) has great leg drive and power," said Hernandez. "Is a mauler in the run game. Can play center and guard equally well." Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Hawai'i, Oregon and Oregon State are the schools that have shown Belford some early interest.

2010 #55 DL/OL Foi Foi (6-2, 275) 2009 Practice Film - - A player that really stands out when looking at him on the hoof, Foi moves just as well as you'd like him to, and with power. "Foi is uncommonly strong," Hernandez said. "He can manhandle opposing offensive linemen at the point of attack and can rush the passer." Colorado, Hawai'i, Oregon State, San Diego State, Utah, UNLV and Wyoming are his early suitors.

2010 #66 DT/OL Cyril Maluina (6-0, 290) 2009 Practice Film - - Maluina's motor was going all practice long, and did a great job bulling his way through when on defense. "Cyril has a quick first step, and can really push the point as a pocket rusher," Hernandez said. "Light on his feet, Cyril can move well and uses his hands well to fight off blockers."

2010 #74 OL/DL Alex Paiva (6-2, 310) 2009 Practice Film - - "Alex is a super-tough and rugged lineman," Hernandez said. "He loves to play on the OL and mix it up in the trenches. He is very strong (345 pound bench)." Colorado, Hawai'i, Oregon State, San Diego State, Utah State and Wyoming are showing early interest.

2010 #76 DL/OL Nick Ulu (6-2, 295) 2009 Practice Film - - A stong-two way player, Hernandez feels that Ulu's future is on defense. "He can play as a one-technique or three-technique defensive tackle," he said. "A tower of strength in the middle, he can occupy a lot of space and is a classic run-stuffer."

2011 #77 OL Kalanivalu Loe (6-5.5, 340) 2009 Practice Film - - A huge man, Loe definitely did not show the instincts and aggressiveness of a defensive linemen; however he showed quick feet and the ability to move well in the pocket, so it certainly looks like offense is going to be his side of the ball. If he can get himself into great shape and listen to his coaches, he could very well be the next Stan Hasiak.

2012 #90 DE/TE Luke Kaumatule (6-7, 220) 2009 Practice Film - - It's rare to see a kid at 6-7 before his sophomore season, but Kaumatule is a rare specimen. He's still just figuring out where to go and what to do, but offers a huge target at tight end, and an aggressive edge rusher on defense. His upside is limitless if he continues his development both on and off the field.

2010 #96 DE/TE Niko Uti (6-2, 230) 2009 Practice Film - - Wyoming, San Diego State, Utah, Utah State, Oregon State, Arizona State and Colorado have shown early interest in Uti, a 'talented, tough player who has a great motor', according to Hernandez. "(Uti) can pass protect and catch the ball and is fearless over the middle. On defense he can rush the passer and play off blocks to contain versus the run game."

2010 #98 LB/DE Pouesi Togiailua (6-1, 240) 2009 Practice Film - - Togiailua is another Radford transfer. "Pouesi is a beast on both sides of the ball," Hernandez said. "He can fill like a classic MLB, or run with power between the tackles. As a junior, he had impact playing both ways." Arizona State, Colorado, LSU, Oregon State, San Diego State, Utah State and Wyoming have all inquired about Togiailua.

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