Yesterday, the commitments of two
players, running back Dalton Hilliard and wide receiver Robert Toma, were announced by the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance. Earlier, Kapolei High offensive lineman Stan Hasiak IV, committed to the Bruins. Punahou School
Quite a week's haul, especially since that's roughly as many as UCLA has gotten from here in the past decade.
IIRC CRN while he was up in Seattle made an effort to recruit kids from Hawaii (Names of Wilson Afoa and Donny Mateaki’s come to mind). Norm Chow has always had his connections to his former home state. So, perhaps it’s not a big surprise to see UCLA recruiting this state so hard under CRN and Chow.
UCLA’s early success in
Now, having Punahou alum Norm Chow as the offensive coordinator undoubtedly accounts for a lot of the interest. But it also isn't hard to surmise that the Bruins have their eyes on the state's top prospect, Punahou linebacker Manti Te'o.
The Te'o sweepstakes grow more interesting — and more competitive — by the week. USC head coach Pete Carroll was here immediately after the
upset. The next week Brigham Young announced a series of games with Oregon State that would, coincidentally put the Cougars here during Teo's days if he chose BYU. Then, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis flew all day for a brief appearance. Hawai'i
Now, UCLA weighs in by the truck load. Only Stanford among the five announced finalists (UH is no longer under consideration) remains to make a splash.
"We have a very good chance to get Manti," Hilliard said. "He loved his visit there and I think he likes the direction the program is going. He loves the coaching staff and I know I'm going to be doing my best to get him to come to UCLA with me. In the end, he'll do what he feels is best for him but I know he really likes UCLA a lot right now."
Well I think Bruins are huge underdogs against BYU (and also
Bruins have a lot to offer them: Top notch academics, a chance to play right away and an opportunity to make an impact turning around a marquee program. For Te'o, in addition there is the association with Chow, who is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Speculation has been that BYU is the front runner in the Te'o competition, followed by USC.
UCLA? It could be the dark horse in the derby.
We will see how it plays out. Hopefully those of you who are from
IMHO even if we don’t end up getting Te’o the relationship and connections Neuheisel and Chow are establishing in the