College football: UH adds 10 signees, but loses Kapolei pledge

The University of Hawaii football team received 10 signed commitments Wednesday – but they did not get a signature from Kapolei standout Aaron Faumui.

This was the first day of the spring-semester signing period for football prospects. The Rainbow Warriors signed 17 players during the December signing period. On Wednesday, they addressed needs on the offensive line, signing five blockers, three from junior colleges. In all, they signed seven offensive linemen during the two periods of the 2018 recruiting class.


Solo Vaipulu, 6 feet, 3 inches and 300 pounds from Centennial (Calif.) High, reportedly 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,” coach Nick Rolovich said in a release. “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.

Faumui, an all-State defensive lineman from Kapolei High, said he withdrew the oral commitment he made to UH last week and instead signed with Virginia. The 6-3, 285-pound prospect reportedly also had offers from Florida, Oregon and Wisconsin among other schools. He is the ninth-ranked prospect in the state, according to the 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

But the Warriors still signed five Hawaii high school seniors in the two periods, including all-state quarterback Chevan Cordeiro of Saint Louis School. All-State receivers Jonah Panoke of Saint Louis and Scott McLeod of Saint Francis School signed scholarship agreements Wednesday with the intent of enrolling full time at UH in January 2019.

“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.”

In the earlier period, UH inked Kamehameha-Kapalama defensive end Jonah Kahahawai-Welch. At No. 5, Kahahawai-Welch is the only member of 247’s top 10 from Hawaii to land in Manoa.

Defensive lineman Justus Tavai (6-3, 290), the younger brother of UH linebacker Jahlani Tavai, signed Wednesday from El Camino (Calif.) College and is the fourth Tavai brother to play FBS football and 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.


Overall, 247 ranks Hawaii’s class as the fifth-best in the Mountain West behind Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State and Nevada.

“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.”