2016 class is making an impact

One of the good things about yesterday’s dress rehearsal/scrimmage was it showed the impact of the 2016 recruiting class, Nick Rolovich’s first as head coach.

It is remarkable how quickly Rolovich was able to assemble a staff (he was hired in late November 2015) and then the staff assembling a recruiting class.

Seven members of the class were on No. 1 units yesterday:

> Quarterback Dru Brown
> Offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry (who transferred from UCLA)
> Weak-side linebacker Jeremiah Pritchard
> Cornerback Zach Wilson (who rotates with Manu Hudson-Rasmussen)
> Right guard Chris Posa (a graduate transfer from Alabama)
> Defensive tackle Viane Moala
> Punter/holder Stan Gaudion

In addition:
> Cole McDonald and Cole Brownholtz are the top backups to Brown.
> Freddie Holly scored on a 63-yard run yesterday.
> Ikem Okeke, who is rotating between strong-side linebacker and rover, intercepted a pass and dropped a potential pick-6.
> Rush end Kaimana Padello made a sack and knocked down a pass to the flat yesterday.
> Wideout Marcus Armstrong-Brown, who joined in January after originally signing in February 2016, has emerged as a reliable deep threat.
> Keala Santiago is considered a sub-package No. 1 safety
> Eugene Ford, who was Rolovich’s first freshman recruit, is in the rotation at cornerback.
> Davine Tullis and Kalakaua Timoteo have developed as inside receivers; Kumoku Noa is doing well at wideout.
> Mykal Tolliver, who redshirted last year, also is rotating at corner.
> Cole Carter and Joey Nuuanu-Kuhiiki provide depth on the interior defensive line.
> Max Hendrie is expected to contribute as a pass rusher.
> Kalen Hicks has recovered from a knee injury and is getting significant reps at rover.
> Ben Scruton, who is one of the fastest Warriors, is a developing safety as well as situational punter.
> Running back Genta Ito was the top offensive scout last year.


  1. 808WarriorFan August 13, 2017 8:22 am

    Hopefully the trend continues with an even better recruiting class for next season ….. can’t wait for the season to start …..


  2. M L Warrior August 13, 2017 8:24 am


    Very curious to see the new helmets.

  3. M L Warrior August 13, 2017 8:27 am

    Make that 2 & 3

    Glad to see they worked out the online streaming deal, very happy to watch more Warrior games this season.

  4. oneseason August 13, 2017 8:33 am

    Saturday Aug 26 is fast approaching. Noon game against UMASS followed by Wahine VB second SSC match at 7:00 PM.

  5. Pride Rock August 13, 2017 9:07 am

    That’s great to see his 2016 recruiting class making strides but the TRUE test will be when they actually play in a real games. Not only in 2017 but in 2018 and 2019. Then we can really evaluate them with college career statistics to back it up.

  6. Bowwar August 13, 2017 9:20 am

    ST: Reading your excellent article this morning, I think there genuine concern over the place kicking position. Who is at the top of the kicking depth chart? Is Gaudion loved at punter? Can any of the kickers kick the football out of the end zone for kick-offs? I really think special teams will determine the success of the season.

  7. traitmanz August 13, 2017 9:23 am

    Will you have pics of the new helmets today?

  8. Da Punchbowl Kid August 13, 2017 9:48 am

    Great post, Stephen! Go Warriors!

  9. Akamai Okole August 13, 2017 10:37 am

    Great Morning All!


    We don need no steeking kickers….

    Das it

  10. Imua Warriors August 13, 2017 11:04 am

    Great recruiting class, but a lot also has to do w/ the poor quality of Chow’s recruiting and lack of eye for talent…

  11. West Side August 13, 2017 11:29 am

    Anything on #66 Epe Moananu? I know he played all games his freshman year and then redshirted last season but haven’t heard much about him since. What’s the scoops??!

  12. Stephen Tsai August 13, 2017 12:27 pm

    They seem to think the kicking problems will be worked out.
    There are three kickers — Ryan Meskell, Alex Trifonovitch and Michael Boyle. I think Meskell has the strongest leg. Everything should be resolved before the opener. I think.
    Gaudion did well when he was swinging away. He’s also doing a nice job as a holder. It’ll be an interesting next two weeks.

  13. Derek August 13, 2017 1:41 pm

    Is that Australian offensive lineman who previously commited to Hawaii and then later decided to delay joining the program still in the plans for the next recruiting class? Forgot his name, but it was something like Kapavalu, 6’6″ or 6’7″ and 295 to 305 lbs. Or is he opening his recruitment to other schools besides Hawaii?

    The 2016 class is a very good one because 1) most if not all are truly contributing and have shown good production, 2) their academics are solid, and 3) they are still very young and can grow, both in terms of maturity, physicality, and production. The 2017 class is also showing very good progress and potential too.

  14. Ipu Man August 13, 2017 2:47 pm

    Everything is coming together…
    except mascot.

  15. bowwar August 13, 2017 2:49 pm

    ST: I think they are finding out there are “limitations” on the Kicking side…In watching the past two years, Trifonovitch does have a strong leg, so that’s why Sanchez did both last year. Besides, Sanchez was just phenomenal and will hopefully, make the Colts team this year. Trifonovitch was not recruited as a PK, so he has his work cut out…Comes from a well-known kamaaina soccer family. When I watched Gaudion last year, he does have a strong leg and had good punts, but was less consistent than Rigo. I’m hoping that Meskell or Boyle is able to fill the need for a PK…We may need to have two depending on the accuracy needed and the situation.

    I hope that Genta gets to see the field this year…Wouldn’t it be great if he returned kick-offs?? The crowd could all yell Tora, Tora, Tora…

  16. bowwar August 13, 2017 2:50 pm

    #11: Yeah, it would be nice to have a Warrior mascot again…Maybe they can get the Polynesian Cultural Center to help-out again…That where Vili came from…

  17. Ipu Man August 13, 2017 2:54 pm

    Maybe just a hot air rainbow balloon…

  18. Kev-1 August 13, 2017 5:45 pm

    Matte green helmets, same exact design. UH late to the party. I like it, but definitely not blowing anyone away. I thought there was gonna be two versions?

  19. H-Man August 13, 2017 6:07 pm

    Kev-1, thanks for link. Helmets are nice. I like it.

  20. Kahuna August 13, 2017 6:30 pm

    Yeah….helmets are nice and probably a better match for the uniforms we currently have but nothing to get excited about.:-(

    Was hoping for more a splash. This was a trickle…LOL

  21. Mytake August 13, 2017 6:32 pm

    Helmets = Disappointing. Follow the crowd matte finish.

  22. Kahuna August 13, 2017 6:34 pm

    Kind of similar to Baylor’s helmet IMHO.


  23. al August 13, 2017 6:40 pm

    Ipu man…perhaps we might be able to entice DPK to be our mascot?
    I can picture him now in his malo…leaning on his tree.

  24. al August 13, 2017 6:41 pm

    Ipu man…perhaps we might be able to entice DPK to be our mascot?
    I can picture him now in his malo…leaning on his tree.

  25. amela August 13, 2017 6:45 pm

    Nice but I wish they were more like the 2007 helmets, I like the shiny stuff.

  26. Derek August 13, 2017 7:52 pm

    IMO, it cannot compare to the first version by June Jones/Kurt Osaki.. That one is classic and one of the best in NCAA football by many surveys.

  27. HawaiiMongoose August 13, 2017 8:01 pm

    I agree, these are okay but I think the 2006-2007 era helmets were the best ever. Someday they should be brought back.

  28. Bowwar August 13, 2017 8:05 pm

    The new helmets look “cheap” and a far cry from the distinctive 2007 ones. So much for marketing & good branding…It is disappointing.

  29. H-Man August 13, 2017 9:56 pm

    The visits with the 25th Division at Schofield must have left an impression on Rolo. I think he is looking for that “going-to-war” look. Soldiers at the garrison wear the shiny stuff, but when they go to battle, its matte finish.

  30. DaveLetterMan August 13, 2017 10:11 pm

    Howzit Tsaikos!
    Like the helmet but wish the Hawaiian flag was on one side.

  31. jm2375 August 13, 2017 11:08 pm

    al-san – #24 – thanks a lot. bad visual. 🙄 👿

  32. SteveM August 13, 2017 11:47 pm

    RE: #24 and #32

    No tree. I can picture DPK running around the stadium waving a UH flag after each touchdown.
    Well, the first TD anyway… 🙂

  33. Maddog50 August 14, 2017 1:53 am

    I like the new helmet period. The Matte finish is a concept applied to dozens of college teams-green is the root color of the program so it makes sense. Good job coach!

  34. Maddog50 August 14, 2017 4:52 am

    Got it from a close source several weeks ago that the latest helmet addition would be what was unveiled. I receive several bits of info from sources due to a wide range a relationships. I never repeat or divulge anything until it becomes public-pretty sure that the “white helmets” are being refurbished after having been subject to recertification, they do have a shelf life depending on use-due to the co position of the shell-polycarbonate-the shell is not merely painted but rather resurfaced. Have no idea what it will be but figure it may not be white. By the way, retail price for a somewhat fully dressed helmet “hardware i.e. Face masks shields etc.” full retail is 410.00 per. This was nothing short of brilliant that Coach Rolovich held a defined purpose fund drive to acquire the most important and costly piece of equipment. Each sponsor will a certificate of randomly designated player who will wear the helmet-sponsor was allowed to designate offense or defense or even more specifically by position such as OL DL RB and so on. That player will have a sticker inside the helmet with some sort or initials or name. My choice was for Offensive Line, and I know the player due to the fact I was obviously unable to attend the Helmet event. My choice for sticker was MD50. So very proud to give back for the education, friends, life experiences, and opportunity I was afforded-hope and wish more of my former teammates and players would also respond like wise. I am ever so thankful because who knows what my life would have been without this great experience and education! GoWarriors!!!!!!!!!

  35. DaveLetterMan August 14, 2017 5:30 am

    Although I do prefer the “shiny” green helmet, I can imagine the maintenance nightmare in keeping those looking good.

  36. Old School Dave August 14, 2017 6:36 am

    Nice green color! Would have like a “Golden” helmet, in tribute to the 73 team and the biggest win in the program’s history (10-7 over UW in Seattle). A “Purple, Silver and Black” one matching my bowling team’s shirt would be nice, too :-).

    Gotta love how the talent level is being upgraded in only year #2 of the Rolo era.

  37. Dennis Halloran August 14, 2017 6:37 am

    As a former Army Infantry Sergeant, I love the matte!

  38. Ipu Man August 14, 2017 7:52 am

    DPK and the tree… LOL 🙂

  39. Coach DB August 14, 2017 8:38 am

    Need a splash to go with the Flat Matt look. Can we get the recruits and players excited, let’s go CHROME coach!

  40. Inyoface August 14, 2017 8:48 am

    Michigan State is the only football team I can remember with a green matte helmet. I thought they looked real good when they first came out with them and they actually started winning more games with those helmets.

  41. FatJeff August 14, 2017 10:05 am

    I was at the presentation and I will tell you two things. First, in person the helmets mesh well with the uniforms. The matte is the hot trend and the players really seem to like them. Second, lets not loose sight that helmets are safety equipment. Our players will be wearing fresh helmets with the newest design elements that can reduce injuries. That’s something colors and graphics can’t provide.

    P.S. Another benefit of this fundraiser is how it freed up $40k+ of budget for other needs. And we’ve all heard about the needs.

  42. Stephen Tsai August 14, 2017 10:34 am

    New post: http://hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=44432

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