California O-lineman commits to Warriors

Offensive lineman Solo Vaipulu of Centennial High (Corona, Calif.) told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he has accepted a football scholarship from the Warriors.

Vaipulu said he is 6 feet 2 1/2 and 300 pounds.

He played all five o-line positions at Centennial but is projected to first compete at guard for the Warriors. He hopes to eventually transition to center.

247Sports rates Vaipulu as the 15th-best center nationally and No. 4 in the West.

Vaipulu and UH running back Miles Reed were classmates at Centennial. Vaipulu also attended a class taught by Mike Bass, a Centennial graduate and former UH running back.

Centennial’s O-line coach is Kunane Burns, a Kamehameha Schools graduate.

* * * * *

Dru Brown announced today on Twitter he is transferring to Oklahoma State.

Brown visited the school this weekend.


  1. Tanks Ah! February 3, 2018 4:23 pm

    Solid! We needed this. Now to solidify a few more before signing day.

  2. haka February 3, 2018 4:24 pm

    Going Solo!
    Go Warriors!

  3. Warrior Dave February 3, 2018 4:36 pm

    Fills a definite need. Welcome to Warrior Nation Solo!!

  4. turfwar February 3, 2018 4:55 pm

    Looking for Solo to be a cornerstone on the OL for years to come. His highlites from the Poly Bowl practices are very impressive. Needless to say he didn’t lose very many one on ones match ups with some big time DL’s.

  5. tom-warriornatio February 3, 2018 4:56 pm

    Welcome Solo! The recruiting news keeps getting better!

    Can you help me reach my goal by making a $25 donation to the UH Foundation Fund I created for UH Football recruiting–see below link.
    If 2000 fans do this, we will raise $50,000. So far, I got 577 donors ($14,425), so only 1423 more donors to go–each donor spot represents $25.

    After donating, text me your name to 415-324-0585 or email your receipt to: so I can add it below (if you don’t mind):

    1. Tom Kitaguchi, CA
    2. Joel Gushikuma, VA
    3. Michelle Houlihan (mom of Ben Scruton #36), Australia
    4. Timothy Ho, CA
    5. Jeffrey Domdoma, HI
    6. Toni & Chris Martines, HI
    7. D. Ng
    8. Tom Mui, HI
    9. Glenn Okada, HI
    10. J Sakai
    11. W Stallworth
    12. Daniel Ng, CA
    13. Dean Shimabukuro, CA
    14. Dave Mutter, IL
    15. Aaron Avilla, HI
    16. Tammy Hadden (mom of former K Tyler Hadden), CA
    17. E Hananoki
    18. Scott Isara, CA
    19. C Kobashigawa
    20. J Nanya, CA
    21. Daniel Ng
    22. Glenn Okada, HI
    23. Mike Perry (brother of Fred Ulu-Perry’s grandpa), NV
    24. D Rutt
    25. E Scott, ID
    26. Keith Sherman, PA
    27. E Stallworth
    28. H Takahashi
    29. E Stalwart
    30. Rick Santana, HI
    31. Glen Iwamoto
    32. Graham McConnell, NY
    33. C Kuniyuki, HI
    34. Gerald Ushijima, HI
    35. Barbara Heiking, HI
    36. Curtis Sano, VA
    37. M Yuen, HI
    38. Al Kimura, HI
    39. Dave Mutter
    40. Andrew Uffman, CA
    41. Wayne Miyasato
    42. Garret Okamoto, CA
    43. Neal Morisato, HI
    44. Stevie Kiyosaki, HI
    45. Carey Adachi, CA
    46. Brian Koji, CA
    47-50. Harold Imai $100
    51. Jeff Duva, first QB for Dick Tomey 1977-78, CA
    52. David Kam
    53. J Aniya
    54-57. William & Ramona Stutzmann $100
    58. Greg Cummins, first punter for Dick Tomey 1977-78, CA
    59. Wayne Coito, HI
    60-64. Tom Kitaguchi $125
    65-66. Timothy Ho $50, CA
    67-70. Daniel Ng $100
    71-74. Dave Mutter $100, former OL in 1970’s & biggest supporter of former players
    75-76. Rick Santana $50
    77-80. Gil Horita, HI
    81-96. anonymous
    97-98. Chad Sanborn $50, HI
    99-102. Tom Kitaguchi $100
    103-104. Herb Ho $50, HI
    105. Gary Tokumori, CA
    106-107. Leburta Kanno $50, HI
    108-109. Milton Gibo $50, CA
    110. Tyler Siu
    111. Ipu Man
    112. Lesley Torres, HI
    113-114. Ross Shiraki $50, UHM ’80, CA
    115-119. Tom Kitaguchi $125
    120-121. Scott Simon
    122. Roger Simon
    123. Jarin Simon
    124-127. Gerald Ushijima $100
    128. Eric Saruwatari
    129. John Amaki, CA
    130-134. Glen Morisato $100, CA
    135-136. anonymous
    137. Lee & Tricia Afusia, parents of Kody Afusia (former OL), CA
    138. Gregg Isara, CA
    139. Grant Tanimoto, HI
    140. Roger Ikeda, CA
    141. David Oride, HI
    142-151. Rick Nakashima $250, HI
    152-191. $1000 from Water Controls Inc. of Maui, who challenges other companies to do the same!
    192. Desmond Ogata, HI
    193. Carol E. Ogata, HI
    194. Gwen Martin, HI
    195-204. Pat Rogers $250
    205-208. Rich Yamane $100
    209-210. Rick Ikemoto $50
    211. Garret Yamanaka, HI
    212-237. Tom Kitaguchi $650
    237-240. Ed Tamura $100, HI
    241. W Figueira, HI
    242. Shilene Matautia (mom of our star LB Solomon #27), HI
    243-244. C. Y., WA
    245. Ed McIntosh, HI
    246. Bob Medeiros
    247-250. Tom Kitaguchi
    251. Kelly Toguchi, HI
    252-254. Joey Gushikuma $100, VA
    255. Fuchsia Yamashiro (UNLV tailgate head) $25 ongoing monthly, NV
    256-275. Carey Adachi $500, CA
    276-279. Mike Higa $100
    280. G. Miyashiro, HI
    281. Jason Shimizu, HI
    282. Ken Araki, CA
    283-284. Carl Nagami
    285. Stephen Miller, AZ
    286-289. Allen Kamemoto $100, HI
    290. Matt & Ioke Wong, HI
    291-292. Tim Chang, CA
    293. Brian Perry (Fred Ulu-Perry’s grandpa), HI
    294-295. Keone Chin, HI
    296. Lance McGee, WA
    297. Eddie Kim, CA
    298-302. Lori Rolovich (yes, Rolo’s mom), CA
    303. Matt Mitchell, HI
    304. Clyde Matsusaka, HI
    305-525. Previous Warrior Nation Fund donors
    526-527. Dave & Linda Olney, CA
    528. Mirio Whitley, HI
    529-532. anonymous, CA
    533. Fuchsia Yamashiro, NV (ongoing monthly donation)
    534. Wanda Kitaguchi, HI (ongoing monthly donation)
    535. The Punchbowl Kid
    536. James Watari, HI
    537. Daryl Williams, CA (former UH LB)
    538. Randy Tobita, Lahaina, HI
    539. Wayne Coito, HI
    540. Louise Ferreira, HI
    541. Yvette Paz, HI
    542. Pauline Iwamoto, HI
    543. Noreen Myman, CA
    544. Stephen & Karen Maddox, NV
    545-548. Lance & Eileen Ohara, CA
    549-550. Mark Banker, UH football asst. coach
    551-552. Corey Batoon, UH football asst. coach
    553-554. Mark Weber, UH football asst. coach
    555-556. Ricky Logo, UH football asst. coach
    557-558. Andre Allen, UH football asst. coach
    559-560. Brian Smith, UH football asst. coach
    561-562. Craig Stutzman, UH football asst. coach
    563-564. Mayur Chaudhari, UH football asst. coach
    565-566. Abe Eliminian, UH football asst. coach
    567-568. Jacob Yoro, UH football asst. coach
    569. Howard Hanzawa, Maui
    570. Tony Tony, CA
    571. Richard Yuen, CA
    572-575. What’s Up, TX
    576-577. Placido Valenciano, Kauai

    Mahalo, and pls share this with all of your fellow fans.

    Tom Kitaguchi, founder of Hawaii Football Warrior Nation Facebook group (over 3050 members)

  6. z February 3, 2018 4:58 pm


  7. Abunai February 3, 2018 5:08 pm

    I think he could become as good as Satele and Manuwai. But I know Satele was a tackle in college but center in the NFL. He can go both guard or center at UH and I believe he can excel. Good low body strength and excellent punch.

  8. H-Man February 3, 2018 5:09 pm

    Nice catch. Welcome to the Warriors. As for recruiting, I don’t think there are a few more. By my count, that’s 25 recruits.

  9. Kifi February 3, 2018 5:17 pm

    Hawai’i 2018 Recruit Class

    *Preferred Walk-Ons(4)

    Chevan Cordeiro 6-1 180
    Jeremy Moussa 6-3 205
    *Max Nall 6-1 180

    *Kahale Huddleston

    Cedric Byrd 5-9 170
    Eric Rooks 6-3 230
    Nick Mardner 6-5 190
    Jonah Panoke 6-2 185
    *Rob Funkhauser 5-10 160

    Jonah Laulu 6-5 245

    Kohl Levao 6-5 320
    Gene Pryor 6-3 312
    Solo Vaipulu 6-2 280
    Kamuela Borden 6-4 235
    IIm Manning 6-4 250
    Thomas Wade 6-6 245

    Blessman Ta’ala 6-1 285
    Aaron Faumui 6-3 285
    *Foi Sila 6-0 295

    Mason Mataafa 6-5 235
    Jeffery Keene 6-4 230
    Derek Thomas 6-3 225
    Zach Ritner 6-3 240
    Jonah Welch 6-2 225

    Khoury Bethley 5-11 195

    DB (4)
    Kai Kaneshiro 6-2 190
    Manase Time 6-0 205
    Jovan McConico 6-0 185

  10. Kifi February 3, 2018 5:20 pm

    Looks like 24 so far, unless one of them gray shirts. Look like we may need another LB or corner. Wouldn’t mind another defensive tackle. Can never have enough bigs.

  11. Sangamon Keith February 3, 2018 5:28 pm

    #9. Apparently Ryan Meskell, our Australian kicker, accounts for the 25th recruit. A wouldn’t be surprised if 2-3 recruits grayshirt allowing a couple more to sign now.

  12. Gee February 3, 2018 5:36 pm

    McConico not coming

  13. Bryson February 3, 2018 5:57 pm

    I guess 900 miles is closer to home…incase your wondering the distance between California and Oklahoma 1501 mi distance between Hawai’i and Cali 2467 mi

  14. Kifi February 3, 2018 6:01 pm

    #10 – Agreed.

  15. Stephen Tsai February 3, 2018 6:31 pm

    I don’t think Jovan McConico is joining UH.

  16. Graham February 3, 2018 6:43 pm

    Dru brown to ok state is jaw dropping? Did they watch the game tape last year? Before he announced his transfer I thought Rolo would open the QB competition up.

  17. Tanks Ah! February 3, 2018 6:48 pm

    Kifi, I believe you can scratch McConico from that list. Reports are that his isn’t signing.

  18. Kifi February 3, 2018 6:49 pm

    #13 – Thanks for that info ST.

  19. clyde February 3, 2018 7:12 pm

    Good for Brown. Wish him the best. Looking at what OSU has returning, he’s going to have a good chance to start. That’ll be interesting to follow.

  20. warriorsanddolphins February 3, 2018 7:16 pm

    I think if Mermea decides to stay then we can go after a cornerback. If he leaves then we go after another defensive lineman.

  21. Lava February 3, 2018 7:29 pm

    This class looks like fills a lot of needs, and with the new coaches and a change in schemes, I think the team will be more entertaining to watch.

    Watching the film on some of these guys was enjoyable. Anyone else catch some of those blocks Time made?

    Re Brown, hopefully he makes the most of his new situation. We had players come through the program that never saw meaningful playing time at qb, but they were more talented than Brown. Steele Jantz was one, and David Graves was another. You could put Chad Kapanui too. Steele proved is talent at Iowa State, and Chad made his mark in the arena league.

    Hope ST brings us more exciting news down the final stretch this week.

  22. Palolo February 3, 2018 7:44 pm

    Good luck to Dru Brown. OSU has 6 returning QB’s. One is 6’7, another is 6’6 and the rest are 6’4. He beat out all the tall QB’s UH had the last 2 years too.

  23. burro sabio February 3, 2018 8:12 pm

    So much for Drew wanting to be closer to home. Good luck to him.

  24. PONO February 3, 2018 8:15 pm

    Solo is a baller

  25. Honu888 February 3, 2018 8:17 pm

    Another nice commit with Vaipulu! And maybe now we can all close the books on Dru Brown. Thanks for being a Warrior. Good Luck to him! Now let’s move on….

  26. papajoe2 February 3, 2018 8:40 pm

    Where is the receiver from St. Louis who just killed Mililani, going to school. He has the breakaway speed the UH lacked at least in the past 2 season. Is he a non-qualifier? Just curious.

  27. PONO February 3, 2018 8:45 pm

    Papajoe I think you’re talking about Mitchell Quinn. I don’t have any info but reading the message boards it seems like he’s interested in running track in college and UH does not field a team.

  28. Abunai February 3, 2018 8:48 pm

    What are chances in getting Alexandre Dumais? If we can land him for our DL would be good for years to come. I think he visited UH….

  29. kev-1 February 3, 2018 9:22 pm

    I guess I don’t need to feel bad for Dru Brown anymore. Why do people feel the need to be fake? If you wanted to leave for a chance to play at another school or for a better opportunity, then say so. Spare me the “this decision has nothing to do with football. I want to be closer to home” bs.

    Santiago straight up said he wanted to explore football elsewhere. I respect that much more than smoke and mirror bs.

  30. Petey808 February 3, 2018 9:53 pm

    Great get in Hans Solo! Aloha Dru! Now for some run and shoot! Go Warriors!

  31. ✭ roygbivs ✭ February 4, 2018 12:16 am

    Welcome new Warrior!!!

  32. suckkabooya February 4, 2018 1:01 am

    Good for Dru Brown. Maybe that offer was the closest possible. It’s closer than here and Oklahoma St. games are probably easier to receive than ours (on TV), Good luck to him, I wouldn’t count him out. He’s a tough kid.

  33. Kane February 4, 2018 1:56 am

    #27 – I’m with you. Santiago is straight up honest. Can’t knock the kid on that. It’s sad when guys give bs stories on why they are leaging. Straight up, you are bailing out on your brothers. So it is what it is. Sad to see him leave but at least he tried UH out. No point he stay if it’s not a fit for him. It just wasn’t for him. But oh well, gotta just move on.

  34. H-Man February 4, 2018 2:32 am

    Malakai Salu would be a good get.

  35. Sangamon Keith February 4, 2018 4:51 am

    Depending on the numbers, another d-line and o-line would be good. Don’t know if there’s a good QB out there, but picking up some experience as insurance wouldn’t hurt.

  36. DaveLetterMan February 4, 2018 6:08 am

    Morning Tsaikos!
    Recruiting class looking good. Good to have players who want to be here.
    Brown says he has family in Texas. And i have a feeling Mermea is at a LA JUCO. Think another OL, DL or WR would be a good get.

  37. Paniolo February 4, 2018 6:49 am

    Reality will suck in next month when our Warrior football team open Spring practice. Canidates for starting positions on both side of the ball will begin to show up. It looks like we will have a different but exciting Warriors for 2018. The return of the RUN AND SHOOT offense will definetely excites former Warrior fans (hopefully they return to Aloha Stadium and support our Warriors during home games).
    It would be a very good test when the Naval Academy comes to our turf in our Warrior football opening game at Aloha Stadium.

  38. tom-warriornation February 4, 2018 7:44 am

    I am hoping our Warrior Nation Fund for recruiting is helping with all these great new recruits–our fund is currently over $14,425; text me if you want to help 415-324-0585; or email:

  39. Boolakanaka February 4, 2018 7:46 am

    Hmmmn, as to a Brown, OK State is a rather curious choice. Given his skill set, and he does have skills, I think he will find the BIg12 to be far quicker off the edge and much more dynamic athleticism in the defensive backfield. Not sure if that translates to a lot of success or extend introduction to pine wood on the sidelines. As with most things, we will see…

  40. Boolakanaka February 4, 2018 7:52 am

    That said, when Nick Nelson transferred to Wisconsin, I’m sure there were many doubters—as he was a starter going to a major program with many 3 Star DBs. Well, he started the entire year and was a major contributor in their bowl game. However, with nickel and dime packages there were many more opportunities to get on the field—with QB either you are the guy and the remaining guys collect splinters on their okole.

  41. Old School Dave February 4, 2018 8:11 am

    UH has always had talented players as evident by those who’ve transferred out. In the past, Blake Muir and Trevor Davis come to mind – both started at Baylor and Cal, respectively. I think that coaches at Mid major schools have to do a more thorough job of who they offer scholarships to. Don’t know if Brown will play, but some publications are saying the he may provide Mike Gundy the option of redshirting their hotshot freshman QB coming in this fall.

    It should be fun for Brown, regardless, playing in a full stadium at Boone Pickens where they averaged over 56,000 per game (sold out). OSU went 10-3 in 2017.

    Was Dan Robinson a RNS QB prior to 1999?

  42. Maddog50 February 4, 2018 8:34 am

    Recruiting class is very solid so far. Think there is still room for a couple more with the way scholarship totals are compiled. From what I can tell we still have a few offers out there for OL and DL. Vaipulu is a very good addition. Did not care for some of this transfer stuff but so be it, I’m done with that crap-I don’t look at this as a rebuild but rather a reset. A commitment to a passing offense and much needed talent and depth on Defense. Look for coach Batoon to put speed and physical play into the mix from the get go. Offensively the new additions to the OL I can see a passion and physicality being developed. Very excited about what the spring will uncover. GoWarriors!!!!

  43. Stephen Tsai February 4, 2018 8:34 am

    New post:

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