Hawaii football: Running back Dae Dae Hunter commits

Running back Dae Dae Hunter has committed to Hawaii. / Twitter graphic

The top running back from one of the nation’s top high school football teams has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii.

Daveon “Dae Dae” Hunter of Chandler (Ariz.) High said he will sign his national letter of intent Wednesday morning, the first day football prospects may put their binding commitments in writing. The Rainbow Warriors are expected to sign about a dozen players, including defensive lineman Kemon Smith of Blinn College.

Hunter said UH was the right “fit,” and that he felt welcomed during a recruiting visit when he met the players and toured the campus.

Hunter grew up in Colorado but moved to Arizona this past summer. At Chandler, which is ranked No. 9 nationally in this week’s USA Today Super 25, Hunter had a breakout season. In 13 games, Hunter rushed for 1,748 yards and 33 touchdowns. In Arizona’s Open Division championship game, Hunter ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns. He had rushes of 74 and 71 yards. Chandler finished 13-0.

Hunter is 5 feet 11 and 195 pounds. He said he ran 40 yards in sub-4.5 seconds at combines in Wyoming and Nebraska.

Hunter played both running back and linebacker before focusing solely on offense after moving to Arizona. “It was an easy choice,” said Hunter, who was viewed as a better prospect at running back. “It’s just the adrenaline you get when you get the ball and make someone miss. Making a big run, you don’t get a better feeling than that, really.”


  1. ai-eee-soos December 17, 2019 6:42 pm

    Welcome aboard, Dae Dae Hunter !!!


    BEAT byu !!!

  2. H-Man December 17, 2019 6:45 pm

    Maybe a dozen will sign. Wow, Great news. RB Hunter and DT Smith were, for me, huge surprises. Felt like Christmas came a week early. These players fill positions that were IMO needing a big boost. And they’re not warm bodies, but highly rated players.

  3. ai-eee-soos December 17, 2019 6:50 pm

    KHON2 article / Cole McDonald / Ren Clayton.


  4. Boya_jr December 17, 2019 7:21 pm

    Go Bows!

  5. azwarrior22 December 18, 2019 3:41 am

    That is 2 years in a row, Hawaii gets a player from the Arizona State Class 5A champions Chandler Wolves. Go Warriors !! Reel them in…

  6. cappie the $2000 dog December 18, 2019 5:15 am

    h-man: i like the “warm bodies” comment. every year, i read about the men and women’s basketball signees and then i look them up in the scouting services, hoping to find stars next to their name. garrett nevels was a pretty decent no-star player. i’m up early, watching history in the making.

  7. ADG December 18, 2019 5:20 am

    Welcome to the Hawaii Warriors. Can’t wait to see you in action. Best of luck. 🏈🏈

  8. azwarrior22 December 18, 2019 6:23 am

    Whatever happened to a new thread of early signees as they sign in real time?

    Go Warriors ! Reel them in…

  9. Krusha December 18, 2019 8:21 am

    Great athlete, strong and fast with ability to stay on his feet and outrun defenses. Hopefully he can also block and catch passes, then he’ll be an all-down back from UH and definitely shine in this offense.

  10. snowmantoo December 18, 2019 8:31 am

    @ #8: this paper is too busy running anti-Trump propaganda to care about UH football. They have Tsai stretched so thin he doesn’t know which end is up.

  11. justsomeguy December 18, 2019 8:47 am


    This isn’t a political blog….take your pro-trump delusions elsewhere


  12. William F. Yardley December 18, 2019 8:48 am

    check out sportshawaii.com, much better coverage

  13. H-Man December 18, 2019 10:09 am

    Check out 247 sports: https://247sports.com/college/hawaii/Season/2020-Football/Commits/
    Suspect signee list may not be current, but decent list.

  14. Whitey December 18, 2019 10:22 am

    Congratulations to the Warriors coaching staff on their first group of recruits for 2020.

  15. Mando December 18, 2019 10:29 am

    Congrats SA for more coverage on the Jamm incident rather than on one of the most important days of the football program.

  16. Da Punchbowl Kid December 18, 2019 10:53 am

    Great get! Welcome Dae Dae!

  17. islandman December 18, 2019 11:31 am

    Nae Nae for UH wbb… now Dae Dae for fb.

  18. A-House December 18, 2019 12:56 pm

    as 2019 comes to a lose, we welcome class of 2020 to the Warrior ohana!

    great start! keep the ball rolling!

    any incoming transfers in UH portal?

  19. A-House December 18, 2019 12:57 pm

    jeez — forgot the “c” for lose

  20. Inyoface December 18, 2019 12:58 pm

    We need big defensive lineman. Beat BYU

  21. Willie December 18, 2019 2:59 pm

    So did Hunter sign, the morning is gone.

  22. clyde December 18, 2019 3:05 pm

    21: According to Hawaii football Twitter account, he signed at 5 this morning.

  23. ai-eee-soos December 18, 2019 3:14 pm

    Finally !!! … list of signees.


  24. Whitey December 18, 2019 6:27 pm

    Ok, the Warriors needed speed back and receivers. Will they play them or keep them on the sidelines?

  25. Whitey December 18, 2019 6:37 pm

    Watching the videos, tbis class has players with break away speed. The passing and running game has a chance to set a new level of offensive games. Now if the qbs can pass accurately and anticipate, this will be one speed monster of Warriors. Not predicting team W-L record, but they have a chance to bring excitement back to Rainbow Warriors football and bring back the fans.. Simple marketing, bring exciting football and the fanz will come.

  26. sackkabooya December 18, 2019 11:31 pm

    Ezra Evaimalo looks to be Derek Thomas 2.0. Hand in the ground, high motor, persistent, physical, quick off the snap, hybrid DE. Not as fast as Thomas but will eventually be much more physical (similar to Padello quickness to physicality ratio) later. Thomas has to play in space 2 pt stance about half the time so Ezra will have to display that ability (all 3 pt stance on his hudl). But you can see the ability to disrupt. Will pair (complementary abilities) with Kahahawai-Welch (Jonah smoothly plays in space from 2 pt stance and will be unreal rusher off the edge soon) nicely in Batoon’s scheme. Imagine what this defense will be later. Awesome.

  27. sackkabooya December 19, 2019 12:29 am

    Watching the video of Dae Dae Hunter he kind of reminds me of Emmitt Smith a little. He has a similar (to my recollections of Smith) power to shiftiness ratio that leaves defenders (on video) off balance in the open field allowing Hunter to (seemingly) easily “shake off” contact. He also “cuts” and “slashes” through seams (like Smith used to) in the zone blocking runs really nice. RPO will look similar to when Reed runs it I think. About as physical as Reed (Bam Bam is small but a real tough runner) but much bigger so he should “pause” LB’s more often than Reed in RPO. Upper body hasn’t filled out yet so he may get even bigger.

    With Hunter’s addition Keliiliki can now focus (get real proficient, work out with the OL pass protection for like a month or so) on blocking (he was the 6th rated FB 2015) to inherit Furuta’s role. Going to have lots of opportunity to showcase running skills for him too. The complexion has changed at RB now. Just got to work on catching some passes. Awesome.

  28. sackkabooya December 19, 2019 1:20 am

    I remember watching a video of Haasenritter at a UH camp running routes. I remember him just “nailing” every cut not only smoothly, but with so much quickness and authority. So impressive. You could imagine Chad Owens possibilities with the similar body type. I have since tried to find that video but I think Rolovich might have hidden it. It really impressed me.

    His addition would add a different dimension to the slot position that really was a (elephant in the room?) problem for this (and last year as well) seasons offense. Physicality at the slot position catching passes with contact over the middle.

    Smart was the most physical receiver out of all of them but he lined up outside. Sarsh got better at it as the season went on but was not real good (catching anticipating contact) early on. Victor
    is fearless. I expect Haasenritter (because of RB background) to also be as determined. Going to be unreal pair. So much versatility to their YAC abilities. Awesome.

  29. Maddog50 December 19, 2019 3:55 am

    Good start for this years recruiting class. Actually like them all. Hidden gem is probably Ta ala.

  30. boolakanaka December 19, 2019 5:59 am

    Want to know, although won’t hear for a bit, what local boys are coming home— for sure there will be a starter or two, making their way back to the Islands.

  31. Whitey December 19, 2019 6:44 am

    Uh marketing should take advantage of the possible excitement this 2020 class could bring and start promoting season ticet sales for 2020 Warrior football, but they won’t.

  32. NorthShoreFan December 19, 2019 7:37 am

    After these signings, how many more scholies so we have left to fill? IMHO, can’t have too many linemen, Dline and Oline.

  33. Tman808 December 19, 2019 8:40 am

    Watched Dae Dae’s highlight video. Great balance, deceptive speed and quickness, good vision. Runs w good pad level through contact. What’s not to like? Predict he will be all time TD for running back at Hawaii if he stays healthy and plays through to senior year. He will get tons of inside the 10 yard line touches which he will convert to TDS with a high percentage.

  34. SailorBlue December 19, 2019 11:52 am

    Aloha Tsai-kos and Tsai-kettes ~ I wanted to let you know before everybody takes off for the weekend and Christmas holiday that the Tsai-ko Hawaii Bowl tgate will be at Rainbow Bay Marina ***CABANA A***. The theme is brunch so bring all your ono breakfast and lunch grindz. The early crew will be rolling in about 9 AM to get things going. We’ll be shutting down at about 1:30 PM in preparation for a 3 PM kick-off. This is the last tgate of the season and 2019. We hope to see you there. Cheers, SB

  35. ai-eee-soos December 19, 2019 3:17 pm

    Fresno State.

    Fresno State: Kalen DeBoer received a five year contract worth $7 million in total according to the Fresno Bee. Year one compensation begins at $1.3 million and it grows to $1.5 million in year five.

  36. ai-eee-soos December 19, 2019 3:24 pm

    New Mexico.

    Danny Gonzales is the Lobos new football head coach. His agreement is for 5 years, $700K; the base is $400K and $300K is media, apparel, etc. Still working on the contract that will most likely include incentives.

    400K + 300K media, etc, + incentives. Looks like their AD can hustle up the kala.

  37. cappie the $2000 dog December 19, 2019 8:13 pm


    I subscribe to the paper. That is not an accurate take. All the political editorials are from syndicated columnists. And most of the national news is placed on pages two or four; never on the front page. This newspaper has been pretty fair to the president.

    Sorry. Back to sports. Comment 11. already addressed this.

  38. Inyoface December 20, 2019 12:02 am

    The 2016 all white uniforms were sick.

  39. Akamai Okole December 20, 2019 3:04 am

    Great Morning All!

    The Force is Widdus…

  40. Akamai Okole December 20, 2019 3:07 am

    Nice job, Coaches. The recruiting class looks awesome.

    Now it’s up to us fans…

    Gotta re$pond.

    BIS on Tuesday would be a good way to start… 😉

  41. Akamai Okole December 20, 2019 3:17 am


    sumting been telling me to change from 56-14

    I’ve been having flashbacks of Days of Yore:

    (Eh SteveM…how’s dis for a memory jerker)

    A rainy night in Moiliili and some tings a kid from Kalihi learns:

    – can play football on a really muddy field
    – can play football on a
    really rainy night
    – can win football when relying on a 140-pound foreigner named Stuprich
    – no need ackchally score one touchdown fo win football

    15 – 13 Akamai Okole

  42. Akamai Okole December 20, 2019 3:22 am


    He was from CA but his name…

  43. Akamai Okole December 20, 2019 3:23 am

    Eh Meskell…Be Ready. 😉

  44. tom-warriornation December 20, 2019 8:40 am

    As you know Nick Rolovich was named the Mountain West Conference’s Coach of the Year and other schools will be offering him more money to steal him away from us. Can we show our support for him by donating to the UH Foundation fund I created for UH recruiting–see below link. If 2,000 fans just donate $25, we will raise $50,000. So far, I got 1,067 donors ($26,675), so only 933 more donors to go! PS: did you see that UNLV is paying their new coach almost 3 times the salary of Rolo’s?

    After donating, email your receipt to: tomkitaguchi@yahoo.com.
    Mahalo, and pls share this with all of your fellow fans & hope you have a nice Xmas!
    Tom Kitaguchi, founder of Hawaii Football Warrior Nation Facebook group (almost 4,000 members).

    or Google: tom kitaguchi UH foundation

  45. tom-warriornation December 20, 2019 8:42 am

    oh yeh; a big welcome to Dae Dae!

    An insider GB33 said he is a Pac-12 quality running back–awesome!

  46. SteveM December 20, 2019 10:18 am

    RE: #42
    Akamai Okole — OK, got it. BTW, I was at that game sitting on the makai 20 since my favorite seats on the mauka sideline 50 was packed. I had never seen the stadium so full. Add Larry Price to the * very * short list of UH coaches to defeat BYU.

    UH – BYU blog score predictions

    15 – 13 … Akamai Okole
    27 – 24 … collegefootballnews.com
    45 – 41 … BigWave96744
    56 – 10 … Kekoa (in memorium)
    72 – 45 … SteveM (2001 HI-BYU score)*
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    31 – 24 … cbssports.com

    * Rolovich passed for 543 yards and 8 touchdowns

  47. NorthShoreFan December 20, 2019 12:48 pm

    Been pondering this for a while……Cougs will run the ball…smash mouth…..they big on the Oline and Dline…..run, run,run…then go over the top with the TE’s and wides…..BUT
    Warriors respond D steps up and steal the show!

    Cougs …. 24

  48. wafan December 20, 2019 1:55 pm

    Pomai/SteveM . . .
    51 us
    24 them


  49. wafan December 20, 2019 1:55 pm

    And, 50!

  50. Inyoface December 20, 2019 2:06 pm

    Jeremy Moussa headed to Vanderbilt.

  51. SteveM December 20, 2019 3:58 pm

    My interest in UH football began in the late 60’s when I attended U.H. Since then, I can remember only three UH head coaches to ever defeat BYU…
    1. Larry Price
    2. Bob Wagner
    3. June Jones

    Is this correct? I hope to add Rolo to the list.

  52. Inyoface December 21, 2019 12:05 am

    It seems like at the end of UHs season there has been a few games to determine the success of the season. First it was Fresno St., then San Diego st., then Boise State now it’s BYU. Hope we have everything we’ve learned from those games and have all the pieces in their places for a successful win.

  53. Buffoman December 21, 2019 6:27 am

    Steve, I started going toUH games in the 60’s when Dave Holmes was the coach. Then it was Price and my favorite, Rick Tomey, before coach s Wagner, von Appen, Jones, Mac, Chow and now Rolo. I’ve long given up my family’s season tickets for ppv.

  54. Buffoman December 21, 2019 6:32 am

    Sorry didn’t finish. Yes, I believe you’re correct. It was heartbreaking watching g us fall short particularly during the Tomey years. The great relief was watching Garret Gabriel do it after not being able to do it on several meetings.

  55. Akamai Okole December 21, 2019 6:42 am

    Great Morning All!

    Wow, SteveM!

    Maybe we was sitting next to each oddah!

    Depending on which 20-yd line you talking about…I can picture the field and that crowd and looking up at that Columbia Inn Puka while watching the game…

    …and being soaked! 🙁 :mrgreen: 😆

  56. Akamai Okole December 21, 2019 6:45 am


    Definitely years of frustration…

    How was that dang punt! Only one drunk QB coulda…

    Bettah not go dea 👿

  57. Whitey December 21, 2019 7:20 am

    Us 41
    Them 38

  58. sackkabooya December 21, 2019 11:10 am

    When you watch the pressure the SDSU scheme puts on the QB the secondary can play with so much leverage. So many options on passing situations. You can see the secondary (because of their leverage) pause the QB as well allowing the rush to be even more disruptive and effective. UH can be like this soon.

    I think as Batoon acquires good pass rushers and starts to scheme aggressively for guys like Scott (beast!) and Pavihi (was getting real good at gap attacking late 2018) going to be hard to pass medium/long vs our secondary. Just got to protect over the top vs press coverage (Wilson and Ford can press as corners IMO). And all those close receptions given up by Kaneshiro may turn into some interceptions with a good pass rush. Same for Davis. Can be shutdown for sure. All depends on pass rush and the pressure they can put on the mind of the QB. Imagine the possibilities. Just got to stop the run better first. Defense Phase II. Unreal soon. Awesome.

  59. islandman December 21, 2019 11:38 am

    Congrats to the grads today, including Nate Ilaoa , Holly and McKenna Ross, wvb.
    Read today’s paper to see how tough it is to be a football player and a student at the same time.

  60. SteveM December 21, 2019 2:18 pm

    Congrats to the grads!

    Buffoman and Akamai Okele — I sat on the ewa side 20 about 1/3 way up. I don’t remember the rain, but I was indestructible back then.

    In Facebook, there are some (newer fans) who did not think there was a rivalry between UH and BYU.
    Well maybe not so much anymore and I can’t speak for BYU Utah, but many did not know that BYU has a campus in Laie. I guess you have to be an old UH fan.

    The Aloha stadium games in the 80’s was a civil war, with many local BYU fans from Laie contributing to the sold out games. The tailgates were a battleground, but we were all ohana again after the game despite our frustration.

    1989: Bob Wagner for Governor!

    BYU Hawaii campus: https://byuh.edu

  61. winning December 21, 2019 2:25 pm

    Thot Larry Price was the D coordinator when UH beat BYU at the Termite Palace. Wasn’t Dave Holmes the Head coach? In any case, BYU WILL just play smash mouth football. UH cannot waste their possesions like at Boise. Mcdunno has to play smart foots or just yank em. And lets be a little more creative and pull out all the stops and quit jacking around already-tired watching same ol same ol blunders.

  62. islandman December 21, 2019 3:50 pm

    1974 -Price was the HC and beat BYU 15-13 on 5 FG’s by Reinhold Stuprich. Alex Kaloi was QB, Mel deLaura, a receiver, John Woodcock DL, was Honorable Mention AP All-American,; Arnold Morgado RB

  63. islandman December 21, 2019 3:53 pm

    I watched games with my father at Honolulu Stadum when Hank Vasconcellos was HC

  64. Inyoface December 21, 2019 11:19 pm

    With an interim OC, Boise State didn’t do so well.

  65. H-Man December 22, 2019 12:23 pm

    Star-Advertiser All-State Football team in today’s paper (insert). Micah Soliai-Howlett, new UH OL recruit, not mentioned, not ever honorable mention. Was this an oversight?

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