Santiago will transfer

The Warriors have granted defensive back Keala Santiago’s request for a scholarship release.

The release allows Santiago to receive a football scholarship from another school during the 2018 fall semester. He still would have to redshirt if he transfers to another FBS school.

Santiago played 22 games in his two UH seasons, starting five. He started four games this season when the Warriors opened in a three-safety scheme.

Santiago was the Star-Advertiser’s 2015 defensive player of the year.

His father, Louis, was one of three brothers to play for the Warriors.


  1. mileHIwarrior January 27, 2018 9:02 am

    Welcome Back ST! Hope you’re doing well.

    With regards to Keala, Mahalo son, good luck, and NEXT!!!

  2. Da Punchbowl Kid January 27, 2018 9:17 am

    Hey Mr, Tsai! Happy to see you’re back! We readers truly appreciate the news and other tidbits you proved for UH Football. You were missed!

    Good luck to Santiago!

  3. DaveLetterMan January 27, 2018 9:46 am

    Welcome back, ST! Sure missed getting all the scoops. What’s with Kipper? Is he out too?
    Good luck to Santiago. Kids have to realize that NFL will find you no matter who you play for. Trayvon Henderson is proving that now. Just got to prove yourself. Kolten Wong said it best:
    “What’s the deal with all these @HawaiiFootball players leaving the program?!? I don’t know they’re reasoning behind these decisions but all I know is it’s not the program that gets you to the next level it’s what you do with your opportunities!”

  4. DaveLetterMan January 27, 2018 9:48 am

    Also, not liking Mermea’s twitter account. Took off all references to Hawaii.

  5. Kapahulu January 27, 2018 9:49 am

    Welcome back ST. Hope all is well.

  6. H-Man January 27, 2018 10:51 am

    Welcome back ST.
    More transfers is unsettling. One or two transfers okay, but there seems to be a trend here.

  7. Stephen Tsai January 27, 2018 11:32 am

    David Letterman:
    Kipper is leaving, too.

  8. Boolakanaka January 27, 2018 12:17 pm

    First, I hope our host is in great health. Two, while transfers are norms for all programs, you usually don’t see starters living in such concentrated droves. Something is amiss here…

  9. Maddog50 January 27, 2018 12:20 pm

    Welcome back ST-hope you are well-As far as transfers the number stands at 5 that I know of. I am sure the indidual reasons are valid and I am not one to question them. In my opinion the staff that has been assembled is the best in a long time, the recruiting class is taking shape to be pretty good or better so we I’ll see in the end. One thing…..none of the transfers fall into category of major losses-in my opinion-GoWarriors!

  10. H-Man January 27, 2018 12:27 pm

    That’s it, something is wrong. Kipper leaving signals a problem. I didn’t expect this with the current staff. Hope Rolo fixes whatever it is before the whole barrel spoils.

  11. jm2375 January 27, 2018 1:04 pm

    Welcome back, ST! Hope you’re feeling better!

    Clueless wahine has no comment on the off-season goings-on of the football team. I just watch the games. 🙄

    My MVB boys, on the other hand, were AWESOME last night. It was their first test of the season. They still have some things to work on, but they’ll get there. See you at the SSC tomorrow.

  12. Stephen Tsai January 27, 2018 1:12 pm

    Kipper is a good player and he’ll go on to do wonderful things. But I’m not so sure he truly felt comfortable here. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
    Wish him well and hope he earns a degree.

  13. wafan January 27, 2018 1:18 pm

    Welcome home, Mr. Tsai!

  14. HawaiiMongoose January 27, 2018 1:35 pm

    ST, glad to have you back, hope your health is better and stays that way!

  15. SteveM January 27, 2018 2:11 pm

    Welcome back, ST!

    burro sabio was worried about you…
    Not me though 🙄

  16. Luki January 27, 2018 2:19 pm

    Hope you are well ST. Players leaving is nothing new, starters/Players that play a lot leaving is kinda distressing. Wish those boys well, next man up…#wheretheressmoketheresfire

  17. kahuna January 27, 2018 2:25 pm

    Its too bad there are multiple transfers but maybe many of the kids either rather play for the position coached that recruited them, some don’t fit culturally and others just get homesick.

    With the large turnover in coaches, there bound to be kids who feel a sense of loyalty to the coach and would rather move on than to play for someone else. If, for example, Naeole was the reason Kipper committed and now Naoele is now gone, I can kind of understand Kipper leaving. He may have want to play for Naeole and not the new coach.

    The coaches is going to have to do a better job of selling the university and the program. I don’t know if Memea is transferring or not but he young man was torn between UH and SDSU during signing day and now that UH is having a bad year and now he will be playing for a new position coach in Rocky Logo, he might feel its a good time to move on.

    When things go hunky dory, everybody is happy and content. When there is adversity, some chose to leave instead of battling thru it.

    I hope that false missile alert didn’t frighten some of the kids go back home.

  18. 808WarriorFan January 27, 2018 2:38 pm

    Too bad Santiago isn’t giving Coach Batoon a chance … I’m interested in seeing how the “D” will be this season ESPECIALLY w/ the return of the R & S … If you don’t want to be a Rainbow Warrior don’t let the door hit you in the “okole” on the way out … hopefully this opens the door for guys who want to play … NEXT MAN UP …


  19. Paniolo January 27, 2018 3:02 pm

    The Santiago family is all Hawaii football, so it is so very stunning surprise that the youngest one, Keala, will be transferring to a mainland school. I am just guessing – the new coaches met the 2018 returning Warriors and each coach explain what he planned to do in 2018. A few, like Keala, was not comfortable with the new scheme and decided to transfer. The same goes on the Offensive side of the ball where a few have already transferred.
    The 2017 season was a nightmare for Warrior football fans like myself, I just don’t want to even think about it.
    Looking forward with Coach Rolovich new coaching staff and the resurrection of the “Run and Shoot” offense. I can see our Offensive line will be big and heavy filled with newcomers. Just the right Offensive line you want in the Run and Shoot offense.
    There will be much improvement on the Defensive side. It looks good on my side. But reality will kick in march when Spring practice opens up in March 2018.

  20. turfwar January 27, 2018 3:29 pm

    For those who leave, and many do all over the country, good luck and hope you find what you are looking for. Hawaii fans will cheer for whoever is wearing a Warrior uniform. Period. In college basketball alone there were over 700 transfers last year. Don’t know the numbers for college football but already even National Champ Alabama has had a couple announce their intentions to transfer so no one is immune. I’m guessing Weber, Banker, and Batoon already have recruits in mind they would love to offer scholies if they have any available.

  21. Duster January 27, 2018 3:50 pm

    Stephen, great to have you back.

    On Keala’s and others’ decisions to leave UH, it is disappointing for sure. I hope that there is nothing that is amiss with the program and that the ones who decided to leave find whatever they’re looking for.

  22. clyde January 27, 2018 3:52 pm

    Welcome back, Stephen. Gave us a little scare. Pace yourself, and stay healthy.

    Santiago’s departure is tough, if only because of a loss of depth and the fact he’s a local kid who chose to stay home the first time around. Wish him the best.

  23. z January 27, 2018 4:01 pm

    Take care ST.

    I won’t speculate. Just wish them all good luck. People wanted change. Well we got it.

    They come, they go, we stay.

  24. Mr. Buttermaker January 27, 2018 4:39 pm

    Prolly doing Santiago a huge favor. I tink dis kid is related to Batoon by marriage so I am sure a lot of genuine thought had gone into his decision. Batoon’s defense is predicated on speed, speed and more kine speed. Sounds like a tweener that’s too slow for a safety or nickel LB. He can go to FCS and crush it.

  25. Lava January 27, 2018 4:45 pm

    Welcome back ST. You were missed; your blog was missed. We were all wondering about all the recruiting rumors we were missing out on, but we understood. Eat right and stay healthy, and do what your wife tells you.

  26. Lava January 27, 2018 4:54 pm

    Best of luck to all those players leaving. If they felt out of place then they should pursue a better situation, which opens slots for guys without those doubts. We can overcome and be stronger.

  27. kev-1 January 27, 2018 4:56 pm

    I’m trying not to let the sudden wave of transfers get to me, but I can’t help but wonder why. Transfers happen every year. But these were not expected and make little sense, considering Kipper, Santiago, Brown, and Collie could likely all count on significant playing time next season.

    Trying not to be alarmed. Could use some reassurance and insight from Coach Rolo.

  28. kev-1 January 27, 2018 5:04 pm

    The Dru Brown move puzzles me the most. Everyone knows how loyal Rolo was to him. IMO, his leadership and character traits overshadowed his QB deficiencies in Rolo’s eyes. I would expect that to have remained the same next season too.

    I know the offense is going to open up and be more pass happy, playing to Dru’s weaknesses as a QB. But if you think that just because Cordeiro played RnS in hs Rolo would start him over Dru, you’re crazy.

    I’m a Saint Louis boy, but Chevan does not currently have the physical tools to start a college game. I bet he redshirts. He is small guys. And take a good look at his throwing motion. He needs time to bulk and rep.

  29. Boolakanaka January 27, 2018 5:09 pm

    Naeole is a Kahuku guy, and I’m sure that Louis (Keala’s father) had a conversation with him to obtain his vantage. Without banging the gong, this is fairly serious when you give up a full scholly….Naeoles departure is still bearing ramifications on the team….

  30. MattyBoy January 27, 2018 5:18 pm

    Welcome Back ST! Hope all is well.

  31. azwarrior22 January 27, 2018 5:49 pm

    Welcome back ST.

    While the exodus of transfers seems unnerving without knowing the reasons behind the transfer, can you shed any light on incoming transfers?

  32. PONO January 27, 2018 5:59 pm

    Welcome back ST, hope you’re feeling well. I hope we pick up some transfers because the guys who are leaving the program were not end of the bench guys but big time contributors.

  33. Old School Dave January 27, 2018 6:09 pm

    Welcome back, ST!! Please take care of your health, first and foremost.

    The Grass is not always greener on the other side. If some players felt uncomfortable at UH, they should explore other options. Best of luck to them, but I’m more concerned with the players who chose to stay and fight through this difficult time. Character building lesson for those who chose to stay. Others may leave, but it will open up opportunities for new ones.

    Being curled up, claiming that the sky is falling serves no purpose. Football is a rugged sport and not for the thin-skinned. The sun will come up tomorrow.

  34. Old School Dave January 27, 2018 6:22 pm

    Sorry: forgot the extra “o” in choose.

    Distracted because I’m still upset that Agnes Portuguese Bakery in Kailua is closing.

  35. Warrior7086 January 27, 2018 7:00 pm

    #27 he is 6’1 and 180lb. Now if you think that’s small the McKenzie must be a midget because he’s 5’11. Last time I checked his throwing motion is over the top so what’s wrong with that. Maybe you should watch the poly bowl and see him sling the ball against 4 and 5 star DB that is probably better then the talent he’ll see in the mountain west. He is IQ for the run n shoot will be way farther ahead then any other Qb in the roster. He’s been running that offense for the past 4 years. I think he gives us the best shot at winning.

  36. A-House January 27, 2018 7:17 pm

    was glad to see our good neighbor sitting in his dining room area w/o a shirt, as he always does, enjoying whatever program on TV, as we left the valley a lunch with a very good friend.

    best thing was to see him up and around and wishing him full and speedy recovery in what ever ailed him!

    expected to see information on the 6′ 7″ 250# lineman from the mainland who committed
    yesterday or was it today — was he one of the 8 or more recruits who visited last weekend?

  37. kama krab January 27, 2018 8:27 pm

    Howzit Everybody,

    Healing prayers for our fearless leader. Hope all is well. Thank you for all you do.

  38. seewhy January 27, 2018 10:03 pm

    Glad to see you back, ST!

  39. kev-1 January 27, 2018 10:14 pm

    #35 … take it easy friend. Not sure I believe he is as big as your numbers say. Yes, McKenzie Milton IS small too. Yes, his throwing motion is over the top. I like that part. But he has a pretty significant lean into it that he doesn’t need. I think he can definitely sling it and think the kid is a winner. I also do think he will be the UH starter someday too. My point was simply that I think Rolo would have stuck with Dru. It is very rare for true freshmen to start and many redshirt. And btw, he looked good in the Poly Bowl against those 4 and 5 star recruits. But don’t get it twisted. Braddah threw something like 6 passes.

    Fyi … I think Chevan Cordeiro is a hell of a QB, a steal for UH, who could benefit from a redshirt year.

  40. suckkabooya January 28, 2018 3:55 am

    Good to have you and your blog back in action Mr. Tsai. Get (and keep) well. Too bad about all the transfers (and I sure hope we don’t lose Mermea). Lets see what we have when the dust settles after the second wave of signings. No sense to panic yet. Everything (the early signings and hirings) went pretty nicely up until this point. One by one each transfer was more surprising (and puzzling) than the next. I hope thing settle down soon. Good luck to all of them.

  41. Joe Moover January 28, 2018 5:43 am

    Call Coach Tedford at Fresno State and we be glad too put you back in the RED DOG RED uniforms again… We can really use you w/ Muti & Tani… Fresno is going be GOOD AGAIN.

  42. Akamai Okole January 28, 2018 6:19 am

    Great Morning All!

    Welcome Back Blog Host!

    Need to have you back standing guard at the exits from Lower Campus…

    heheheh :mrgreen: 😈 😯

  43. islandman January 28, 2018 8:28 am

    The blog came back yesterday after being closed from Jan 18 but Stephen wrote about Dru’s leaving on Jan 22, in the paper.

  44. Stephen Tsai January 28, 2018 10:09 am

    New post:

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