Tavai invited to Combine; Warriors add DL, DB

Former UH linebacker Jahlani Tavai is one of 330 football prospects invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

Former UH linebacker Jahlani Tavai said he has been invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in March.

Top officials — general managers, personnel directors, coaches — will be evaluating the participants in the invitation-only event in Indianapolis.

Tavai, whose senior season was shortened because of a shoulder injury, is now physically fit. He has been training in San Diego. Tavai played several spots during his UH career, but he is projected as a next-level linebacker.

* * * * * *

Defensive lineman Djuan Matthews of Blinn College (Texas) and defensive back Tavion Allen of Scottsdale (Ariz.) College said they will sign letters of intent with UH tomorrow, the first day of the spring-semester signing period for football prospects. Here’s the skinny:

    Djuan Matthews

> He is 5 feet 11, 280 pounds.
> The past season, he played nose tackle, 3 technique and end.
> He said being offered a UH scholarship is “like a dream.”
> Growing up in New Orleans, his family survived Hurricane Katrina. At one point, they found refuge in the Superdome before relocating to Houston for a spell.
> He also was used as a power back for Blinn.
> Blinn sound familiar? Cam Newton is a Blinn alumnus. Two former Blinn players — Ryan Mouton and Jacob Patek — were key members of UH’s 2007 team.

    Tavion Allen

> He is 6-1 and 165 pounds.
> He is projected to compete at free safety because of his speed and range.
> This past season, he amassed 85 tackles, including 59 solo stops.
> As a junior in high school, he ran 40 yards in a laser-time 4.5 seconds.
> He also ran 100 meters in 10.9 seconds and 200 meters in 22.3 seconds.
> His father is the trainer for former UH cornerback Jalen Rogers. It was Rogers who sent Allen’s highlight videos to UH cornerbacks coach Abraham Elimimian.


  1. al February 5, 2019 1:03 am

    Recruiting showing much promise.
    We need a rb…we are converting one of the recruits.

  2. ai-ee-soos February 5, 2019 1:44 am

    Go WARRIORS !!!

    Congrats to Jahlani Tavai. and Good Luck.

  3. ai-ee-soos February 5, 2019 1:47 am

    Welcome aboard to Djuan Matthews and Tavion Allen,

  4. ai-ee-soos February 5, 2019 1:49 am

    #1 al.


    ” We need a rb…we are converting one of the recruits. “

  5. 808bowler February 5, 2019 6:03 am

    Welcome to the ohana!!!!! Ball out and leave everything on the field.

    Imho i loved the super bowl.

  6. duffer February 5, 2019 7:13 am

    cappie the dog

    Megan Huff

    Twas I.


  7. al February 5, 2019 7:38 am

    #4. they may not have discussed this with the young man yet, so, lets wait for it.

  8. al February 5, 2019 7:40 am

    Duffer…how you and Whitey doing these days?
    It’s been quite awhile.

  9. duffer February 5, 2019 7:41 am


    Still working and lurking.

  10. iGrokSpock February 5, 2019 8:14 am

    Best of luck to Jahlani – keep working!

  11. Music Man February 5, 2019 9:59 am

    Running Back, do we still have Heliki Hekuli, running back from Arkansas? (Not sure of spelling) Good size about 6’1″ 225lbs?

  12. Music Man February 5, 2019 10:01 am

    Maybe use Hekuli as a linebacker or rush end?

  13. Music Man February 5, 2019 10:09 am

    With a veteran offense and improvement on defense, I can see Hawaii victorious over University of Arizona & Oregon state at home. U of Washington on the road if Hawaii plays mistake free can upset Washington. Army at home, is another prime upset! Go Warriors! GO ROLO!!!

  14. ai-eee-soos February 5, 2019 11:15 am

    #7. al

    O.k. – I got the drift.

    Looking forward to seeing Reagan Mauia 2.0.

    We really do need a bumbucha RB/Blocking Back.

    #1. al February 5, 2019 1:03 am
    Recruiting showing much promise.
    We need a rb…we are converting one of the recruits.

    #4. ai-ee-soos February 5, 2019 1:49 am
    #1 al. – explain
    ” We need a rb…we are converting one of the recruits. “

    #7. al February 5, 2019 7:38 am
    #4. they may not have discussed this with the young man yet, so, lets wait for it.

  15. Boolakanaka February 5, 2019 11:20 am

    Tavai could really help himself at the combine, as there are already whispers he will be drafted on the first/second day, see:https://saintswire.usatoday.com/2018/12/04/new-orleans-saints-2019-nfl-mock-draft-jahlani-tavai-hawaii/

  16. burro sabio February 5, 2019 11:49 am

    Without professional sports there would be no jobs for someone with a show-cause penalty against them .

  17. A-House February 5, 2019 12:15 pm

    hello, to our ‘braddahs’ in state of Washington — wafan, Izzy, Chopsuey Boy, my former neighbor [ expat ], djmitchco

    see you guys at UDub on 9/14/19?

  18. A-House February 5, 2019 12:18 pm

    hope the 49ers draft Tavai

    Mathews must be a fire hydrant at 5′ 11″ and 285 #s — low center of gravity with great lift capability.

    surprised how effective the Pats OL was against the Rams DL — won in the trenches.

  19. Da Punchbowl Kid February 5, 2019 12:44 pm

    Hekili Keli’ilike is still around. He’s got size. My understanding is he will be getting more reps this spring. I think he was a red shirt.


    Looks like some nice pick ups!

  20. A-House February 5, 2019 1:02 pm

    watching Hekili highlights again — what/’why taking so long to get him on the field as a RB or LB? maybe, even better than Furuta?

    he’ll be a red-shirt sophomore in 2019?

    with his size, speed, lateral movement — seems like a good fit as an OLB or rush end.

    what are we missing that the coaches see differently?

  21. suckkabooya February 5, 2019 1:14 pm

    Music Man I agree. 2020 will be Arizona’s year so this is the right time to catch them. Even game (my opinion) given it’s a week zero home game. Should be a loud and crowded home field advantage.

    UH should be favored at home vs Oregon St. in a game where there’s a chance for Rolovich to make a personal statement . That game should have a good crowd as well. Bad blood?

    Important to just keep the games close at Washington and Boise. Coaching, scheme and game planning should be the difference in those two games. Is UH next level as a program? Those games will disclose its direction. The Nation will take notice should Rolovich (and Batoon) pull off the unexpected. So possible with this experienced roster.

    I feel like we could have “killed” Nevada last season. Some questionable strategy (even with Corderio) swung momentum and demoralized a young team that had “wide eyed trust” in their Coaches. UH is comfortable in the state of Nevada so I don’t see a real problem here (my opinion). Just scheme in a way to not let Taua beat you.

    Scheming for Air Force on a short week seems a difficult task. But with having to prepare for the different option teams (so many different types of running teams actually last year) last season should make it less “taxing” to prepare for. Lots of experience on defense as well (and physical D-line superiority) so should be “all good”. Last game vs Air Force was disaster so gotta atone for that.

    Fresno and San Diego at home should be advantage for UH. By then we’ll be able to get a clearer picture of everything. Fresno plays USC and Minnesota pre conference. San Diego plays only UCLA (of note pre conference, BYU after Hawaii game) so the MWC west race will be/get interesting then. Lucky at home against those two.

    Army comes in on the last game of the season with a “really manageable” (as far as wins) schedule. Michigan should be their only loss when they meet UH. If they come in ranked will depend on if the can beat Air Force on the road. If they beat Michigan (highly unlikely but you never know, they almost beat Oklahoma last season) this game will be packed.

    Any other year this schedule would be a real problem (similar to 2015 schedule). But with all the experience returning on the roster, the one year (and recruiting season) under Batoon’s direction, and the further comfort level with the offensive system this program needs to test itself with a schedule like this. Nothing less. No excuses. This is perfect. All the cards fell into place. Now just got to play those cards right. Can do. Starts right now (and tomorrow’s signings). Matlin has to be ready.

  22. cappie the dog February 5, 2019 1:25 pm

    duffer: YOU ARE CHAD FORD!!! Former ESPN Draft Guru, and current Peace Conflict Management Professor at BYU-Hawaii. (Did not know Chad Ford was laid off in 2017.) I always, always, bring this comment up. When I first read it, I saw it right away. I saw it right away. I remember Bill Walton’s last good year with the Celtics. Ironically, he was the back-up. I wish I said it. But I don’t plagiarize. Did you see Huff score 38 points at Oregon? At the outset, YOU COULD SEE HOW GOOD SHE WAS GOING TO BE! You saw it. She announced her transferring the same day Prince died. I think she was afraid about playing time. The coaching staff had recruited a center for the upcoming season. I like the players Hawaii has, but I also watch Huff every chance I get. The head coach, at the time, thought bringing Huff off the bench gave Hawaii the best chance to win, and I have to respect that. Huff, the last time I checked, was projected to go late in the third round, but after her performance against the Ducks on their home court, I think she will move up. She also has a shot of making Second team All-American. I would say First Team, but, you know, east coast bias. Thanks for responding. That was fun. Take a bow, because you made a brilliant observation.

    I like the progress that Lauren Rewers is making.

  23. duffer February 5, 2019 2:06 pm


    Credit Dave Shoji for Megan’s UH basketball career. He saw her skills and told Coach Beeman.

  24. H-Man February 5, 2019 2:26 pm

    A-House, I’ve also wondered why Hekili hasn’t seen PT. I thought he looked good in practices and scrimmages.

  25. Da Punchbowl Kid February 5, 2019 4:25 pm

    I’ve been told that Hekili – love that name – will be in the mix at RB spring and fall. Coach is very deliberate in his development and use of his players.

    Good luck to Jahalani! Love that guy!

  26. Stephen Tsai February 5, 2019 9:01 pm

    Wait. Chad Ford got let go?
    I gotta keep up with the news.

  27. DaveLetterMan February 6, 2019 5:39 am

    Here’s a Florida commit:

  28. DaveLetterMan February 6, 2019 7:11 am

    Big WR:

  29. A-House February 6, 2019 7:20 am

    is it too early for ST postings of players who signed their letter of intent?

    be interesting to see what the list will bring to Hawaii

    hoping to see several ‘large, strong, agile’ DL type — some for the OL would be nice too!!

  30. justsomeguy February 6, 2019 7:45 am

    I haven’t watched the film, so I’m taking this at face value….but Caden Hilborn seems to be a SOLID get. How we snagged him out from under Boise St. and Utah St. is beyond me, but damn, way to go coaching staff.

    DB Killins was also not lured away by Big 12 Iowa St. HARD to do these days, especially with the money those B12 programs get.

  31. Derek February 6, 2019 8:47 am

    Is Tavon Killins related to Adrian Killins, the UCF speedy running back? If he is, there is some great genes in there. Should be a player. I like the way he tackles, doesn’t shy away from contact.

  32. justsomeguy February 6, 2019 9:31 am

    Lincoln Victor. What a steal. He’ll be one to watch over the next few years. Washington St high school player of the year. Rolo is going hard this year.

  33. Whitey February 6, 2019 10:09 am

    Congratulations to the Warriors coaches for doing their homework and getting good players

  34. A-House February 6, 2019 10:13 am


    thanks! recruits look good!!!

  35. ai-eee-soos February 6, 2019 11:29 am

    ST / Rolo’s comments on new recruit are now posted in SA.


  36. Stephen Tsai February 6, 2019 11:30 am

    New post: http://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=48556

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