Two multi-skilled players commit to Warriors

Eight days ahead of the early-signing period, the Warriors filled a need at defensive end and secured a commitment from a player who can help at several positions.

Derek Thomas of Cerritos College and Jonah La‘ulu of Centennial High told the Star-Advertiser they will sign letters of intent next week Wednesday, the first day of the new early-signing period.

Thomas, who is 6-2 and 222 pounds, will enroll at UH in January, participate in the offseason strength/conditioning program and spring training, and have four years to play three UH seasons. He is a 2017 graduate of Huntington High, where he had 15 sacks and eight rushing TDs as a senior. The Warriors’ staring defensive ends, Meffy Koloamatangi and David Manoa, have completed their UH eligibility.

La‘ulu, who is 6-4 and 245 pounds, played on offense and every position on the defensive line.

> Star-Advertiser story: Article

> Derek Thomas — Highlight video

> Jonah La‘ulu — Highlight video


  1. burro sabio December 12, 2017 7:01 am

    Foist. Recruit, Recruit, Recruit.

  2. Mitchhawaii December 12, 2017 7:47 am

    Santa’s already arriving!

  3. Maddog50 December 12, 2017 8:02 am

    Watched tapes of both-like em both. Derek has a motor and a nose for ball, Jonah size and athletic ability. Hoping for even more local commits. A few more OL and DL for the mix. The other article in the SA by one of my “favorite” writers? Not worth commenting on-hope he gets the hook real soon! GoWarriors!!!!

  4. Stephen Tsai December 12, 2017 8:26 am

    I think the goal every class should be o-linemen, ends and corners. Can never have enough of those three.

  5. BigWave96744 December 12, 2017 8:30 am

    Any relation to former Rainbow Stevie Laulu?

  6. Maddog50 December 12, 2017 8:37 am

    Who knows what will happen with the Coach Cavanaugh situation, but he was under contract at Nebraska thru 2019. What ever the terms I believe Nebraska is on the hook for a couple of years. So now there paying Bo Pellini afew bucks Mike Riley a few bucks and now Scott Frost 5 mil a year. Let’s get the recruiting in the barn and the coaches on the field and get going!

  7. jeezy33 December 12, 2017 9:14 am

    Derek Thomas is a pass rushing nightmare. Still crossing my fingers for another week he signs and new team doesn’t poach.

  8. H-Man December 12, 2017 10:24 am

    Watching Derek Thomas’ video, he reminds me of Kanai Mauga of Waianae. About the same size; same motor; same quickness. We got a good one. Noticed he also rushed as a TB for TDs inside the red. But what the coaching staff does with the talent they’re recruiting is still open. Successful recruiting does not necessarily equate to success on the field.

  9. madeinhawaii December 12, 2017 11:01 am

    If he was on Contract with Nebraska through 2019, does that mean that no matter how little UH pays him, Nebraska owes him the difference that he would have been paid at Nebraska? If so, working the craft is probably a lot better than sitting in the stands or at home.

  10. Da Punchbowl Kid December 12, 2017 11:06 am

    Please coaches and recruits: sign, seal and deliver!

  11. H-Man December 12, 2017 11:18 am

    Regarding Ferd Lewis’a article, he cites “the levels of student fees and institutional and governmental support were “low compared to our peers.” Bulls-eye !!! He hit the nail on the head. It’s not going to matter if fans started mailing $20 towards the athletic program. But being a season ticket holder for football, volleyball, basketball, baseball can make a difference. Showing up at games can make a difference. The article also reminds me of Rutgers University. They implemented a $1000/year student activity/athletic fee in order to improve their athletic facilities, etc. etc. in order to show they were committed to being the best they can be in athletics. Guess what? They were invited to be a member of the Big Ten.

  12. Maddog50 December 12, 2017 12:32 pm

    Again I like these two guys as additions. They will make a mark. Don’t know how Neb. Settles with asst coaches but they owe them money thru 2019. Not sure how it would affect our offer. Nebraska athletics made 102 million and spent 98 mil. Our FB coaches are underpaid, but salaries for this segment is totally out of whack. A lousy 600k would go a long way to somewhat rectify the matter-like a friend of mine who keeps his money in the bank, “how much is it gonna cost me to invest in that mutual fund”GoWarriors!!!

  13. Tired of waiting...but December 12, 2017 1:03 pm

    I’ve been donating to UH athletics & specifically football, each year for a few years now still waiting for something positive to happen. This year was tough to take and decided if UH wants my money they need to do some marketing to get it from me. I going wait. Now it’s the last month of the year (when folks are looking for places to donate for tax reasons) and I heard nothing from UH…nada…zip. The only thing I see is Tom’s valiant effort to support the program but UH?…nobody home. Is anybody in UH marketing at work? What’s wrong with this picture Matlin???

  14. suckkabooya December 12, 2017 1:24 pm

    Its nice to see we have recruited some multi-skilled athletic guys here. Pretty sure they will be turned into very versatile D linemen that will give the defense much more package options. That being said I wish we would develop (or recruit) some specialists that we could use in specific situations to give opponents an overload of things to prepare for. Specialists such as…

    1. A” jump cutting” running back (like Pumphery) in zone blocking packages.
    2. A “swim move” interior D lineman used on occasion to disrupt without having to blitz.
    3. A “bull rush” interior D lineman. No gap responsibilities just wear down the A gap blockers once in a while.
    4. A one dimensional speed guy to bother punter/kicker (like Mike Akiu and Matt Harding)
    5. A “jumbo” short yardage blocker (300 pound plus) that can move a pile with a four yard running start.

    Just hoping they could consider implementing something like this the way Boise uses all of their players to keep them all engaged.

  15. 808WarriorFan December 12, 2017 2:32 pm

    With Mike Riley headed back to Oregon State I wonder if Coach Cav will be offered the OL job there … granted Riley will be an Assistant but you never know …


  16. Sangamon Keith December 12, 2017 3:18 pm

    Coach Cav might be headed to Beavers but it really doesn’t matter which school he joins since Nebraska is on the hook for at least the difference between what he earns at his next school and what his contract at Nebraska gives him through 2019.

  17. islandman December 12, 2017 3:28 pm

    DE 6-3 Zach Ritner commits .

  18. kama krab December 12, 2017 3:41 pm

    Not sure Cav would be heading back to Corvalis. Beaves already have an O-line coach. He would have to go back as a Running Backs Coach which I kind of doubt he would do. But you never know. They also haven’t said what Mike Riley would coach yet.

  19. clyde December 12, 2017 3:46 pm

    #13/#14: Jonathan Smith hired a guy from Arizona to be his OL coach/run game coordinator with title of associate head coach.

  20. ai-eee-soos December 12, 2017 4:17 pm

    #13, #14, #17

    link – hope it works.

  21. islandman December 12, 2017 4:22 pm

    We already have an Associate Head Coach and Running Backs coach .

  22. Sangamon Keith December 12, 2017 5:18 pm

    #19 Titles change … what is important is the coordinators and assistant HC positions are all in the same pay bracket.

    BTW … Zach Ritner (DE 6-3, 240) has also committed. He had 52.5 sacks in three varsity seasons … first team All-CIF Southern Section as junior. Had 25.5 sacks as a senior. Good get for out d-line to put more pressure on QBs.

  23. cappie the dog December 12, 2017 8:38 pm

    I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Turquoise Tide.

    And now let’s talk about Hawaii football.

    Offensive linemen that can pass protect.

    Find them.

  24. amela December 12, 2017 8:55 pm

    Of the 3 Ritner looks the most impressive to me with no stars.

  25. winning December 12, 2017 9:08 pm

    Problem with UH is that it is very tough to get athletes to qualify academically! that’s a problem some people overlook.

  26. KOH I NOR December 12, 2017 9:28 pm

    Sometime in February is Hawai’i’s signing letter of intent to play at UH football for 2018.

    Local boys like Keelan Ewaliko who did not receive a plaque made of koa wood. This was at the post game ceremony November 25, 2017 BYU win. At Aloha stadium.

  27. Old School Dave December 12, 2017 9:39 pm

    Big welcome to the new Warrior commits!

    Gotta love Ferds alarmist article:

    “UH athletic’s deficit remains in spite of State assistance.” The article then goes on to say that AD Dave Matlin has reduced the deficit from over $4 mil when he got the job, to now $1.7 million. It also mentions that only 2 dozen FBS football schools are profitable out of 120. “But there’s still a deficit so fire somebody!”

  28. KOH I NOR December 12, 2017 9:47 pm

    February 7, 2018. Signing letter of intent to play football.

    Wednesday, Sheraton Waikiki hotel. Ballroom 2nd floor.

    6:00 p.m. night.

  29. TakTak December 13, 2017 4:51 am

    Re 23 by Winning, I have the same feeling, UH entrance test more difficult than other State Universities?

  30. Ipu Man December 13, 2017 7:16 am

    It is not politically correct, but I always liked
    “The Refrigerator”…

  31. Stephen Tsai December 13, 2017 7:50 am

    New post:

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