Yep, the Saints are marching in.
Saint Louis School wideout Jonah Panoke and defensive back Kai Kaneshiro announced they have accepted 2018 scholarship from the Warriors. They join quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who made his UH pledge two weeks ago. All three will be seniors this coming season.
Here’s our take on the commitments:
> Mirror images: Panoke and Kaneshiro are both 6 feet 2 and 185 pounds. In the 40-yard dash at the UH Elite Camp, Panoke was timed at 4.5 seconds, Kaneshiro at 4.56.
> Role playing: Panoke was limited to five games in 2016 because of a thumb injury. But in the Open Division championship game, Panoke caught a 52-yard scoring pass from Tua Tagovailoa. “Tua just told me: ‘go deep, bro, go 1-on-1, and catch it,'” Panoke recalled. He finished the season averaging 20.3 yards per catch. Kaneshiro said he volunteered to play free safety to fill a vacancy. He is projected to compete at corner this year.
> Assessment: “Jonah’s got talent,” Saint Louis coach Cal Lee said. “He kind of reminds me of Drew Kobayashi.” On Kaneshiro, Lee said, “I like Kai because he’s one of those kids who works hard, never stops, relentless. He ties to do the best he can. And it shows when you look at him practicing and competing. He wants to be the best. I like that effort he has.”
> Brotherhood: Panoke and Cordeiro were Pop Warner teammates with the Kalani Falcons. “He’s been my quarterback since second grade,” Panoke said.
> Going local: In 2000, then UH coach June Jones made his mark when he signed 14 local players. At the time, the keys were four Saint Louis signees — quarterback Tim Chang, slotback Gerald Welch, and offensive linemen Chad Kahale and Phil Kauffman. That class had two sleepers: Leonard Peters, who delayed enrollment for a year and eventually was a Warrior for six years, and a feisty quarterback named Nick Rolovich.
> Camp fire: UH’s recruiting heated up with the resuscitation of its football camps. Panoke and Kaneshiro said they were impressed with UH’s program, coaching and direction after attending the Elite Camp on the Manoa campus.