The Warriors have drawn praise for receiving early verbal commitments from Billy Ray Stutzmann, Corey Nielsen and Kimo Makaula.
But nearly forgotten is that the first member of the 2009 class actually signed a letter of intent in February 2006.
Linebacker Waylon Lolotai is set to join the Warriors next season. He signed with UH in 2006, then went on a church mission. His grandfather Al Lolotai is acknowledged as the NFL’s first player of Samoan ancestry. His father Liloi is an ‘Iolani graduate who played at Colorado.
Lolotai is a member of a class that produced only a handful of starters — Gerard Lewis, Myron Newberry, Jake Patek, David Veikunke and C.J. Hawthorne — all of whom were transfers. Malcolm Lane and Greg Salas are expected to be the starting wideouts this season. Several others are expected to be key contributors.
After signing, Po‘okela Ahmad, Kenny Estes, Kiran Kepo‘o, Clayton Laurel and Alasi Toilolo grayshirted.
Afa Bridenstine, Lucious Henderson and Peyton Ma‘o never enrolled at UH.
Chris Camacho and Geoff Hayth quit in training camp, with Hayth leaving on the second day.
Then there was some tragedy. Kepo‘o was hospitalized after it was believed he was a victim of a hit-and-run.
And Mitch Farney, a popular player, died while playing basketball in January.
Here’s the originally announced class of 2006 (Lewis, who had a previous letter of intent annulled was not listed):
Name (Pos, Ht, Wt, Exp, Hometown/Last School)
Po`okela Ahmad (LB, 6-2, 205, HS, Kapolei, Oahu/Kapolei HS)
Afa Bridenstine (DB, 6-1, 190, HS, Kahuku, Oahu/Kahuku HS)
Chris Camacho (DB, 5-10, 190, JC, Azusa, CA/Citrus College)
Kenny Estes (DB, 6-0, 190, HS, Waimea, Kauai/Waimea HS)
Mitch Farney (WR, 6-0, 185, HS, Phoenix, AZ/Shadow Mountain HS)
Brysen Ginlack (OL, 6-3, 275, HS, Kailua, Oahu/Kahuku HS)
C.J. Hawthorne (WR, 5-11, 165, JC, Gulf Port, MS/Mississippi Gulf Coast College)
James Hayth (DB, 6-0, 185, HS, Dripping Springs, TX/Dripping Springs HS)
Lucious Henderson (DB, 5-10, 170, HS, Austin, TX/McCallum HS)
Keenan Jones (DB, 5-11, 180, JC, Harbor City, CA/Compton College)
Kiran Kepo`o (QB, 6-2, 220, HS, Honolulu/Iolani School)
Clayton Laurel (DL, 6-3, 255, HS, Wahiawa, Oahu/Leilehua HS)
Jared Lene (OL, 6-4, 240, HS, Altus, OK/Altus HS)
Waylon Lolotai (LB, 6-2, 215, HS, Lafayette, CO/Centaurus HS)
Peyton Ma`o (LB, 5-11, 235, HS, Flagstaff, AZ/Sinaqua HS)
Myron Newberry (DB, 5-9, 170, JC, Denton, TX/Trinity College)
Jacob Patek (LB, 6-2, 210, JC, Victoria, TX/Blinn College)
Elliott Purcell (LB, 6-3, 230, HS, Ewa Beach, Oahu/St. Louis School)
Greg Salas (DB, 6-1, 185, HS, Chino, CA/Chino HS)
Spencer Smith (DB, 6-0, 180, HS, Marietta, GA/Kell HS)
Rick Taylor (WR, 5-11, 177, HS, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL/Nease HS)
Alasi Toilolo (DE, 6-3, 230, HS, Kapolei, Oahu/Kapolei HS)
David Veikune (DE, 6-3, 245, JC, Wahiawa, Oahu/Fresno CC)
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Courtesy of Jon Nielsen (Corey’s uncle), here’s an ad featuring Leonard Peters that will appear in ESPN the Magazine:
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My pal Jeannie Lee needs our help. Her office received several copies of this picture. She needs help with IDs so she can forward the copies. Any ideas?