A couple of years ago, head coach Greg McMackin drew national attention when he offered future football scholarships to two eight-graders.
Reeve Koehler and Kamalei Correa will be entering their junior years at Saint Louis School. Both are key members of the Crusaders. Koehler, who is 6 feet 4 and 270 pounds, is the starting right tackle. Kamalei Correa, who is 6-4, is a starting defensive end.
They will be eligible to sign letters of intent beginning Feb. 6, 2013.
Contract-extension talks have been ongoing between UH and McMackin, who is signed through the 2012 season.
The Crusaders, meanwhile, should have a pass rush to match Punahou’s. Last year, defensive end Kalei Auelua often drew enough attention to open the way for Juda Parker. Auelua reportedly made an oral commitment to Washington, although he still has offers on the table from Hawaii, Colorado, UCLA and Boise State.
The new starting middle linebacker will be Colton Goeas, son of former Warrior and NFL player Leo Goeas. Colton Goeas, who will be a junior, attended a high school in Colorado last year.
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Former UH offensive lineman Laupepa Letuli, who recently joined the AFL’s Spokane Shock, has an out clause in his contract should the NFL lockout end and he is offered an NFL free-agent contract.
Melila Purcell’s comeback is official with his signing, also with the Shock. A couple of years ago, he received a medical buyout from the Cleveland Browns in which he received medical care and a financial settlement. That buyout, though, did not prevent him from eventually signing with other teams.
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Things to know about last week’s New Era Bowl in Japan (in which associate head coach Rich Miano, offensive assistant Inoke Funaki and six former Warriors led their team to a 24-20 victory):
• Former UH running back Nate Ilaoa is a “stud.” At least according to Miano. Ilaoa racked up about 250 all-purpose yards, starting with a 50-yard return of the opening kickoff. Miano said opponents were not used to seeing a “283-pound guy run like that.” To which, Iloao argued: “I don’t think I’m 280.”
• Safety Spencer Smith was injured during warmups and did not play. Defensive lineman Tuika Tufaga suffered a leg injury, but returned to play. “He’ll be limping for the next few weeks,” Miano said. And linebacker Blaze Soares suffered a shoulder injury. That forced Miano to summon … Ilaoa. “I played linebacker,” Ilaoa said. “I had like two and a half tackles. I got to see a little action.”
• The game was played in the Osaka Dome — “just a beautiful stadium,” Miano said — and far from the damage created by the earthquakes and tsunami. But there were 15 players on his team from areas affected by those disasters.
• The team stayed in Kobe for several deals, which meant only one thing. “I’ve eaten in some of the best steak houses, but there’s nothing like (a Kobe) steak,” Miano said. “I don’t know if it’s the way they massage it or treat it, but it’s the best.” Ilaoa said: “It was like eating meaty butter. You could slice right through it. It was like money for food.”
• Miano has narrowed Joe Paterno’s lead to 400 victories.
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Forty-nine days away . . .