clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pac-12 Football Recruiting: The 10 Best Recruits to Come Out of Hawaii During the Internet Recruiting Era

The infamous Manti Te'o might be the best recruit to ever come out of the islands.

J. Meric

The next installment of our look at the top recruits to ever come out of the various states of the Pac-12 region during the Internet age heads onto Hawaii.

* On this and all in the series. These aren't factoring the recruits college careers - just their stock coming out of high school.

  1. Manti Te'o LB Class of 2009 - Honolulu-Punahou - Notre Dame

He may be more famous now for other reasons, but back in 2009, Te'o made a name for himself by being one of the highest-rated recruits to ever come out of Hawaii. Many thought Te'o was headed to USC, but he went with Notre Dame in a highly-anticipated announcement. As we all know, Te'o went on to be an All-American and Heisman candidate at Notre Dame before being embroiled in one of the strangest stories ever in sports.

  1. Donny Mateaki DE Class of 2002 - Honolulu-Iolani - Washington

Mateaki passed the eye ball test as he was physically looked like a 6'5 265 body builder and his strength on the edge had him projected as one of the best defensive ends in the country. Mateaki came down to a fight between Washington and Nebraska and chose Washington. Mateaki played throughout his career at Washington, but always was a bit of a tweener and didn't really live up to lofty expectations.

  1. Jonathan Mapu DE Class of 2002 - Kahuku - Tennessee

Mapu was a slightly shorter, less muscular version of Mateaki in 2002, but was almost as highly-rated. Mapu actually almost joined Mateaki at Washington, but headed East to Tennessee back when the Volunteers were still one of the top programs in college football. Mapu sandwiched a mission into his college career, and like Mateaki, he played quite a bit, but never really fulfilled his five-star expectations.

  1. Kaluka Maiava LB Class of 2005 - Wailuku-Baldwin - USC

Maiava was a an undersized but decorated linebacker coming out of Hawaii that was committed to UCLA early in the process but jumped at the chance to play for red hot USC when the opportunity arose. Maiava didn't start until his senior year, but was a standout in that season and has since put together a solid NFL career.

  1. Isaac Savaiinaea LB Class of 2013 - Honolulu-Punahou - UCLA

Savaiinaea was arguably the top linebacker out West in the class of 2013 and was a national recruit due to his athleticism and motor. Savaiinaea was committed to Stanford early in the process but flipped to UCLA late in the process after a drawn out recruitment. Savaiinaea is expected to compete for serious playing time and possibly a starting spot for UCLA in 2013.

  1. Stan Hasiak T Class of 2009 - Kapolei - UCLA

It's a pretty high honor to be the best recent offensive lineman recruit in a state that is known for producing offensive linemen as well as Hawaii is. Hasiak had an interesting recruitment that saw him commit to UCLA then to Cal and then back to UCLA where he signed. Hasiak's college career was just about as fragmented too as he was at UCLA for a while before being dismissed and ending up at JC and then signing with Oregon State where he never actually ended up.

  1. DeForest Buckner DE Class of 2012 - Honolulu-Punahou - Oregon

A rangy pass-rusher, the 6'7 Buckner was one of the best players available in the Class of 2012 for getting after the quarterback. Buckner was recruited hard by pretty much all of the Pac-12 and ended up signing with Oregon where he is hoping to be the program's next great pass-rusher.

  1. Micah Kia T Class of 2006 - Mililani - UCLA

Kia was a big steady tackle and one of the top offensive linemen recruits out West in 2006. Kia had a lengthy recruitment that included getting pushed hard by Oklahoma and Tennessee, but he stayed out West and signed with UCLA. Kia's career started promising at UCLA but was a hurt a bit by injuries before he had a solid senior year.

  1. Luke Kaumatule DE Class of 2012 - Honolulu-Punahou - Stanford

Kaumatule almost looked like Buckner's twin at Punahou as he was also a 6'7 defensive end and it seems like it must have been impossible for their opponents to get off a pass when they teamed together. Kaumatule committed to Stanford before reopening his recruitment and then signing with Stanford anyways. Kaumatule switched to tight end as a freshman and now is a frontrunner in the race to replace Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo in 2013.

  1. Graham Rowley G Class of 2010 - Waialua - BYU

Rowley was a tough, interior lineman with a lot of athleticism that was one of the most coveted offensive linemen on the West Coast in 2010. Rowley committed to BYU early so his recruitment wasn't very heated. Rowley switched over to defensive end at BYU and has started to establish himself as a solid starter.

Others considered

Solomon Koehler (DT Class of 2008 - Kaneohe-Castle - Arizona) Matthew Masifilo (DT - Class of 2007 - Ewa Beach-Campbell - Stanford), Scott Pagano (DT - Class of 2013 - Honolulu-Moanalua - Clemson), Chester Sua (LB - Class of 2011 - Honolulu-Kaimuki - Washington State), Kaniela Tuipulou (DT - Class of 2007 - Kahuku - Arizona)