By Rodney S. Yap
He has had to watch his teammates play the last three weeks from the sidelines.
This week, however, Baldwin High School’s Jordan Hoiem will be in the stands at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium to watch the unbeaten third-ranked Ducks host No. 22 Arizona.
“It should be a good game,” Hoiem said. “I’ve never watched a college football game in my life, so I’m excited.”
Hoiem and his mother, Carly, left last night for Portland, Ore. Jordan plans on attending the Ducks’ practice today and Friday.
Unfortunately, he will miss being on the sidelines for the fourth consecutive week, when Baldwin lines up to play Friday at King Kekaulike. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN 550AM with Barry Helle and Fred Guzman.
“That’s the part that sucks,” Hoiem said Wednesday. “I’m going to miss the game at King Kekaulike, so that’s kind of a bummer.”
Saturday’s Oregon vs. Arizona State contest will be the Pac-12 opener for both schools and be broadcast live at 5:36 p.m. HST on ESPN.
Hoiem, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior, has already received scholarship offers from the University of Hawaii, Utah, Utah State and Nevada-Las Vegas. He is the first Maui Interscholastic League underclassmen to receive a Division I scholarship offer.
Four weeks ago, Hoiem was sidelined with the flu and then a nagging foot injury — thought to be turf toe initially — turned out to be a stress fracture. The linebacker has been wearing a walking boot to school since and is anxious to return to the team on Monday.
Frustrated with his situation, Hoiem expects this trip to Oregon to give him a much-needed boost.
“Yeah hopefully it will spark me to get back out there with my teammates,” he said. “When I get back, I’ll see the doctor on Monday, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be cleared to return.”
That would give Hoiem a bye week to prepare for the start of the second round against Maui High on Oct. 5.
Hoiem, one of the top junior recruits in the state, got to train at Autzen Stadium while attending an elite invitation-only Nike SPARQ Combine in June, where he was named to the All-Combine Team.
During the offseason Hoiem trains with David Kamalani, a certified Nike SPARQ trainer who also serves as a Nike Football Training Camp coach. Kamalani is the father of Keloni Kamalani, a starting special team’s player and reserve linebacker with the Ducks.
As a junior, Hoiem can only make “unofficial” visits to interested schools. He can, however, accept complimentary tickets to games.
“I’ve been getting a lot of letters in the mail and I received an email invitation to come to the game. So I am going to go up and watch practice on Thursday and Friday and then catch the game.”
According to NCAA guidelines, a college coach can offer three complimentary tickets to student-athletes invited for a game day visit, which is considered an unofficial visit.
There are no limits to the number of “unofficial” visits a student-athlete can take. Coaches appreciate athletes who are interested in their respective programs and are proactive in their approach.
Jordan and his mom are also planning to tour the Oregon campus on Friday.
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