Maui Sports

Four MIL players sign football letters

February 4, 2009, 10:46 AM HST
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If you agree with the theory that recruiting is the lifeblood of any successful college football program, then you can make a strong case that this is the most important day of the year on the college football calendar.

It’s the first day that a new crop of talented high school seniors can sign binding national letters of intent .

Taking part in that process were four players with local ties.  But the big news coming out of the Aloha State was highly-touted Punahou linebacker Manti Te’o picking Notre Dame over USC and UCLA.  Te’o was ranked as the nation’s top linebacker and the seventh overall prospect in this year’s recruiting class by rivals.com.

Baldwin defensive end Mana Rosa, despite recently taking several visits to other campuses, is firm on his previous verbal commitment and will sign to play at Oregon State.

Fellow Baldwin defensive end Jordan Pu’u Robinson is bound for Washington State.

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Defensive lineman Kamaloni Vainikolo, who took a longer route through junior college, will formally accept a scholarship from Utah State.  The former Maui High standout played two seasons of junior college bowl in California, most recently at El Camino.

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And Simione Vehikite, who started his prep career at Lahainaluna before transferring to Kapolei High on Oahu, is headed to Pac-10 powerhouse USC, where is projected to become a fullback.

Although the University of Hawaii has focused on recruiting in-state talent this year under a more proactive approach by head coach  Greg McMackin, none of the projected newcomers will come from the Valley Isle.

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