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Big day for foursome of Maui recruits

April 22, 2012 - Robert Collias
The crowd might have been a little disappointing in size (an estimated 1,200) — I would love to see them ask for a single food item for the Maui Foodbank next time around to get in the gate — but it was a big day for the University of Hawaii football team and for the future of four Maui recruits on Saturday as the Warriors held their 12th spring practice of the 15 allowable.

Among the MIL coaches on the sideline were Kevin O'Brien, head coach of Kamehameha Maui; Rodney Figueroa, a Baldwin assistant; and former King Kekaulike head man J.W. Kenton, who now splits time between Florida, Oahu and Maui — don't be surprised to see this guy on the UH sideline in the future.

While he has an offer from Chow now, know this about Baldwin sophomore linebacker Jordan Hoiem — he is going to be a big-time recruit on a lot of school's radar screens if he stays healthy does what comes naturally in the fall as a junior. The kid is simply that good.

Big credit to Chow, who noticed just a couple months in to his UH tenure that he needed to be the first in line for this kid to have any chance at landing him. The smiling, humble Hoiem is not about to commit right now — there are several offers to come, no doubt — but as I talked to him it is clear that UH made points with him by being the first to offer. That is simply a crystal clear sign that UH couldn't have hired anyone better than Chow, IMHO.

Here is the start of my story, already posted for your Sunday morning reading pleasure:

WAILUKU - There was not a Mauian on the roster for the University of Hawaii football team's spring practice at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

First-year coach Norm Chow and staff are clearly out to change that.

Four Maui recruits were the focus of the informal meet-and-greet session that went on in conjunction with the practice that drew a crowd of about 1,200.

"We intend to recruit all of the islands, the entire state," said Chow, who cannot comment on specific recruits by NCAA rule. "We are out to prove to them that we can play great football and that they should want to stay home to be a part of it."

Baldwin High School sophomore linebacker Jordan Hoiem and junior quarterback Keelan Ewaliko were introduced to the team by Chow at the end of the two-hour practice.

Hoiem appears to be the apple of Chow's eye after the coach called to verbally offer him a scholarship last month. A written scholarship offer cannot be given to a sophomore, but Hoiem could be in line to be heavily recruited after he blasted onto radar screens with an impressive performance at the Nike SPARQ Combine in February - he had the 11th-best total score out of 453 athletes, second-best among sophomores.

"In Hawaii, I can see myself out there," Hoiem said. "I'm just really blessed to be able to come watch this practice. I'm just thankful to coach Chow for giving me this opportunity to come do this. It is my first college practice and it is a great experience to see what pace they are running at. I love the pace. I get to do this right in my own backyard. I haven't seen football in a while and I miss it. I want to get back in there already."

Click here for the rest of the story.


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