UH gives California receiver second chance
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Wide receiver Denny Flanagan of Edison High in Huntington Beach, Calif., remembered the perfect storm in his stomach when he realized he might have blown his chance to receive a football scholarship.
Last week, Flanagan told the University of Hawai'i coaches he decided to accept a scholarship from San Diego State.
The trouble was, he was attending a student-leadership convention in New York at the time, and he did not immediately learn that San Diego State was rescinding its offer because it ran out of available scholarships.
After receiving the news from the Aztecs, Flanagan called the UH coaches, asking for another chance, but was told they had reassigned his scholarship.
"It was the worst thing that could happen," Flanagan said.
But the UH coaches remained in contact, even offering to help find him another school. When defensive end Hausia Faleofa of College of the Canyons reneged on a verbal commitment to UH and signed with Western Michigan yesterday, the vacated scholarship was offered to Flanagan. He accepted, and said he will sign the UH letter of intent today.
"The Hawai'i coaches have been real helpful, and they've been very honest and straightforward about the situation," Flanagan said. "That matters a lot to me and my family. You can tell a lot about the integrity of a program by the actions of the coaches. They have a lot of integrity."
He said he enjoyed his recruiting trip to Hawai'i, but "it was five hours away and my mom wanted me to stick around."
He added, "The Hawai'i coaches understood. They didn't hold a grudge, which is one way I could tell what kind of people they were. I was so impressed with them."
Flanagan, who is 6 feet and 175 pounds, can run 40 yards in 4.4 seconds and 100 meters in 10.8 seconds. In last year's state high school track meet, he finished seventh in the 110-meter hurdles, completing the distance in 14.29 seconds.
In 13 games last season, he caught 65 passes for 1,496 yards, an average of 23 yards per catch. He had 11 catches for 163 yards and four touchdowns against Long Beach Poly in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section title game.
He was selected to the Los Angeles Times' Orange County all-star team and CalHiSports' all-state second team.
Flanagan, who has a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average, scored 1,110 on the SAT.
"It was kind of crazy for a while, but I'm happy it worked out," he said.