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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

UH signs junior college receiver

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i football team completed its recruiting for this year, securing a commitment from a quarterback/wide receiver from California.

Se'e Poumele of Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., yesterday signed a letter of intent to play for the Warriors in the fall.

"It was a dream of mine to play for Hawai'i," said Poumele, who originally signed with UH in 1999. Two of his cousins — Pisa Tinoisamoa and Preston Faraimo — are UH linebackers.

The Warriors have received commitments from 25 recruits, the NCAA limit for one year.

"He's one heck of a football player," Southwestern coach Walt Justice said. "He has a great gift. Football is his calling."

As a quarterback at Oceanside High School three years ago, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Poumele was named the San Diego County Offensive Player of the Year.

He delayed enrolling at Palomar Junior College until August 2000. That season, Poumele caught 65 passes. But he transferred to Southwestern last year in hopes of getting a chance to play quarterback.

Poumele opened the season as a wide receiver, but then started the final seven games at quarterback.

"We did a lot of things very similar to what the Philadelphia Eagles do with (quarterback) Donovan McNabb," Justice said. "He's a double threat, and we gave him the freedom to run or pass. He's a great athlete with great vision. He might not be the fastest player, but he is elusive. He makes people miss. He has the ability to stop on a dime, like he has air brakes."

Poumele turned down offers from San Diego State and Nevada-Las Vegas to sign with UH.

He will join the Warriors in August, and have three years to play two seasons.

Justice said Poumele, who can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds, is projected to play wide receiver or slotback for the Warriors.

"It doesn't matter to me where I play," Poumele said. "Whatever the coach decides. I just want to play for Hawai'i."