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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Crusaders' Hanohano picks Utah ... for now

 •  Chart: Hawai'i high school recruits

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Despite telling the University of Utah he will accept a football scholarship, Saint Louis School all-star wide receiver Desmond Hanohano said he is still leaving his options open.

He said he told Utah assistant coach Bill Busch of his decision to sign with the Utes yesterday. The first day football recruits may sign binding national letters of intent is Feb. 4.

Hanohano, who is 6 feet 5 and 220 pounds, said Utah is the only school that made him an offer. Asked what he would do if another school showed interest, he said, "I'll see what they have to offer and probably go with the best deal, I guess."

It is not uncommon for recruits to change their minds before the signing date.

Hanohano took a recruiting trip to Utah last Wednesday through Friday.

"I like the program overall, the facilities and coaches," Hanohano said.

He said he has been told that he could play as a freshman and was told he would be used as a wide receiver.

Hanohano is an Interscholastic League of Honolulu first-team all-star.

"Des is an overachiever," Saint Louis coach Darnell Arceneaux said. "No one really knew about him. I kept telling guys you gotta take a look at this kid. He's a prototypical tight end, like (Jeremy) Shockey and Tony Gonzalez, tall, lean. They were at one time wide receivers who put on muscle mass (and became tight ends)."

He is the second player from Hawai'i to verbally commit to Utah. Iolani running back Raynold Stowers said Monday he will sign with the Utes.

Meanwhile, Arceneaux said that Saint Louis all-star defensive lineman Tavita Thompson has verbally committed to Colorado, giving the Buffaloes three players from Hawai'i saying they will play ball in Boulder. The other two are Campbell defensive lineman David Veikune and Waimea running back Jordon Dizon.

Thompson, who is 6-5 and 287 pounds, also was offered a scholarship by Utah and had a recruiting visit scheduled for Oregon State, Arceneaux said.

"He is one person you don't have to worry about," Arceneaux said of Thompson, whose brother Sione is an assistant on the Crusaders staff. "His mother did a great job of raising her two boys. (Tavita) brings it on every day. He doesn't want to be second."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8042.