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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 8, 2006

Scholarships offered to prospects from class of 2007

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i football team has implemented a more proactive recruiting drive, expanding its national search and offering future scholarships to high school juniors.

In recent years, the Warriors would offer the bulk of their scholarships in the three weeks leading to the first Wednesday in February, the traditional start of the signing period.

"What's happened is all recruiting has changed," UH defensive coordinator Jerry Glanville said. "By the time you were ready to offer scholarships, the University of Texas was already done (recruiting). Georgia was done. Florida was done. All of the big schools were done. We had to change our program and our philosophy."

Now the Warriors have intensified their pursuit of 35 prospects for the 2007 recruiting class. The Warriors have offered scholarships to about 10 high school juniors, including defensive end Nick Mondek of Naperville (Ill.) High, linebacker Mark Oliver of Mount Carmel High in Chicago, defensive end Danny Russell and offensive lineman James Wilson of Nease High near Jacksonville, Fla., wide receiver Austin Tolliver of Shreveport, La., running back Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia, and Kaniela Tupulotu of Kahuku High.

Tolliver is the son of former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver, Tupulotu is regarded as the top prospect in Hawai'i and Dwyer has been rated as one of the top backs in the Southeast.

Glanville declined to identify the prospects, but said: "We're after guys who everybody is after. It's not a secret. We're not after a guy nobody's after."

The odds are against the Warriors. Dwyer, for instance, is being recruited by Georgia and Auburn. But Dwyer's best friend is Spencer Smith, who signed with UH in February and will join the Warriors in August.

"Will we get them?" Glanville said. "The percentages won't be high. But you have to let them know you want them. We're showing them we have a strong interest."

UH coach June Jones said: "We have not offered (scholarships to juniors) in the spring before, but some of them are (rated as) five stars. We've done our homework on them, and we've talked to people who know them, people we trust."

Russell and Wilson were Nease High teammates of UH slotback Rick Taylor. Billy Joe Tolliver was the quarterback when Jones was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Mondek's coach is friends of someone who knows Jeff Reinebold, UH's defensive line coach. UH assistant coach Rich Miano and safety Leonard Peters have been influential in recruiting Tupulotu.

Glanville said UH's emphasis is to recruit locally. "Hawai'i is still No. 1," Glanville said.

Glanville said the top recruiting areas on the Mainland are Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Florida and Tidewater, Va. He said the coaching staff is targeting Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Chicago and Atlanta because all have non-stop flights to Honolulu.

"You don't want to recruit a guy who has to change two, three planes to get here," Glanville said. "You can get on a plane in Chicago and get here (directly). You can be in Dallas or Houston and fly right here. That's a different recruiting than asking a player from Pennsylvania. He has to stop in Chicago and change planes. You don't recruit Pennsylvania. You don't recruit to Tidewater Beach because the kid from Virginia has to fly to Atlanta first. But the kid from Atlanta can fly non-stop. I look for cities where it's a non-stop flight."

Glanville said modern recruiting is easier.

"We work on recruiting probably every single day," he said. "What's changed is the computer. You can recruit on the computer. Right now, we're not allowed to telephone (prospects). But you can e-mail them every day. And you can send them text messages (to their cell phones)."

Glanville said he benefits from a class he took five decades ago.

"I didn't want to take shop in high school," he said. "They said, 'How come you don't want to take shop?' I said, 'I noticed all of the (shop) teachers are missing fingers.' I took typing instead. I've still got all of my fingers. And look how typing is helping me to recruit."


At yesterday's spring workouts:

  • Samson Satele, who will be a fifth-year senior in the fall, practiced in full pads for the first time this spring. He had been held out for the first week while completing school work. NCAA rules require a player then to wait four days before participating in contact drills. Satele is making the switch from left guard to center.

    "He makes a big difference," Jones said. "(Freshman center) John Estes is going to be a heck of an offensive lineman for us, but he's very young. Samson gives us the leadership and the confidence and calls and all of that kind of stuff."

  • The team's strongest player, Lawrence Wilson, competed as the first-team nose tackle in place of Michael Lafaele, who rested a sore leg. Wilson can bench press 500 pounds. A UH motto is: "Games aren't played in the weight room."

    "Hopefully, I can transfer everything I do in there to the field," Wilson said.

  • C.J. Hawthorne, who spent the first eight spring practices as a wideout, played cornerback yesterday. Hawthorne, who transferred from Mississippi Gulf Coast College in January, will have the option of choosing his position.

    "He can play either one and be a good player," Jones said. "Right now, if you were to ask him, he needs to play on defense. If he's there the whole time, he probably would be a starter. He's going to be very, very good."

    Hawthorne said: "I'll play wherever I can help the team the most."

  • Linebacker Timo Paepule appeared to suffer an elbow injury after landing awkwardly.

    Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.