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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

UH gets 2 Kapolei stars

By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

The answer to the Hawai'i football team's defensive needs is blowing in the wind.

Hurricane-force winds.

Yesterday, the Warriors secured commitments from Kapolei High linebackers Dustin Elisara and Tuulauena "T" Lolohea.

"I'm glad both will be Warriors," Hurricane head coach Darren Hernandez said.

Both players said they will put their pledges in writing Feb. 3, the first day recruits may sign binding national letters of intent.

"Everything I want is in Hawai'i," Elisara said. "All of my friends and family are here. It would mean a lot for them to see me play at Aloha Stadium."

Lolohea said: "Staying at home is a big plus. I had a good time on my (recruiting) trip (the past weekend). I like the coaches. I like how they care about the local kids."

By accepting, both players are canceling next week's recruiting trip to Arkansas. Elisara also received offers from Arizona, Oregon State and Wyoming. Lolohea received offers from Arizona, Colorado and Idaho.

Elisara, who is 6 feet 2 and "around 245" pounds, was rated as the No. 6 prospect in Hawai'i by www.Scout.com.

Elisara led the Hurricanes with 89 tackles, including 11 for losses.

Hernandez said Elisara can bench press 365 pounds, squat 475 pounds, power clean 245 pounds, and run 40 yards in 4.71 seconds.

"Dustin is a classic middle linebacker," Hernandez said. "He's a banger, real strong against the run. He's big and athletic."

Elisara had two interceptions in 2009.

Hernandez said some schools were recruiting Elisara as a fullback. One scouting service ranked Elisara as the fifth-best big back in the West region.

"He's a big dude, but he can run and catch and do a lot of things," Hernandez said.

Elisara competed in the All-American Bowl in Austin, Texas, amassing eight tackles.

Lolohea, who is 6 feet 2 and 240 pounds, is capable of playing rush end or outside linebacker.

This past season, he made 86 tackles, including 11 sacks, forced four fumbles, blocked a kick and intercepted two passes. One of his interception returns covered 100 yards.

Hernandez said Lolohea is capable of bench pressing 335 pounds, squatting 465 pounds, cleaning 225 pounds and sprinting 40 yards in 4.65 seconds.

"T can rush the passer or drop back into coverage," Hernandez said. "He makes big plays."

Hernandez said Lolohea defies comparisons.

"I can't think of someone who is both a pass rusher and cover backer," Hernandez. "He can do both."

Elisara and Lolohea thought they would choose Mainland schools. But that changed this past weekend after going on an official UH recruiting trip.

Linebacker Art Laurel and defensive end Earvin Sione served as hosts.

"I had a really good time," Elisara said.

Lolohea said: "I liked that they didn't force anything on us. They answered our questions."

Hernandez said "both guys initially wanted to go away. But they were blown away by the UH coaching staff. ... They thought there was an opportunity (at UH). They're excited about that."

Elisara recalled how he and his father attended Warrior games.

"Ever since I was little, I supported the Warriors," said Elisara, adding that he looked up to former UH safety Nate Jackson and outside linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.

Lolohea said he likes to sing and "hang out with my family."

He will get another five years to do that.