Baldwin’s Keelan Ewaliko to Sign NLI on Wednesday
By Rodney S. Yap
Baldwin High School’s Keelan Ewaliko is expected to be the second Maui Interscholastic League football recruit to sign a letter of intent to University of Hawaii.
This should happen Wednesday, the first day student-athletes intending to play football can make their respective commitments official.
Ewaliko, the MIL’s only three-time offensive player of the year and the returning state champion at 200 meters, will sign his agreement with Hawaii before family and friends at a 9 a.m. press conference hosted by The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course.
Ewaliko is one of two local recruits planning to gray shirt the 2013 season and enroll for the spring semester in January 2014, saving five seasons to play four. The Baldwin quarterback verbally committed to play for Hawaii head coach Norm Chow in May.
Former Maui High running back Robert Kemfort was recruited in 1996 by then-Hawaii head coach Fred VonAppen. Kemfort, who was also a state champion hurdler, was converted to outside linebacker for his final two seasons at Hawaii.
Other highly-touted prospects who have made verbal commitments to Hawaii are Kennedy Tulimasealii of Waianae; Rashaan Falemalu, John Wa’a, and Aofaga Wily of Kahuku; and Ualesi Sale of Aiea.
The Warriors made a final push for their top local recruits last weekend, hosting nine prospects, including Ewaliko, the only neighbor island player on Hawaii’s radar.
The other MIL football player set to sign a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday is Kamehameha Maui offensive lineman Dylan Nakoa, with Notre Dame College (Ohio).
Nakoa will be joined by more than 50 other student-athletes from Oahu at the Pacific Islands Athletic Alliance 9th Annual National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing day event, the single largest signing event in the nation, held at the Sheraton Waikiki.
Doris Sullivan’s ability to network with college coaches on behalf of hundreds of Hawaii high school athletes wanting to extend their athletic abilities to the college level is positively mind boggling. This year’s event will be broadcast live online through ScoringLive.com. Introduction of athletes begin at 6:20 a.m., with the signing to follow at 7 a.m.
Athletes from the following sports will be signing: NCAA Football, Men’s & Women’s Soccer, Men’s Water Polo, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field. Athletes signing with NAIA colleges in any sport may sign.
Mililani, the team that eliminated Baldwin in the quarterfinals of the 2012 state football tournament, has five players — not including quarterback Jarin Morikawa — scheduled to sign letters of intent.
Ewaliko and teammate Abraham Reinhardt recently returned from the invitation-only third annual Polynesian All-American Classic all-star football game that was played at La Mirada (Calif.) High School Stadium.
Ewaliko said former UH and San Francisco 49ers’ offensive lineman Jesse Sapolu invited him to represent Team White, along with Wily and Kawehena Johnson of Kahuku, Shaun Kagawa of Kamehameha Big Island and Tulimasealii.
“I started, but the time off not playing football kind of hurt me,” said Ewaliko, who threw for 45 yards on 4 of 19 passing. “I didn’t throw the football since November and to come into an all-star game situation like that and expect to play well is hard.
“I thought I played fairly well, considering I had not played football in nearly two months.”
Ewaliko, who said he’s been training for the upcoming MIL track season, was by far the team’s leading rusher with 80 yards on 13 carries.
“It was fun to play against guys big guys, fast guys. To play against guys who are bigger and faster, it was fun, guys who are better than you can only make you better. It kind of gives you an idea of what college might be like.”
Defensively, Reinhardt finished second with five tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, and one interception.
“I was playing safety and I read the receiver coming across the middle and saw the quarterback looking at him and I just broke on that,” said the 2012 MIL Special Team’s Player of the Year.
“Had three practices in two days. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but it was very competitive and exciting. All of the Hawaii boys stay together the whole time and we’re all good friends now.”
Reinhardt played the entire game at safety and said defensive coordinator Manu Tuiasosopo was very complimentary of his skills.
“He told me to keep doing what I’m doing and not to worry about the colleges, they will come. Keep training and practicing hard.”
|Reeve Koehler||Saint Louis||Football||University of Arkansas|
|Isaac Savaiinaea||Punahou||Football||Texas A&M/UCLA|
|Madison Reed||Mililani||Soccer||University of Hawaii|
|Noah Chang||Punahou||Football||Pitzer College|
|Kyle Obana||Punahou||Football||Brown University|
|Jeremy Tabuyo||Saint Louis||Football||Texas A&M University|
|Colton Goeas||Saint Louis||Football||University of Kansas|
|Isabelle Delgado||Moanalua||Soccer||University of Nevada Las Vegas|
|Dakota Turner||Mililani||Football||San Diego State|
|Jenson Toner||Punahou||Soccer||University of Southern California|
|Kamalei Correa||Saint Louis||Football||Boise State|
|Dempsey Lynn Banks||Punahou||Soccer||Cornell University|
|Tierra “TJ” Reyno||Mililani||Soccer||University of Hawaii|
|Mitchell Boyd||Farrington||Football||Saint Francis University (PA)|
|Michael Boyd||Farrington||Football||Saint Francis University (PA)|
|Ryan Tuiasoa||Punahou||Football||Weber State University|
|Kennedy Tulimasealii||Waianae||Football||University of Hawaii|
|Kai Gonda||Kaiser||Football||Weber State University|
|Ualesi Sale||Aiea||Football||University of Hawaii|
|Titus Failauga||Mid Pacific/Pac 5||Football||Oregon State University|
|Michael Atuaia||Mililani||Football||U of Minnesota – Crookston|
|Wesley Nagaseu||Waipahu||Football||Saint Francis University (PA)|
|Ekolu Ramos III||Mililani||Football||U of Minnesota – Crookston|
|Justin Tago-Su’e||James Campbell||Football||U of Minnesota – Crookston|
|Solomon Leaeno||James Campbell||Football||SD School of Mines or UMN-Crookston|
|Jahna Kay Tacson||Waipahu||Soccer||Southern Utah or Lamar University|
|Elli Brady||Punahou||Track/XCountry||University of Notre Dame|
|Jaryn Villegas||Leilehua||Football||Saint Francis University (PA)|
|Vincent Smith||Waialua||Football||Campbellsville University|
|Manaia Perese||Mililani||Football||Weber State University|
|David Lam||Aiea||Soccer||Allen Community College|
|Jeremiah Taleni||Kailua||Football||University of Pittsburgh|
|Shyani K. A. Terukina||Mililani||Soccer||Utah State University|
|Storm Kenui||Moanalua||Soccer||University of Hawaii|
|Joey Anglemire||Mililani||Football||University of Nevada|
|Kamalani Pascua||Iolani||Soccer||University of Hawaii|
|Logan Hanohano||Punahou||Football||University of San Diego|
|Kealakekua Makekau||Sacred Hearts||Soccer||Western Oregon|
|Taylor Kipilii||Iolani||Soccer||US Naval Academy|
|Taylor Higa||Mid Pacific Institute||Soccer||Western Oregon|
|Alyssa-Marie V. Almogela||Waipahu||Soccer||Jackson State University|
|Ikea Ikehara||Kamehameha||Football||Weber State|
|Dylan Nakoa||Kamehameha-Maui||Football||Notre Dame College (Ohio)|
|Shaney Sakamoto||Kamehameha||Soccer||St Louis U or U of Oregon|
|Jazlyn M. McCoy||Waianae||Soccer||Allen Community College|
|Kirk Ronolo||Kailua||Football||City College of San Francisco|
|John Wa’a||Kahuku||Football||University of Hawaii|
|Anu Kahele-Manners||Moanalua||Soccer||Hawaii Pacific University|
|Preston Derige||Mililani||Soccer||Allen Community College|
|Summer Burnett||Kamehameha||Soccer||University of Georgia|
|Drew McDurmin||Aiea||Football||U of Minnesota-Crookston|