Hawaii is not known as a football recruiting powerhouse. The sport hasn’t grown as well on the islands, and while coaches would be happy to make in-home visits in Honolulu recruiting a player from so far away gets expensive. Hawaii’s 2019 recruiting class is better than what the state usually sees, though. Three sophomores from Hawaii are in the class of 2019’s top 100, and over the weekend Syracuse (whose head coach is a Hawaii alum) gave scholarship offers to all of them.
Faatui Tuitele — DT
— Faatui Tuitele (@tuitele87) April 7, 2017
No, the names don’t get any easier. Tuitele is the leader of Hawaii’s strong class. He’s not only the No. 1 recruit in the state and listed at four stars in 24/7’s latest rankings; he’s also the No. 9 overall and second-best defensive tackle in the country. He’s just a sophomore in high school. but already has the body of a college lineman at 6-3, 270 pounds. Tuitele already has offers from USC, Oregon, Ole Miss, Vandy and others. USC is apparently the favorite for Tuitele, but the Trojans haven’t extended an offer to him yet.
Enokk Vimahi — OT
— Enokk Vimahi (@enokkvimahi) April 8, 2017
On the other side of the island of O’ahu, Enokk Vimahi makes the second of three top 100 recruits in Hawaii. He also is already at college size, standing at 6-5 and weighing in at 270 pounds. Vimahi has offers from USC, Oregon, Hawaii, and Nebraska among others, and is also listed at four stars. He is the No. 48 recruit in the class of 2019, and the country’s fourth-best offensive tackle.
Maninoa Tufono — LB
— Maninoa Tufono (@maninoa_tufono) April 7, 2017
Syracuse badly needs help in the trenches, and after this season will likely need to fill some big holes at the linebacker spots as well. Maninoa Tufono could help with some of that. He and Tuitele are both natives of Honolulu, with Tuitele playing at St. Louis High School and Tufono at Punahou. Tufono is the No. 86 recruit in the 2019 class, and the No. 3 inside linebacker. He has Power Five offers from Oregon, Hawaii and Washington State.
Syracuse doesn’t have a single player on its roster from Hawaii. Dino Babers went to and played at Hawaii in college before starting his coaching career there as a graduate assistant, but that was over 30 years ago. The Orange will have to compete with bigger, closer schools with more wins and better connections if Babers wants to land any of the recruits coming out of the state in 2019. But the Orange is still getting its name out there early, which will be necessary if SU wants to recruit players west of the Mississippi.
Posted: Nathan Dickinson