Norm Chow wasted little time showing Hawaii football fans what type of pull he has in the community here in Hawaii. The University of Hawaii Warrior football team signed three big time recruits from the islands today during national signing day.
Punahou School running back Steven Lakalaka and Kamehameha School’s offensive lineman Kiha Sai signed with the Warriors after earlier committing to other schools. Kahuku linebacker Benneton Fonua signed at the school. Lakalaka had previously committed to UCLA and Sai had announced for Utah.
The ability of Norm Chow to immediately make an impact like this and keep these guys home to play for UH is huge. So many times in years past Hawaii has lost big time recruits to mainland schools. While UH will still lose recruits to the mainland schools, the ability of Chow to recruit in the islands is going to be vital for long-term success here.
June Jones was good at it, but still, Chow brings it to a whole new level when you talk about the ability to keep local guys here in Hawaii. The bonus is that Chow also has huge connections around the nation, based on his body of work that has had him at USC, Utah, and the NFL’s Tennessee Titans just to name a few.
At Kahuku early today, Benneton Fonua, the Star-Advertiser’s All-State defensive player of the year signed with Hawaii.
“Norm Chow made a big difference,” he added. “Even last night I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but this is my chance to make a difference and I want to play for the state, play for Hawaii and play for my family. I believe that. Without these people here, I wouldn’t be here. My main goal right now is to come back to Kahuku and give back to future generations so they can have opportunities like I have.”
This is a very impressive start for Chow and his staff, especially when you consider that the recruiting time he had this year was almost nothing because of when he was hired.
We will see how this plays out, but as far as the signings today go… They were top notch.