Stars A Longshot For UH Recruiting
Rivals.com tabbed 32 high school seniors worthy of five-star status, and reports the best of the senior class being spread over 17 colleges with none getting more than three. Alabama, the unofficial winner of the impossible to determine sweepstakes, got its allotted three to go along with 24 from the second two tiers for an average star rating of 3.77.
None of this tells us who will claim the mythical national championship in years to come, but it does show where the University of Hawaii fits into the recruiting picture and what can be expected in the future.
The recruiting site ranked UH fourth in the Mountain West Conference behind Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico with a 2.31 average star rating. (Hawaii’s rating includes former Michigan cornerback Justin Turner who was reported to have committed to UH under then head coach Greg McMackin but has not yet done so.) Believe what you want about the rankings they are suspect, speculative and often influenced by the schools as much as the player they do provide a public face to a school’s effectiveness and its image to future prospects.
Outside of transfers and those toting enough personal baggage to be assessed extra airline fees, fourand five-star recruits are out of UH’s budget. Any success for the program will come from heavy mining of the three-star ranks combined with wise projections into two-star territory and convincing Hawaii-born players they are better served playing close to home.
Norm Chow’s first recruiting class features three-star designees Dejon Alan, Chris Evans, Steven Lakalaka and Kiha Sai (down from an average of 10.3 three-stars per season since 2009) and state Defensive Player of the Year Benetton Fonua. Island-wide they left many fans wanting, signing just two of the Honolulu StarAdvertiser‘s Top 10, Lakalaka (No. 8) and Sai (No. 9).
Is this a spectacular class? Not by any stretch. Is it as good as could be hoped by a new staff taking over a program with a disappointing sales record? Quite possibly. As much as this class was about filling current and future needs, the 2012 recruiting season was more about creating a foundation that will increase the program’s allotment of threestar athletes while keeping half of the state’s best at home on any given year. He’ll never get them all. When Notre Dame, Stanford and Oregon come calling, you just go, but there is no need to lose out to Washington State, Utah State and Colorado.
* The idea of Jim Tressel roaming a college campus is a bit unsettling, but that doesn’t make him a bad hire. An ethical one is another matter. The University of Akron introduced Tressel last week as its new vice president for strategic engagement. His job description is a vague list of indistinguishable goals that hide the fact he’s been hired to be a fundraiser. Minus the resurrection of Woody Hayes, who better? His $200,000 salary at the small school might seem excessive for someone with a shaky intercollegiate honesty record, but he’ll bring in millions, and that will be enough to drown out those weenie philosophy types. Zips coach in 2017?