BLOG: 2018 National Signing Day

Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State offensive player of the year, signed with UCF nine months ago and will play in the Knights' season opener. Photo by Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Today is National Signing Day for high school football seniors who are eligible to sign their national letters of intent for the first time.

The early signing period is Wednesday through Friday with most of the signings taking place today.

To follow our High School Football Recruiting Tracker, click here.

Hawaii Prep World now has six players listed with at least one Division I offer who are uncommitted: Kahuku OL Enokk Vimahi, Kamehameha OL Lokahi Pauole, Punahou DB Kaulana Makaula, Kahuku DB Nalu Emerson, Saint Louis DL Liloa Kapiko, Kahuku DL Tuia Tupuola.

>> Mililani QB Dillon Gabriel calls UCF ‘the best fit for me’
>> Faatui Tuitele‘s decision to sign with UW goes beyond football
>> Saint Louis big boys Gino Quinones, Ben Scott ready for life in the Pac-12
>> Kaimuki’s Sama Paama to enroll early after signing with Washington


Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser offensive player of the year and the state’s all-time career passing yardage record holder, signs with Central Florida.

Gabriel decommitted from Army a month ago and had since visited Central Florida, USC and Georgia.

“Mililani shaped me into the person I am. I want to keep this simple and short. I’ll be signing with UCF,” Gabriel said.

Gabriel said he made his decision on Monday. He talks to McKenzie Milton every day and the two are close.

“We are very close. It didn’t decide where I’d go,” Gabriel said. “UCF is a unique community. Kind of reminds me of home. I loved the visit. The school fits me. When I got to sit and talk about the offense, a lot translates for me. Concepts are the same.”

Gabriel will enroll on Jan. 3 and start classes Jan. 4.

Ken Niumatalolo is having a big day in the islands.

First, Kahuku defensive end Tausili Fiatoa, who had originally committed to Brigham Young as a sophomore in 2016, will sign with Navy according to Kahuku football coach Sterling Carvalho. Fiatoa was Kahuku’s lone representative on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first team.

Just minutes after that news broke, Punahou’s Sitiveni Kaufusi announced he is also signing with Navy.

Kaufusi, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound fullback, also had offers from Army, Hawaii and Iowa State.

Navy had already secured commitments from Kamehameha linebacker Akalea Kapono and Radford offensive lineman Darrellson Masaniai.


>> Hawaii has made all three of its local signings official — Kamehameha LB Tiger Peterson, Mililani LB Darius Muasau, Saint Louis OL Arasi Mose. Peterson will enroll in the spring.

>> All five commits to the University of Washington — Kapolei OL Julius Buelow, Kahuku LB Miki Ah You, Punahou K Tim Horn, Saint Louis DL Faatui Tuitele, Kaimuki DL Sama Pa’ama, have all officially signed with the school. We will have more from a couple of them later today. According to 247Sports, the Huskies have the No. 15 overall recruiting class with a quarter of their current 20 commits from the islands.

>> Kapaa offensive lineman Elijah Unutoa, who has committed to Brigham Young, will serve a two-year church mission according to a Kapaa coach. Unutoa (6-5, 300), who had offers from schools including California, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Iowa State and San Diego State, will have a scholarship when he returns in 2021.

Eli’s brother, Mo, is current at Utah, which should make for a fun sibling rivalry.

Kapaa’s Elijah Unutoa with his Mom and Dad after signing with Brigham Young. Photo courtesy Kahele Keawe.

Kahuku tight end Ethan Erickson will be in Provo, Utah, next year after making his signing with the Cougars official.

>> Kamehameha’s Kupono Blake (Air Force) and Tiger Peterson (Hawaii) signed their letters this morning at school. Peterson is one of three signees the Rainbow Warriors expect to have today from the islands along with Mililani linebacker Darius Muasau and Saint Louis OL Arasi Mose. Muasau and Mose were Star-Advertiser All-State first-team selections while Peterson made the second team.

>> Punahou’s Maninoa Tufono signs with USC. The Trojans will land at least two prospects from the islands today and are in the running for Mililani’s Gabriel.

>> UCLA was the only Pac-12 school without a Hawaii kid on its roster this season. That will change next year with the signing of Punahou OL Duke Clemens, whose 20 scholarship offers ranked fourth in Hawaii in the Class of 2019.

>> Punahou had a big day today with maybe nobody bigger than Marist Liufau, whose recruiting picked up heavily at the end of his senior season. Liufau made his signing with Notre Dame official today, following in the footsteps of prized recruit Manti Te’o a decade ago.

>> We’re told Kapolei’s Peni Naulu headed out to the beach this morning to make his signing with Washington State official. The Cougars posted a video to Twitter with highlights of the linebacker.

>> Pac-Five with a rare D-I college commit as OL Leif Fautanu goes with UNLV over Hawaii.

>> Updated on a couple of players who left Hawaii in recent years. Former Kapolei quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who is amazingly ninth on the career passing yardage list despite transferring to Thompson Academy in Alabama after his sophomore year, has made his signing official with Alabama, joining brother Tua next year. Also, former Kapolei defensive lineman Treven Ma’ae, who moved to Las Vegas to play at Bishop Gorman this year as a senior, is headed to Eugene, Ore., to play for the Ducks.


  1. Wainakea December 19, 2018 8:32 am

    Tilini Livai (Hilo→Narbonne) officially signed today with USC. Was part of the state championship team last year with Hilo and transferred this past year.

  2. Curious George December 19, 2018 2:18 pm

    So if Gabriel knew he was going to UCF, why the tweet this morning?

  3. ??? December 19, 2018 3:39 pm

    Congratulations to All the student athletes who signed today; represent your OHANA & HAWAII with PRIDE.

  4. Mahatma Gandhi December 19, 2018 6:37 pm

    How the Darrelson Masaniai from Radford not recruited by the ILH?

  5. amela December 20, 2018 6:39 pm

    Hope maybe UH can sign the top uncommitted players from here, just hoping. Shock the state!

  6. Hmmm? December 21, 2018 12:29 am

    How are these guys enrolling early? You mean to tell me these athletes are graduating before their respective school’s Valedictorians???

  7. h8r? January 2, 2019 10:30 am

    @Nick Ambro, HPW…

    Seemed like HPW reported more kids as having offers yet i dont see them on this list as signed… (or noted as signing at a bowl game).

    Whats up with that? Bad reporting? Bogus Offers? Kids grades???

  8. h8r? January 2, 2019 11:42 am

    Sorry i meant, @Billy Hull

  9. h8r? January 7, 2019 9:38 am

    Can HPW write an article about how the recruiting process really works… For kids that get offers if they dont accept the school moves on. We count them as receiving an offer that absolutely true. But if the kid thinks its one of many and then decides to hold out for a bigger school guess what… You could be out of a scholarship. I see Gabriel was smart about it. He didnt have other offers so he took what he had, a safetynet school. Then when he did well and more coaches started knocking here we go he opens up already knowing he will get some offers then bam. Goes to UCF. See kids the moral is make sure you really consider the offers you are given as once you let them go without accepting your done. That school that was interested is no longer interested with you, its in most cases not a standing offer. You look at teams like UNLV, Navy, and others they seem to offer choke kids and the reality is that once they get commits the scholarships run out and they are done. Thats how it works, some kids want to run up their offer list for the fun of it and it works out, but for some that are on the bubble you could end up with schools that had interest move on and you be left out.

  10. Savich January 17, 2019 9:28 pm

    February 6, 2019 is the last day to sign the letters.

  11. Sangamon Keith January 25, 2019 8:42 am

    Not last day … next signing period opens on February 6 and closes April 1 for D-1 and August 1 for D-2.

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