Blaine Hipa keeps working in silence.
The Campbell quarterback’s actions are doing all the talking. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior received an invitation to the Elite 11 Regional, which will be on Oct. 25 in Portland, Ore.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to learn from the coaches,” Hipa said on Saturday.
Campbell was 6-6 in the Open Division last season, losing to Kahuku in the state semifinals, 21-19. Hipa passed for 2,582 yards and 31 touchdowns as a sophomore. Another valuable number might be his grade-point average: 3.8.
The southpaw has offers from Hawaii and Tennessee. A truckload of other programs have flirted with Hipa, dropping plenty of attention on social media: Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Nevada, Northwestern, Oregon State, UCF, UNLV.
“We’re happy he’s working hard and doing well,” Campbell coach Darren Johnson said.
In addition to Hipa, Kaimuki quarterback Jayden Maiava has also been invited to the Elite 11.
Hipa has been rigorous in this extended offseason despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been working out with Coach Kawe (Johnson) and Coach Kelii (Tilton). Coach Kelii was coming to my house and we were training on the road during the lockdown four or five times a week,” Hipa said.
He was hesitant to gauge his improvement.
“It’s hard to tell. We’re not playing games (until early 2021). I’m just working on my arm strength and my mechanics. The ball’s coming out a lot better,” Hipa said.
That’s why the Elite 11 opportunity is increasingly valuable.
“We hope coaches see it,” he said.
The Hawaii high school football season is tentatively set for early 2021, depending, of course, on the pandemic. College coaches want fresh video footage.
“I have a good feeling we’re going to have a season. I just hope we do. A lot of the coaches that have interest in me want to see me play at least a couple of games,” Hipa said.
Hipa’s big-play teammate, wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, has 20 scholarship offers.