Huskies closing in on Hawaii’s top prospects

Punahou linebacker Maninoa Tufono played in a high school football all-star game in Mexico. Photo by Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The Washington Huskies have already secured commitments from three of the nine Division I committed prospects from Hawaii in the class of 2019, and it might only just be the beginning.

UW, which is 22-5 with one appearance in the College Football Playoff in the last two seasons under head coach Chris Petersen, remains in the running for the top four prospects in the state who are uncommitted.

Punahou inside linebacker Maninoa Tufono, the No. 96 overall prospect in the nation and fifth among inside linebackers according to the recruiting web site 247Sports, narrowed down a list of 39 offers to his top five on Wednesday.

The Huskies are in it, along with UCLA, Southern California, Texas and LSU.

Tufono’s father, Albert, was a linebacker for the Huskies in the mid-1980s and played on a team that beat Oklahoma in the 1985 Orange Bowl.

The Huskies are the only school to make the top five of both Tufono and Saint Louis defensive lineman Faatui Tuitele, who is rated the No. 29 overall prospect in the nation and third among defensive tackles.

The Huskies are also in the hunt for Kahuku offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi, the No. 91 overall prospect, who recently announced his top eight that includes UW along with Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC and Virginia.

Kapolei offensive lineman Julius Buelow is also reportedly high on the Huskies, listing them in his top four according to a story.

Buelow is 6-foot-8 and 315 pounds with an offer sheet of at least 19 schools. 247Sports lists him No. 206 overall in the nation and 21st among offensive tackles.

UW already has commitments from Kaimuki lineman Sama Pa’ama, Kahuku linebacker Miki Ah You and Punahou kicker Timothy Horn.

The Huskies signed Pearl City defensive lineman Zion Tupuola-Fetui in their 2018 class.

For a complete list of players being recruited, click here.


  1. ??? July 11, 2018 9:35 pm

    Surprised more Hawai’i kids don’t consider The
    Notre Dame Fighting Irish ☘️(Manti, Kona, Toma, Amosa) they play on TV every single week home & away they have top notch education, top notch football & multi-million dollar facilities. Notre Dame also hosts NFL scouts at their practices daily; Most colleges have closed practices.

  2. The CHURCH is TRUE! July 11, 2018 9:46 pm

    When you have kids send the to Notre Dame lol

  3. Collin July 11, 2018 9:53 pm

    dude, those practices are never closed to scouts from the NFL, just the public. and UW has plenty of scouts around with how many guys they are getting drafted lately… correct me if I’m wrong but I think they’ve had more in the last 5 years than ND.

  4. Ldub20 July 12, 2018 2:59 am

    I hope Mahatma Gandhi does post his pointless viewpoints and rant about the 1980 Prep Bowl (as if anybody cares).

    Proud of Maninoa. Hopefully, he can provide essential leadership to the Puns this coming year.

  5. TooMeke July 12, 2018 5:16 am


  6. rrforlifebaby July 12, 2018 8:58 am

    Draft picks from 2015 – 2018

    ND – 22 (2018 – 4) (2017 – 2) (2016 – 7) (2015 – 1) (2014 – 8)
    UW – 18 (2018 – 5) (2017 – 5) (2016 – 2) (2015 – 4) (2014 – 2)

    UH grad, all time fave team is ND. GO IRISH!!!

  7. ??? July 12, 2018 9:17 am

    @the Church is true
    My question about Notre Dame was was just that; “a question”? I Never said send your kids to ND; (I said consider ND). Looking at your spelling I’m not worried about your kids attending ND!

    Collin, I never said practice was closed to scouts! But ask Nick Saban how many colleges don’t let scouts into practice but let them talk to kids before or after practice because it can be a distraction. Alabama let’s scouts watch!

  8. ??? July 12, 2018 9:29 am

    @ rrforlifebaby,
    Mahalo for your facts not speculations!
    There’s your answer Collin!🤙🏽

  9. TooMeke July 12, 2018 11:17 am

    I see diminishing returns from ND in your stats

    Whereas UW stats are trending upwards.

    Go Huskies!

  10. Tyson July 12, 2018 11:27 am

    2 appearances in the College Football Playoff

  11. scfan July 12, 2018 1:28 pm

    fight on! at usc

  12. JH July 12, 2018 1:36 pm

    Much mahalo to Coach Ikaika Malloe for recruiting the great talent in the 50th state. Good luck to the young recruits.

  13. Dawgishly July 12, 2018 3:15 pm


    You write 2015 – 2018 but then include 2014 because the huskies actually have more draft picks in 2015 – 2018.

    They’re both top programs and it is more about fit for the individual kid than one program being clearly better than the other right now. That being said, ND was 0-4 last year in their head to head battles with UW. They’re also off to an 0-1 start in 2019 with Asa Turner committing to UW today of his other finalists of USC and Notre Dame.

  14. Tappsdawg July 12, 2018 6:48 pm

    An islander would not want to freeze their buttt off in cold azz ND. DONT EVEN BOTHER! 😂

  15. rrforlifebaby July 13, 2018 7:52 am

    @TooMeke…lol, yes, that is what it looks like as far as trending.

    If the kids want to stay on the West coast and not @play for the home team, I’m all good with USC, UW, and or Oregon, in that order; if not, Fighting Irish baby!!!

  16. Paniolo July 13, 2018 9:31 pm

    Years ago, during an NFL draft night when our Warriors Samson Satele was drafted number one in the third round (he almost made it in the second), a well-known College anaylist said if all the football kids stayed home and played for their University of Hawaii Warrior football team, undoubtedly Hawaii would be in the Top 20 each year. That is a real good compliment to the kids here.

    But unfortunately that is all wishful thinking.

    I, myself is a staunch Hawaii Warrior football team supporter, I am just as happy when kids from other States, Samoa, and Australia who loves Hawaii and the cultural but most especially playing for our Warrior football team.

  17. Rrforlifebaby July 13, 2018 11:24 pm

    My mistake, should’ve been 2014 to 2018 ( 5 years). Yes, both great schools, but I’m biased towards ND, win or lose.

  18. S. Klepper July 16, 2018 1:36 pm

    I hope Faatui Tuitele selects The Ohio State University. Their DL coach is the best in the business. There is already strong Ohana there but Faatui could culturally enrich it beyond the high level that exists today.

  19. ??? July 16, 2018 10:44 pm

    I guess you don’t know that Washington snows also, not only ND? 😂

  20. ??? July 16, 2018 10:49 pm

    I guess an Islander would not want to freeze in the cold azz NFL either huh? What a genius👌

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