Kona Moore is a Hawaii Warrior.
The Saint Louis defensive back made his decision on Tuesday night and announced it on Thursday. He turned down offers from Army, Navy and Louisiana-Monroe.
“I feel satisfied. I’m good. I’m happy with my decision,” said Moore, a 6-foot, 180-pound senior. “I decided on Tuesday night with my parents.”
Saint Louis coach Ron Lee is stoked for one of his key senior leaders.
“It’s great for him, well deserved. He’s the only starter we have back. He’s showing terrific leadership. He can play corner, (strong) safety, free safety. He’s got a lot of talent,” Lee said.
Moore got in touch with the Hawaii staff.
“I called my position coach, Trent Figg, and he passed the phone to (head) coach (Todd) Graham and coach (Jacob) Yoro. Coach Figg said I made his day, I’m their first commitment, for it to be from home feels different and they’re ready to get me started,” Moore said.
Initially, he planned to wait until August before making a decision. Hawaii, however, felt right after a visit with the Warriors recently. He also got in contact with coaches at Army and Navy to inform them about his choice.
“They have my back. I told them thank you for believing in me when nobody did at first, for putting in effort to build a relationship with me and always supporting, especially outside of football,” Moore said.
Older brother Kama Moore, entering his sophomore year at Riverside College, is elated.
“Kama’s happy. I’m trying to get him there, too,” Kona Moore said.
Playing at home with family nearby is a huge factor.
“Probably, my dad (Bradon) is the happiest, but he won’t say it. He likes to keep it to himself, but I just know him. He’s been waiting for this moment,” Moore said. “My family can see every game and they probably can see practice.”
With senior year ahead at Saint Louis, Moore can relax about the distant future.
“Obviously, I’m going to try and compete for a starting position (at Hawaii), but I have a lot of work to do. I haven’t gotten there yet,” he said. “When I get to college, I want to pick up weight and try my best to keep my speed. I want to get to around 195 maybe in a full year.”
Lee, who coached at UH under June Jones, believes Moore can succeed without reaching that number on the scale.
“I don’t think he needs to get up to 195. He can run, he’s fast, he’s a hitter and he’s smart. The main thing, his speed is most important. That’s up to the UH coaches and what they want to do with him,” Lee said.
Until then, the daily conditioning workouts are a way of life at Kalaepohaku, along with weight-room sessions. Sundays are still set aside for workouts with former Kahuku standout Kawe Johnson.