The long wait is over for Darrell Masaniai.
He looks happy in black and red. Masaniai signed with San Diego State on Wednesday morning, ending a long, arduous process. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior linebacker was one of two Crusaders to sign letters of intent this morning at the signing ceremony hosted by Education 1st at the Waikiki Elks Lodge.
“I feel great. This whole thing is just surreal because it’s always something I dreamed of. I’m super thankful and happy that I can continue on with my football career,” he said.
Masaniai also had offers from Air Force, Army, Hawaii, Navy, Northern Arizona and UNLV. SDSU was consistent, and Air Force was a contender.
“I like the coaches. They really made me feel like I was at home. The coaches took care of me and were straight up with me. They didn’t sugarcoat anything. They didn’t make it seem like it was going to easy. They told me they would put me to work and they were straight up with me,” he said.
Masaniai will continue to play outside linebacker. He saw some snaps at defensive end for Saint Louis, which won four state titles in a row. When the football season began, there were few offers for him. Masaniai advises young players to be diligent and patient.
“I didn’t get my offers until coming into senior year, so just keep on working because it’ll come. You might not think it, but the opportunities will come. Just keep working hard,” he said.
Hawaii was still in the mix, but the change in coaching staff altered his situation. Nick Rolovich left for Washington State and Hawaii hired Todd Graham, who was not part of the staff.
“I guess it kind of did factor in,” Masaniai said. “I didn’t really get the chance to know the new head coach. I really wanted to. I would’ve considered them if that was the case, but things just went on that way.”
He is one of eight Saint Louis defensive players who had Division I scholarship offers last fall.