Kaiser offensive lineman Michael Eletise wrapped up the recruiting process 11 days before the start of the season, narrowing 40+ FBS offers down to the University of Arizona, where he committed on Monday.
Eletise announced the decision on the 6 p.m. KHON2 newscast and spoke before Kaiser’s practice Monday afternoon as the team put on pads for the first time in advance of its Aug. 7 opener at Kapolei.
The 6-foot-4, 302-pound offensive guard narrowed down an impressive offer sheet that included Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan State and UCLA to a final five: Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Washington, before settling on the Wildcats.
“I really loved Arizona and UW. As I went more and more through my top five it kind of got to those two schools and I woke up one day and realized I wanted to be coached by the coaches at Arizona,” Eletise said. “I felt like that was the home where I was supposed to be.”
Eletise is ranked No. 212 overall in Scout.com’s Top 300 list for 2016. He’s ranked 11th among offensive guards in the country and first in the West region.
Class at Kaiser starts Friday with the football season opener a week later and Eletise said he needed to finish his college recruitment to focus on that.
“As I was going through this process, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or when I wanted to commit or even visit schools,” Eletise said. “As time went on I started realizing it could be ultra confusing because I’d have to do football and then academics and then recruiting and I wasn’t sure I could do all that and still keep a good GPA and focus on football so now was the time before it all gets crazy hectic.”
Kaiser coach Cameron Higgins told the Star-Advertiser’s Nick Abramo earlier Monday that he was happy Eletise wrapped up the process before the start of the season.
“It’s a smart move so he can focus on the season and clear his mind of all that noise,” Higgins said. “He doesn’t have to go through the whole season and thinking only about trying not to make a mistake (in front of recruiters). Sometimes you try too hard and it ends up backfiring on you and he would always have that (a future college decision) in the back of his mind.”
The difficult part now is for Eletise to inform the other coaches who recruited him of his decision.
“It’s really said because I have to go and tell (Washington head) coach (Chris) Petersen and (Washington offensive line) coach (Chris) Strausser that I’m not going to UW because I’ve made great relationships with them,” Eletise said. “When we go to play UW, I hope I can go and say ‘hi’ and they won’t be salty with me.”
Arizona is the fifth Pac-12 school to land a major high school recruit from Hawaii in the class of 2016, joining USC (Saint Louis LB Jordan Iosefa), Oregon (Mililani RB Vavae Malepeai), California (Saint Louis WR Drew Kobayashi) and Stanford (Saint Louis OL Nate Herbig).