Salanoa’s connection lands Manabe an offer

Blaise Manabe ran after a catch against Radford in an OIA White game on Sept. 6, 2013. (Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser)
Blaise Manabe ran after a catch against Radford in an OIA White game on Sept. 6, 2013. (Darryl Oumi / Special to the Star-Advertiser)

In an 11-day span during April, Radford wide receiver Thomas Reid III landed two FBS scholarship offers, one from Hawaii and the other from Nevada.

The Nevada connection was former UH quarterback and assistant coach Nick Rolovich.

Now Radford coach Fred Salanoa has another connection that has yielded an offer for another Radford player. Blaise Manabe, a transfer from Kalani, has a full-ride offer from Adams State.

While Reid has the benefit of some game video highlights and a solid statistical season behind him — 33 receptions for 619 yards and seven TDs in 2014 — Manabe was in a run-first offense at Kalani. But Manabe (5-foot-8, 155 pounds) showed some prowess as a sophomore in track and field, and on the gridiron, he was part of Kalani’s electifying pass attack (2013). With Noah Brum at the controls, Manabe had 34 catches for 467 yards and five TDs*. Manabe also had 30 receptions for 273 yards and two TDs as a freshman in 2012.

After Brum graduated, Manabe’s numbers dipped last fall as a junior pass catcher: 21 grabs for 311 yards, three TDs. He rushed 46 times for 263 yards and two TDs, often on end-arounds.

Salanoa played at Eastern Washington, where the offensive coordinator was Timm Rosenbach, who is now head coach at Adams State.

“He wants to start a pipeline of Hawaii kids coming his way,” Salanoa wrote via text today. “We made some highlights of Blaise and also sent a training video of him working out with Kenny Patton. Coach Rosenbach was amazed with his agility and quickness.”

The football career track from Salanoa to Rosenbach for a player like Manabe makes a lot of sense.

“Since Coach Rosenbach was my OC (at EWU), a lot of what I run here at Radford is what we did at EWU),” Salanoa said. “A lot of the terminology is the same, as well, so for Blaise it will be an easy transition in certain aspects. I speak with Coach Rosenbach often and we are always talking scheme, keeping me in the loop or bouncing ideas around with anything new that is going on in the college ranks.”

Manabe is one of two former Kalani student-athletes who are now at Radford. The other is Ace Faumui, who had a breakout year as a running back before transferring. Salanoa’s offense should be a good fit for both, though Faumui has been held out of spring football for academic reasons.

Radford QB Andrew Morgan graduates this spring. Salanoa is grooming converted safety Jonah Soakai (6-3, 175) and baseball player Quintin Iriarte (6-1, 180).

Adams State is located in Alamosa, Colo. and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (NCAA Division II). Other league members are California Baptist, Lindenwood, Montana State-Billings, Nebraska-Kearney, Rockhurst and San Francisco State.

* Note: Does not include statistics from Kalani-Waialua game on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Not reported by home team (Waialua).


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