It was a big moment when Kaelin Himphill was offered by the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors . The Hillsboro (Oregon) Liberty linebacker has family connection to the islands and has always been intrigued by the option of playing in Hawaii and being closer to that part of his family.
When Hawaii Head Coach Norm Chow was dismissed, Himphill was one of many left wondering what was going on.
“I haven’t heard too much from Hawaii lately,” Himphill said. “I’ve been (messaging) coach Jake Cookus, but the last time I could get a hold of him was on Halloween,”
Chow was dismissed on Nov. 1.
“I asked about taking an official visit up there because I really, really want to and I’ve always wanted to play for them, but he kind of just asked who we were playing that weekend," Himphill said. "I have sent him my film since but I hadn’t gotten a response.”
For Himphill, the initial interest and excitement with his recruitment has worn off as communications cut off so abruptly, without any notice.
“I definitely thought they would recruit me a little harder or at least tell me if they still need a linebacker,” Himphill said. “I really wanted to come check them out and possibly play for them, but I don’t know the situation is really working out.”
If new head coach Nick Rolovich and his staff decide to recruit Himphill, he is still very much interested in the school regardless of what is going on with the staff or the program.
“I’m really interested in the school with the connection to my family,” Himphill said. “To me, football is always going to be second to academics and I know Hawaii has good academics and I would be close to my family. That would be the best of both worlds if they still want me and offer me a spot on the team.
“I’ll have to see how the connection goes. If they keep recruiting me, I’ll definitely call the coach and see if I can take my visit there… If they get new coaches, they may have a different place for me or not want me or want me more. Maybe a January visit will happen.”
“I really liked it,” he said of his Oregon State visit. “I really enjoyed my time there. It felt like home. It felt like a place i could see myself for the next four years and I have a real good relationship with all the coaches.”
Another school he plans on visiting is Fresno State, which just recently got into the picture. Soon after communication dropped with UH, Fresno State. The Bulldogs offered a scholarship in an in-home visit on Monday.
“Fresno State just found out about me and they (visited) me on Monday,” Himphill said. “It’s been really cool. They’ve been talking to me on the phone and they said they really need a linebacker and they’re really interested in me. They’ve told me I’m one of their top recruits so I’m pretty fired up about it.”