Scholarship offers have been flying since Hawaii's new coaching staff headed by Nick Rolovich took over. It is tough to yield a good percentage of those offers into commitments this late in the game, however. Hawaii was the fourth offer for one three-star defensive lineman, which they hope puts them in consideration. Elijah Piper is the 6-foot-4 and 280-pound defensive lineman out of Curtis High School in Tacoma (Wash.).
“I’m considering everybody,” Piper said. “Hawaii has been cool. I like their coaches, they have a good coaching staff. I get hand-written letters from them all the time and I talk to them all the time. They seem like a family-nit coaching staff even though they are new.”
Piper’s primary recruiter at Hawaii was special teams coordinator Jake Cookus, but he has started to develop a relationship with defensive line coach Legi Suianoa.
Piper made his mark on the recruiting scene as an effective 3-4 defensive lineman, both at nose guard and at defensive end. He is unsure where he would fit in at UH, as he said the coaches told him the Rainbow Warriors would be running “different” things on defense.
“I think my game is Michael Bennett-like,” Piper said. “I’m big, but I’m not slow by any means. That’s how I try to model my game after.”
The offer was, as mentioned, Piper’s fourth of five, the other four coming from Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Idaho and Montana State. He has visited EWU and will visit FS this weekend before deciding on if he’ll take a visit to UH in the final two weekends before signing day. As a newer school in his recruitment, the possibility of playing college ball in Hawaii hasn’t quite set in.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a negative, but I have to think about my family flying over there,” Piper said. “I know plane tickets are pretty expensive. I just have to consider everything in my decision.”
Piper has also has interest from Boise State. He is in no hurry to make a decision.
“It’s been a blast,” Piper said of his recruitment. “I’m really grateful for everything. This next month should be interesting.”