UH Football Signees

From Samoa to Hawaii to the mainland, the Warriors signed their latest class of football standouts.

Warriors sign 20 for 2002

Jones awaits more signees this week

HONOLULU -- The University of Hawai'i has received a letter of intent from 20 players, the Athletic Department announced today.

2002 University of Hawai'i Football Signees (4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6)

Name Pos Ht Wt Cl Last School
Marco Chavez* LB 6-3 245 Jr Palomar College
Jeremiah Cockheran WR 6-2 185 Jr Chaffey College
Ross Dickerson WR 5-11 175 Fr St. Louis School
Tala Esera DL 6-4 265 Fr Kahuku HS
Matt "Rocky" Faga DL 6-4 320 Jr Fresno City College
Inoke Funaki QB 6-0 180 Fr Kahuku HS
Chad Kalilimoku LB 6-0 240 Jr Santa Ana College
Marques Kaonohi OL 6-2 250 Fr Kailua HS
Kahai LaCount OL 6-2 295 Fr Kailua HS
Albert "Abu" Ma'afala Jr. DL 6-2 270 Fr Kamehameha Schools
A.J. Martinez DB 6-0 185 Fr Edison HS
Kenny Patton DB 6-0 175 Fr St. Francis HS
Kaipo Potoc DL 6-2 230 Fr Mililani HS
Mesepa "Sepa" Reed OL 6-5 240 Fr St. Louis School
Samson Satele OL 6-6 240 Fr Kailua HS
John Siofele DL 6-0 265 Fr St. Louis School
Ryan Stickler QB 6-2 212 Fr Alta Loma HS
Darrell Tautofi DL 6-4 275 Jr Dixie College
Dane Uperesa OL 6-5 300 Fr Punahou School
Jason Whieldon* QB 6-1 190 Jr Saddleback Community College

* already enrolled

Biographical Sketches...

Marco Chavez (LB, 6-3, 245, Jr, Palomar College)
Played two seasons at Palomar College in California...a two-time first-team all-conference pick...also earned first-team all-state honors as a senior...helped Palomar win the Southern California junior college championship...graduated from St. Paul High School in 2000 where he earned two letters in football, three in volleyball and one in wrestling...listed as the Press-Telegram's "Best of the West"...also earned first-team all-league and all-area honors at St. Paul High...also recruited by USC, Texas A&M, New Mexico, Tulsa and Colorado...is already enrolled at UH and will participate in spring drills.

Ross Dickerson (WR, 5-11, 175, St. Louis School)
A two-time first-team All-State selection by The Honolulu Advertiser...ILH all-star pick as a junior and senior...played three years of varsity football for the Crusaders... caught 63 passes for 867 yards and seven touchdowns in his prep career...also rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns and returned 13 kickoffs for 298 yards in three seasons...amassed 1,375 all-purpose yards and had 106 career touches...earned honorable-mention all-region honors by Prep Star magazine.

"Ross is the kind of receiver who can break the big one because of his speed and acceleration. I think Hawai'i got a real homerun hitter. He has the kind of explosiveness anyone would want. He's a nice kid to be around, and I know (brother) Ron (Lee) is going to enjoy working with him." - St. Louis Head Coach Cal Lee

Tala Esera (DL, 6-4, 265, Kahuku HS)
Named second-team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a senior...also and OIA Red Division honorable mention pick... also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine.

Matt "Rocky" Faga (DL, 6-3, 320, Jr, Fresno City College)
Graduated from Kaimuki High School in Honolulu and attended Fresno City College for two years...a two-year starter who is strong and explosive...was also recruited by Oregon, Oregon State, Florida State and Brigham Young...earned all-conference honors both years...helped Fresno City College to 1 10-1 record in each season...amassed 33 total tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks, six pass break ups, six forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered in two-year career.

"Rocky plugs up the middle at nose tackle. He is a guy who demands two blockers on him constantly. He's a dominating player who has very strong arms and legs." - Fresno City College Head Coach Tony Caviglia

Inoke Funaki (QB, 6-0, 180, Kahuku HS)
Quarterbacked the Red Raiders to two State Championships (2000 & 2001)...named Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-State by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin...named co-Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser...also an OIA Red Division all-star pick as a senior...passed for 2,446 yards and 29 touchdowns and rushed for 540 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.

Chad Kalilimoku (LB, 6-0, 240, Jr, Santa Ana College)
Attended Roosevelt High School in Honolulu before becoming a two-year starter at middle linebacker for Santa Ana College in California...a two-time first-team all-State Region IV selection...amassed 55 lead tackles, 31 assisted tackles, one interception, four forced fumbles, and three recovered fumbles as a sophomore...runs a 4.6 40-yard dash...bench presses over 500 pounds...served as team captain last season...won the "Big Hitter" Award as a sophomore.

"Chad is an outstanding player. He's very quite, doesn't have a lot to say, leads by example. He is a great athlete, in fact he was also one of the best kickers on the team. He's very strong and really was the heart and soul of our defense this year." - Santa Ana Head Coach Dave Ogas

Marques Kaohohi (OL, 6-2, 250, Fr, Kailua HS)
Played center for the Surfriders...a second-team OIA Red-Division all-star...named second-team all-State by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a senior...also an honorable-mention all-State pick by The Honolulu Advertiser in 2001...also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine.

Kahai LaCount (OL, 6-2, 295, Fr, Kailua HS)
Can play either tackle or guard...bench presses 225 pounds...squats 400 pounds...runs a 5.0 40-yard dash...named second-team all-State by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and The Honolulu Advertiser as a senior...also named honorable-mention OIA Red Division all-star as a senior...also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine.

Albert "Abu" Ma'afala Jr. (DL, 6-2, 270, Fr, Kamehameha Schools)
A two-year starter for the Kamehameha Warriors...named first-team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser...also a first-team ILH all-star selection as a senior...a part-time starter as a sophomore...played both defensive tackle and end...served as team co-captain as a senior...is the nephew of Pittsburgh Steeler running back Chris Fuamatu Maafala.

"Albert is a great young player with super upside potential. His better playing days are ahead of him. He's a great performer, has great leadership just a joy to coach and be around." - Kamehameha Head Coach Kanani Souza

A.J. Martinez (CB, 6-0, 185, Fr, Edison HS)
Played several positions at Edison High School in California, including corner back, half back, wide receiver, place-kicker, punter and as a return specialist...named Back of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register...helped Edison to a 11-1-1 record and conference championship in 2001...also an all-Southern Section all-star and all-CIF pick...named Most Valuable Player of the Sunset League and was co-MVP of the team as a senior...also the starting centerfielder on the Edison baseball team...runs a 4.4 40-yard dash...amassed 11 interceptions in his prep career...an all-West Region pick by Prep Star magazine...also recruiting by Oregon State, San Diego State, and Colorado State.

"A.J. is a great athlete who can play so many positions. He's multi-talented and has big play capabilities. His biggest asset is his ability as a cover corner. He's good in man-to-man coverage and gets the job done." - Edison Head Coach Dan White

Kenny Patton (CB, 6-0, 175, Fr, St. Francis HS)
Attended Punahou School from 7th to 11th grade...played his senior season only at St. Francis High School in California...named Most Valuable Defensive Back of the Mission League as a senior...also named to the San Gabriel Valley all-Area Team as a senior...amassed 35 tackles, three interceptions, four pass break ups and recovered one fumble as a senior...also caught 25 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver...named the league's scholar-athlete with a 3.83 GPA...runs a 4.4 40-yard dash...has a 36-inch vertical leap...is a black belt in Karate...named all-Area by Glendale News Press and the Pasadena Star News...also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine.

"Kenny was our best speed threat last season. He played both receiver and corner back and also returned punts and kickoffs. He is an exceptional athlete with great hands and moves well as a cover corner. We played a lot of man-to-man coverage and we always made Kenny cover their best receiver. He has outstanding leadership qualities and works hard in the weight room." - St. Francis High School Head Coach Jim Bond

Kaipo Potoc (DL, 6-2, 230, Fr, Mililani HS)
A three-year starter who played three positions at Mililani, including defensive end, wide receiver and tight end...scored six touchdowns for the Trojans...named second-team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser in 2001...runs a 4.6 40-yard dash...voted Mililani's Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman as a junior and senior...named first-team a OIA Red Division all-star as a senior, and second-team as a junior...led the team in sacks...also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine...is also that starting center on Mililani's basketball team that is currently 10-0 and won the OIA Western Division Championships.

"Kaipo could be very dominating, because of his speed and athletic ability. He makes big plays and that's why we put him at receiver, you don't see a defensive lineman playing receiver too often. He was one of our captains who led by example. The players followed his lead and it helped us this year." - Mililani Head Coach James Millwood

Mesepa "Sepa" Reed (OL, 6-5, 240, Fr, St. Louis School)
A three-year letterman for the St. Louis Crusaders...first-team ILH all-star pick as a senior...also named second-team all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser...a member of the Crusader offensive line that allowed only 14 sacks in 2001, while the offense averaged 382.6 yards and 39.5 points per game...also a member of the Crusader track and field team.

"I think Mesepa has good size and he's awfully strong. He's going to get bigger and is a heck of a prospect. He's also very competitive." - St. Louis Head Coach Cal Lee

Sam Satele (OL, 6-4, 285, Fr, Kailua HS)
The nephew of former Warrior Alvis Satele...bench presses 225 pounds...squats 315 pounds...runs a 4.85 40-yard dash...a first-team all-State selection by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and The Honolulu Advertiser as a senior...also named first-team OIA Red-Division all-star...listed as a high school All-American by Prep Star magazine as one of the top 20 best offensive linemen in the west.

John Siofele (DL, 6-0, 255, Fr, St. Louis School)
An honorable-mention all-State pick by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a senior...also named second-team all-ILH in 2001...amassed 77 total tackles (30 solo, 47 assisted) in his three-year varsity career...also had 21 tackles-for-loss, 40 quarterback hurries, 18 knockdowns, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three passes defended...recorded a career-high 10 tackles against Kamehameha as a senior...an honor student who is involved in many community activities...also a member of the Crusader track and field team.

"Hawai'i is getting a young man who is so eager to learn and get better. John has a lot of heart, desire and quickness. I don't worry about him. He's a great person and will be a good addition to the UH program." - St. Louis Head Coach Cal Lee

Ryan Stickler (QB, 6-2, 212, Alta Loma HS)
Quarterbacked Alta Loma to a 11-1 record as a senior by completing 130-of-165 passes for 1,720 yards and 18 touchdowns...a first-team Mt. Baldy all-league and all-Inland Valley selection...voted team's Most Valuable Player as a senior.

"Ryan is a very strong-armed quarterback who can throw to all levels of the field including the backs out of the backfield and also 50 yards down the field. He is a student of the game and should be a very quick learner of the offensive scheme. He is well-rounded and only worries about wins and losses." - Alta Loma High School Head Coach Tom Mitchell

Darrell Tautofi (DL, 6-4, 275, Jr, Dixie College)
A two-year starter at Dixie College in Utah...named all-Western State Football League last season... played an key role in the team's 11-1 record in 2001 and 8-3 in 2000...a great athlete who runs well for a big guy...also plays basketball...also recruited by Boise State and Brigham Young.

"We were one of the top ranked defenses and he was a big part of that. He is very athletic with size. The bigger the game, the better he plays. He does a nice job when he's on the field. He's not a vocal leader but very effective." - Dixie College Head Coach Greg Croshaw

Dane Uperesa (OL, 6-5, 300, Fr, Punahou School)
Named honorable-mention all-State by The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin as a senior...also earned second-team ILH all-star honors as a senior...played right tackle for the Buff'n'Blu...also plays basketball (can dunk)...also an honorable-mention all-region pick by Prep Star magazine...also throws the shot put and discus for the Puanahou track team.

"Dane is a very competitive player who has excellent feet, great balance and long arms. He's everything you look for in an offensive lineman. I think he can play any one of five positions on the line well. He's always well prepared, likes to study film, and adapts to the situation, running or passing, well. He's quiet and leads by example." - Punahou Head Coach Kale Ane

Jason Whieldon (QB, 6-1, 190, Jr, Saddleback Community College)
Played two seasons at Saddleback College in California...named all-Mission Conference last season...a 2000 graduate of Orange Lutheran High School in California where he earned three letters in football and four in basketball...named all-State and all-county Offensive Player of the Year as a senior...is already enrolled at UH and will participate in spring practice.

--UH Athletics


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