Now, its class includes two natives, quite possibly the top two players on the Islands, and one of those is Gatorade State Player of the Year from Konawaena, Dylan Rush (6-3, 230). Rush joins fellow Bruin commit Micah Kia in giving the Bruins the state's top two prospects.
"It will be cool to have another Islander there," Rush said. "It's strange to get a pipeline going from Hawaii, but it will be cool. We'll be the first two guys to sign with UCLA in the same class."
When he committed back in May, Rush was going to come in as a tight end, but a desire to play on defense, then a monster senior year helped him see defense was where his future was. Rush said, "I actually wanted to play defensive end when I committed. When I was on my trip, I asked if they were thinking about anything different, tight end or linebacker but they definitely want me to play defensive end."
There had been some recent rumors that Rush was beginning to look elsewhere, but he insisted that is not the case. "There have been a bunch of schools calling, but I've been chasing them off. I'm very solid with UCLA. I'm signing with them next Wednesday," said Rush. "I talked with Coach (Dino) Babers (who recruited him) and Coach (Karl) Dorrell quite a bit about my role. If I perform when I get there, they're not going to redshirt me."
Rush took his official visit to UCLA during their big recruiting weekend in December, something that he particularly liked. "My trip was spectacular. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Jimmy Stephens and the Moline brothers was who I spent most of my time with. I get along really well with all the guys coming in. We're going to do some things when we get there," said Rush.
The highlight of the trip for Rush was arguably where he stayed. "When I stayed there, they put us up in the Hyatt Regency on the Avenue of Stars. I want to major in cinematography and there is no better place to do that than at UCLA. It's so close to Hollywood. It was awesome," said Rush.
Prior to his senior year, Rush was just hoping to have a strong season and something to build on when he got to Westwood. Instead, he put together a memorable season for Konawaena. He finished with 72 tackles, 36 being for loss, and 15 sacks, while also catching 14 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and running 12 times for 70 yards in an H-back spot. He was named second-team all-state on both sides of the ball, despite being named State Player of the Year.
"It's weird because I didn't make 1st team all-state, but I was the only guy to make it both ways. I had no idea I would be named the player of the year. I didn't expect it, that's for sure. It was a bunch of things that came into play that pushed me over the edge," said Rush.
Rush continues to stay in shape by wrestling for Konawaena, as he's one of the top wrestlers on the island. "I'm 10-0 with six pins. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting through state and then to the Reno Tournament of Champions, the national meet. In the spring, I'm going to do the hurdles for track and judo also," said Rush.
Rush plans to arrive in Westwood in June, hoping to enroll in summer school.