Recruiting: Cougs making strong island push

COUGAR FANS know all about the penchant for recruiting prospects out of American Samoa -- you can pretty much count on d-line coach Joe Salave’a leading the charge on a few American Samoa signees each Washington State signing class. But for the 2016 recruiting cycle, don’t forget about another island pipeline.

That would be Hawaii.

Washington State already has seven, count ‘em seven, offers out to Hawaii prospects. The number moves to eight when you include 2017 QB Tua Tagovailoa.

In many ways, this is going to be a fascinating year when it comes to Cougar recruiting in Hawaii -- the competition is going to be spirited for many of these players judging by their offer sheets. In a number of cases next February, it could come down to WSU vs. Oregon State (OSU signed eight Polynesian players this past class, the first under new coach Gary Andersen).

The Cougs' point man in Hawaii is Salave'a, a rock star among Polynesian prospects. OSU, meanwhile, will counter with three coaches of Polynesian descent on the new staff in Corvallis.

Here are the seven 2016 Hawaii prospects with known WSU offers:

G Michael Eletise, Kaiser High (6-4, 302)

RB Vavae Malepeai, Mililani High (6-0, 195, pictured above)

G Sean Auwae, Kapolei High (6-4, 290)

WR Drew Kobayashi, St. Louis High (6-3, 180)

S Hirkley Latu, Kahuku High (6-3, 200)

S Luca Vartic, Konawaena High (6-1, 200)

WR Keoni-Kordell Makekau, Iolani School (5-11, 170)

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