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Hawaii DB tells CF.C he's high on WSU

IT WAS JUST last week that Washington State and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a dipped back into Hawaii to offer a touted defensive back. As soon as he got that crimson offer, WSU instantly became a major player in his recruitment, he tells CF.C.

Recruitment has certainly started to pick up for Honolulu safety Kekaula Kaniho. The 5-11, 170-pounder indeed landed his WSU tender last week and it was a big one, he told CF.C.

“I was very excited,” he said. “I’m just thankful that I have the opportunity to play in the Pac-12. I spoke with Coach Salave'a and he was the one that gave me the offer. We had a good talk.”

And in that talk, the veteran WSU defensive line coach let him know that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is looking for players just like him to arrive to the Palouse and make plays.

“Coach Salave’a told me they’re going to be a little empty back there soon because they have so many seniors right now,” Kaniho said. “They’re looking for guys who can make plays right away. I’d love the opportunity to do that. I’m excited about how hard they’re recruiting me and how bad they want me up there.”

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In addition to WSU, the Hawaiian native holds offers from Vanderbilt, Hawaii and Colorado. He added that he’s also been hearing from Washington, Utah State, Arizona and UNLV. 

Some schools like him at corner but WSU is eyeing him at safety, he said. And it’s because his style of play reminds the staff of a current Cougar playmaker.

“Coach Salave’a told me he likes how aggressive I am,” Kaniho said. “Coach said I remind him a lot of Shalom Luani. I watched his (Luani) film and he’s an All Pac-12 safety.

“I was kind of blown away that they’re comparing me to Shalom already. That was definitely nice to hear. It’s early on, but I’m building a nice relationship with the staff at WSU.”

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It’s not just Salave’a who he’s talking to, he noted. 

“Coach Ken Wilson actually coached one of my high school coaches when he was at Nevada,” Kaniho said. “Since I got the offer, Coach Wilson has also been in touch with me. It’s nice that we already have that connection through my coach here.” 

Kaniho, who lists no favorites and is hoping to make his college decision during his senior season, said he’s hoping to take an unofficial visit to WSU sometime this summer. 

“I don’t really have a particular order of schools right now and I’m open to everyone,” Kaniho said. “The WSU coaches have been in touch with me a lot, though, and I’m excited to check out Wazzu.”


Known WSU offers out to uncommitted prospects by position.
QB: 6
OT: 15
OG: 2
C: 1
RB: 6
DT: 7
DE: 6
ILB: 5
OLB: 11
CB: 11
S: 4
ATH: 4


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