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July 17, 2006

Hawaii is a hotbed

Nothing is more beautiful than the Hawaiian Islands, and if you're a college coach the class of 2007 is also a thing of beauty.

There are around 20 players that are worthy of recruiting attention from major colleges, and the top of the list is extremely loaded with high quality players like Kaniela Tuipulotu of Kahuku and Matthew Masifilo of `Ewa Beach Campbell.

Tuipulotu and Masifilo lead off the Rivals.com Hawaii top 20 ranking. And while they take home the top two spots in the ranking, there is a great group of players nipping at their heels that could easily move up with strong senior seasons.

Tuipulotu, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle, is a four-star prospect and a Rivals250 member. He has offers from Utah, Arizona, BYU, New Mexico, Oregon State, Hawaii and Boise State. On film, he shows flashes of brilliance and when his motor is on, he is one of the top defensive players in the country.

Masifilo, a defensive end, also has quite an impressive offer list. The 6-2, 258-pounder played more offense than defense as a junior, so he's able to play on both sides of the ball. That versatility is something that schools really seem to love, as he has offers from Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, Utah, Hawaii and Boise State early on.

Right behind those two is an impressive group of high three-star prospects.

College coaches have been raving about Damien Memorial offensive tackle Sione Tau, and with a 6-5, 300-pound frame it's easy to see why. Savai'i Eselu of Honolulu Moanalua is a big-time tight end prospect that has offers from Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Oregon and San Diego State.

At No. 5 on the list is Honolulu Mid Pacific Institute quarterback Bryson Beirne. He blew up at the Oregon State and Arizona summer camps and walked away with offers from both before committing to the Wildcats.

Defensive end Sam Fehoko of Honolulu Farrington at No. 6 on the list is probably the hottest target of anybody in the state. He was amazing at the Just Win Camp recently held in Maui and now he's gotten offers from Arizona, BYU, Oklahoma, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, Hawaii and TCU.

Another player that's had a great spring and summer is sleeper defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga of Honolulu Kamehameha, and he's ranked as the state's No. 7 player. His name is just now getting out to coaches, but several Island observers said he's had a better few months of workouts at camps and events than many others in the top five. He's got offers from UNLV and Hawaii.

BYU has two commitments on the list - defensive end Kaneakua Friel of Honolulu Kamehameha at No. 12 and defensive back Gary Nagy of Kahuku at No. 16. Another name that could be a fast riser is Honolulu Kamehameha defensive back Brandon Hardin. The 6-2, 175-pound cornerback was great at the Oregon State camp and could be moving up the charts, but he starts out at No. 17 early on.

Rivals.com Hawaii top 20


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