After a University of Michigan fan site (michigan.247sports.com) posted a story on young Breiden Fehoko out of Farrington high school, alarm bells went off in my head like crazy. "What is this mainland school doing coming in here and trying to steal our best prospect???" See, UH has already offered Fehoko a scholarship (which he has not yet accepted nor has he indicated any imminent intent to accept). And I get that. He's young. A commitment now means next to nothing anyway. In fact, as we learned in the case of Reuben Foster, a commitment an hour before you make your decision can mean next to nothing. So that's not really what I'm looking for. Mostly I'm worried because recruitment, especially nowadays is HIGHLY fad based. Once a few big schools latch onto a prospect, suddenly the superlatives start flying and people start to take notice. Then suddenly EVERYONE wants him and the smaller schools (like UH) don't really have a chance. This was painfully apparent when you read his interview and you see the schools that he's mentioning: Oklahoma, Florida State, Oregon, Michigan. One school he never did touch upon even once? Hawaii.
I've long been a staunch believer that for any small school to truly dominate their conference, they need to first dominate the recruiting battle at home (this obviously doesn't apply to big time programs who can recruit anywhere). This is not an original thought. People have been opining this exact thing for years and years and it's no coincidence that when we were at our peak as a program (during June's formidable years), we were also convincing most of the big-name local recruits to stay home. All that being said, Kennedy Tulimasealii is a fantastic start. In fact, he should be the blueprint for the coaching staff. Whatever they said to him, turn that into a form and run it over and over again as long as it works with the local guys. No matter how many 4 or 5 (or hell even 3) star prospects come from out of state, there really is nothing like rooting for a guy that was born and raised here.
Which brings us back to Fehoko. He should theoretically be an easy sell. His whole family is here. His father is THE warrior. He could absolutely become a superstar locally like Colt was. He could become the face of the team. So it's clear that no matter how many reports come out from other schools about their interest in him, he needs to be priority #1 for UH over the next two years. Already they have a massive advantage based on proximity alone. While other teams have to fly out here to get a face to face, UH coaches can have that almost anytime they want (pursuant of course, to NCAA rules and regulations). Still, I think that focusing our efforts on the talent here, and conserving the money that we use to send coaches abroad would serve a double purpose. We could re-invest some of that budget into improving facilities and mostly of all, ensure that local talent stays...local.