Thanks to the NCAA rules on satellite camps, it's much tougher now for division one coaches to go to different states and watch a large number of players in one setting. The rules gave the power back to the local universities who get to decide which programs to invite to their camp and which to say no to.
The University of Hawaii football Elite Camp is the only camp in Hawaii this summer where high school players can try to catch the eye of many division one coaches in person, thus making the programs who are asked to come feel like they have a golden ticket.
"It's a huge advantage," said Kamehameha-Kapalama graduate and University of Washington defensive line coach Ikaika Malloe. "Us being able to come here and work with them in person, us having the right relationship with Coach Rolovich and his staff, and just really respecting what Hawaii has to offer. We're honored to be here and hopefully we can do our part and teach some skills to the Hawaii boys and hopefully getting somebody up there and continuing our pipeline in the Pac-12."
"It's really fun to watch and come back and recruit here just because how tough these kids are. You kind of know what you're getting in that aspect. That's why I've always loved recruiting kids from Hawaii," said former UH defensive back and graduate assistant Keith Bhonapha, now the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at UW.
The benefit goes both ways. UH staff members will attend camps at Washington, USC and Cal among others later this summer.
Several hundred high school players attended the first day of the two-day camp in Manoa. Opportunities like these camps, along with the emergence of stars like Marcus Mariota and Tua Tagovailoa, have helped showcase that Hawaii is more than just a fertile recruiting ground for lineman. It's a fertile recruiting ground for talented football players period.
"You've got ex-players, ex-UH players coming back and starting to help out the youth here in Hawaii. Everybody's growing together," said Malloe. "The talent level is getting better and better, and obviously the exposure is getting better and better."
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