By Stephen Tsai
Give credit to the Warrior coaches for diligence and persistence in completing the 2013 recruiting class.
The Warriors went into extra time to secure commitments from David Fangupo, RJ Hollis, Ruben Guzman and Kwamane Bowens. Each filled a pressing need.
The Warriors were the first of more than a million to view Fangupo's now famed highlight video in which he runs past — and away — from defenders. The point of the video was to show 348-pound Fangupo's power and athleticism. When Fangupo made a verbal commitment to UH (the day before signing day), the coaches debated whether he would be used as a defensive lineman or offensive guard. Now it appears Fangupo will get a shot at fullback. Fangupo signed this past Friday.
Several schools were interested in Hollis — for the 2014 class. The Warriors decided to recruit Hollis for this year's class when it was learned that he might be eligible to transfer after just one year at Scottsdale Community College. Hollis was deemed a non-qualifier out of high school, meaning he would need to earn an associate degree before transferring to a Division I school. But Hollis appealed, and in January it was ruled he was a qualifier. By the time word spread, UH assistant coach Tony Tuioti and Hollis were talking to each other regularly.
The Warriors had searched for more than a year for a punter to succeed Alex Dunnachie. The search went inter-continental with the Warriors reviewing prospects from the East Coast to Australia. It was kicking guru Chris Sailer who recommended a possible match in Riverside College's Guzman. Guzman has a strong leg but, just as importantly, is two years out of high school. The Warriors wanted a punter with experience the first time they have to punt against USC.
Bowens was recruited by several top programs from the East to the Midwest. He had a grade issue that kept him from signing on signing day. While other schools moved on, the Warriors moved in. Bowens appears to have overcome those grade issues, and now the Warriors have another speedy corner.
And after all this, the Warriors have room to award scholarships to a couple of walk-ons.