Wednesday, December 05, 2012

All-Time All-Hawaii Grown team

The idea for today, in conjunction with Billy Hull’s fine work in putting together the annual All-Hawaii Grown team, was to pick the greatest college football performers of all-time who played their high school football here in the islands. That was brutally difficult, almost as hard as choosing between Manti Te’o and Herman Wedemeyer for greatest ever.

Wedemeyer was known best as a shifty runner (and Sgt. Lukela on “Hawaii Five-0”). But his most impressive individual stat was 18 career interceptions, including nine in his sophomore year of 1945, when he was fourth in the Heisman voting. The 2012 leader in picks, Philip Thomas of Fresno State, has eight (in four more games). Te’o has seven this season, which is astonishing for a linebacker.

I’m copping out and naming them co-greatest. Maybe that changes this weekend if Te’o wins the Heisman, or next month if his Notre Dame team beats Alabama to finish as undefeated national champions.

Perhaps we will revisit this in a couple of years, especially after we see what Marcus Mariota does in the coming seasons. For now, this is my all-time starting team of college stars from Hawaii, with some advice from Kwon, Hull and Curtis Murayama (but please blame only me if you don’t like the choices):

Quarterback: Jason Gesser (Saint Louis/ Washington State).
Running back: Adrian Murrell (Leilehua/West Virginia).
Fullback: Bob Apisa (Farrington/Michigan State).
All-purpose: Tommy Kaulukukui (Hilo/Hawaii), Herman Wedemeyer (Saint Louis/Saint Mary’s).
Wide receiver: Ashley Lelie (Radford/Hawaii), Chad Owens (Roosevelt/ Hawaii), Jason Rivers (Saint Louis/Hawaii).
Tight end: Russ Francis (Kailua/Oregon).
Offensive line: Toniu Fonoti (Kahuku/Nebraska), Olin Kreutz (Saint Louis/ Washington), Chris Naeole (Kahuku/Colorado), Dominic Raiola (Saint Louis/Nebraska), Jesse Sapolu (Farrington/Hawaii).
Defensive line: Junior Ah You (Kahuku/Arizona State), Charlie Ane (Punahou/USC), Al Harris (Leilehua/Arizona State), Al Noga (Farrington/ Hawaii), Niko Noga (Farrington/Hawaii), Levi Stanley (Waianae/Hawaii).
Linebacker: Brian Cabral (Saint Louis/Colorado), Kurt Gouveia (Waianae/Brigham Young), Manti Te’o (Punahou/Notre Dame).
Defensive backs: Blane Gaison (Kamehameha/ Hawaii), Rich Miano (Kaiser/ Hawaii), Hal Stringert (Saint Louis/ Hawaii), Jeris White (Radford/Hawaii).
Kicker: Dick Kenney (‘Iolani/Michigan State).

***

[12/6/12] Manti Te'o wins Lombardi Award

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