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Islands once again a destination for Utes in recruiting

Published June 5, 2012 1:09 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It might be a downtime for Utah's football team, but it's a busy time for the coaches who are hitting the recruiting trail hard, busy wooing potential future Utes. Both defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake and Chad Kauha'aha'a have spent a lot of time in Hawaii looking at recruits. Hawaii hasn't been much of a priority of late with the Utes focusing on California and Texas, but the Utes are apparently making Hawaii more of a priority now that they are in the Pac-12. Why? Because they can. Recently, Hawaii was almost tapped out for the Utes because they had a hard time competing with the top schools in the Pac-10 for the blue chippers. The talent they could get wasn't quite up to Utah's standards, so the Utes felt their time was better spent in California and Texas. Now, as a member of the Pac-12, the Utes feel they can compete with the likes of USC, UCLA and others for the blue chippers. Making the islands an attractive destination again too is that this year Hawaii has several talented linemen available. Just a few of the ones they are after include Scott Pagano, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle out of Moanalua H.S. in Honolulu, Kamalei Correa, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive tackle out of St. Louis H.S. in Honolulu and his teammate, offensive lineman Reeve Koehler, a 6-foot-4, 321-pound offensive lineman. One signee for the Utes in their 2012 class out of Hawaii, Pasoni Tasini, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end who prepped at Baldwin H.S., won the Hawaii state title in the discus with a throw of 171 feet, four inches. Tasini plans to serve a mission before enrolling at Utah. - Lya Wodraska