Farrington’s Abel Hoopii ready for bigger ventures; commits to SMU

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO
PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2024

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 330 pounds, Abel Hoopii will be a seamless fit in the state where everything is bigger.

The Farrington offensive lineman will be playing his collegiate career in the state of Texas after making a commitment to play for Southern Methodist University next year in a live-streamed event at Skippa Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field before a crowd of about 50 Monday afternoon.

“It’s feeling real good,” Hoopii said. “Me and my family, we’ve been stressing every single day on where I think I will go, but it’s been a good journey, God is good.”

The SMU Mustangs earned Hoopii’s commitment over a list of top four schools that included Hawai’i, San Jose State and the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

“I think it was the coaching staff. We went down to pros and cons. We did all those stuff and it felt like home over there,” Hoopii said of the Dallas-based university. “They’re trying to get a Polynesian starting five (on the offensive line), so let’s do it.”

Hoopii added that his decision wasn’t made until the day of his commitment event.

“I was up till 5 a.m. last night because I couldn’t sleep and I had to go to summer school,” he said. “It went down till today actually, because I really wanted to… I had a vision of me staying home (and play for Hawai’i) and all that stuff, but I know if I moved out there to SMU, I would have better opportunities and hopefully make it to the NFL if that’s what God has for me.

“The place is so beautiful and Dallas, Texas… everything is bigger in Texas and being from such a small island, more bigger places and bigger things to do out there.”

It’s been a whirlwind journey for Hoopii, who helped Kahuku win a state title last fall before transferring to Farrington in the offseason. Hoopii also boosted his recruiting stock in the offseason through hard work at various national events.

Being able to provide a better life for his family has been a driving motivator for Hoopii.

“Getting to this moment, the hard work and that I just kept thinking and thinking that I have to get my family off this island. My mom, she’s always been with me. Since my dad left us when I was younger, my mom, she’s always been working hard trying to feed me and my brothers. I’m just trying to make sure she’s good nowadays. Retire her hopefully.”