247Sports Brandon Huffman to hold free football recruiting seminar at Moanalua

247Sports Brandon Huffman to hold free football recruiting seminar at Moanalua

247Sports National recruiting editor Brandon Huffman will be on O’ahu on Wednesday, July 10 to put on a football recruiting seminar for high school athletes of all ages. While free, attendees are asked to bring small donations of school supplies.

247Sports Brandon Huffman to hold free football recruiting seminar at Moanalua

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JULY 8, 2024

HONOLULU – After over 20 years of experience in the college football recruiting space, 247Sports National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman has a good handle on what it takes to make it to the next level on the gridiron. 

The Polynesian Bowl selection committee member has also seen his fair share of talent come out of the islands, remembering the early days of receiving emails from current Washington Commanders quarterback and former Saint Louis School standout Marcus Mariota to get ranked and rated in a time that Hawai’i wasn’t known for skill-position players or anyone at quarterback. 

Safe to say, times have changed during his career. 

Huffman attended the final Under Armour Next camp on Saturday, July 6 over on Maui’s King Kekaulike high school campus, seeing much of Hawai’i’s top talent for 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 recruiting classes. Among those in attendance was Farrington offensive lineman Abel Hoopii, who dominated during the camp to the point of earning an invitation to the 2025 Under Armour Next All-American game after earning OL MVP honors and being named “Alpha Dog” of the camp.  

In total, three invites to the Under Armour All-American game were given to players who attended the camp in Hoopii and Arizona State linebacker commit Isaiah Iosefa joining top offensive lineman recruit and Nebraska commit Houston Kaahaaina-Torres with invites to the prestigious event. Kaahaaina-Torres received his invitation for the 2025 Under Armour All-American game last year during the ESPN 300 Elite Hawaii Camp on Maui. 

Huffman now visits O’ahu for the commitment announcements of Hoopii, Campbell QB Jaron Keawe-Sagapolutele and a few other top recruits from the islands and will hold a free football recruiting seminar at Moanalua High School gym on Wednesday, July 10 for players of all ages from any school. The only request is to bring a small donation of school supplies for those in need for any players planning to attend. 

“This is one of those things where, by being in the recruiting space for 22 years and seeing the variations of where it was in 2003 when I first started covering recruiting to 2024 where social media has become such a huge part of it, where NIL is a huge part of it … I’ve got a lot of bandwidth over the years in terms of information I’ve been able to glean,” Huffman said. “It’s what you have to do [to be recruited and play at the next level].” 

In all, the seminar will touch on topics such as what the rankings and stars of recruiting mean, how to get recruited if you are non-varsity, 7-on-7 and lineman training, what offers and visits mean for recruits and much more. In conjunction with the National Football Foundation’s Hawai’i chapter, Huffman plans to give the encyclopedia of knowledge he’s accumulated over more than two decades about sending kids from the high school to college level. 

247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman will hold a free recruiting clinic for football players on Wednesday, July 10 at 1:00 p.m. at Moanalua HS gym. A small donation of school supplies for those in need is requested from attendees. | Photo Credit: Hawaii High School P.R.O. Day (@808ProDay / via X)

 

Hawai’i football shifting the tides in local recruiting (and people are noticing)

Huffman joined Hawai’i Sports Radio Network to discuss the free recruiting seminar and the camp highlights from Saturday on Maui but touched on Hawai’i football recruiting and a multitude of topics as well. 

The national recruiting editor for 247Sports mentioned being a fan of the strategy employed by Hawai’i head coach Timmy Chang and his staff in recruiting, putting an emphasis on retaining talent that comes from the islands and recruiting at home while still putting the program’s name in the running for various prospects across the continent.  

“I love it,” Huffman said of the talent in the state of Hawai’i. “[The state of Hawai’i] will never be California because it doesn’t have the depth, it may not be Arizona because it doesn’t have the population, but Hawai’i is pushing Arizona and Utah for the number two state out west in terms of top-end talent … You’ve seen the state go from this thought that it’s only lineman to if I want to find a dude, it doesn’t matter what the position is, I’m going to find one [in Hawai’i].” 

In Chang, Huffman also believes that Hawai’i has found a captain to steer the ship in the right direction not just on the field, but in the way he has recruited.  

“You have to understand Hawai’i to recruit to Hawai’i, to coach at Hawai’i,” Huffman said. “You cannot get any more into the fabric of Honolulu, of the island, of UH football than Timmy Chang. It was a tremendous hire … [he took lumps early] but there was never a backing down from him. He wanted to go toe-to-toe with the big boys.” 

While some of those recruiting battles with the “big boys” of the Power 4 conferences don’t go in the favor of Hawai’i, Huffman lauded the staff’s ability to understand the importance of keeping those relationships alive for the future. 

[Chang’s staff] understands that with the local kids that are higher profile, they might leave and go to the mainland to go to school, but they never burn those bridges,” he said. “If he doesn’t like it, if it doesn’t work out, [the player] can come back here and can thrive and Timmy gets that.” 

Huffman has spent plenty of time evaluating prospects from Hawai’i, serving as a recruiting director for the west coast for a substantial portion of his career in sports. Despite gaining national notoriety for his time on the scene for recruiting, Huffman’s greatest venture is his non-profit, the Avery Huffman DIPG Foundation. 

The Avery Huffman DIPG Foundation was established in 2016 to honor the courage, fight and legacy of Brandon Huffman’s 7-year-old daughter Avery, who passed away in February of 2016 after 7-and-a-half-month battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). DIPG is the deadliest form of brain cancer, a rare terminal tumor of the brainstem that occurs almost exclusively in children. 

You can click here for more information about the foundation, how you can donate and more to help in the fight against DIPG. 

Campbell survives Moanalua’s surge in double OT, 57-55

Campbell survives Moanalua’s surge in double OT, 57-55

Campbell survives Moanalua’s surge in double OT, 57-55

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED JAN 30, 2024

This was a Monday night thriller.

Campbell built an early lead before holding off a late charge by Moanalua for a 57-55 double-overtime win in the OIA Division I girls basketball semifinals at Pearl City’s gymnasium.

Aliyah Bantolina led all scorers with 24 points to lead the Sabers, who will try for their third straight title. She also scored the game-tying layup at the end of regulation to force overtime.

Jaynalyn Sotelo added 15 points and Taysia Molina-Schulte scored 10 to round out the top scorers for Campbell, who led by as many as 13 points in the first half.

Rheanna Nobleza scored 20, Akaecia Mateo had 18 and Shailoh Liilii finished with 16 points to lead Na Menehune in the loss.

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL LASQUERO