Monday, July 28, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 49 Punahou

49. Punahou (Honolulu)

Last season’s record: 7-2, missed the playoffs

Coach: Kale Ane

Key players: LB/RB Manti Te’o (6-2, 230, Sr.), RB/WR/DB Dalton Hilliard (5-10, 180, Sr.), QB Kimo Makaula (6-2, 210, Sr.), QB Cayman Shutter (6-0, 175, Sr.), WR Roby Toma (5-10, 160, Sr.), DT Sani Fuimaono (6-2, 260, Jr.), DT Trevor Iosefa (6-0, 275, Sr.), DB Nick Kido (6-2, 180, Sr.), DB/LB K.T. Tuumalo (6-2, 180, So.), OT Junior Feifa (6-6, 315, Sr.), LB Passi Iafeta (5-8, 170, Sr.)

Biggest strength: Manti Te’o, experience

Question mark: Has never won a state championship

Outlook: Sports Illustrated ranked Punahou the No. 1 high school for athletics in the entire country for the 2007-08 school year – and that was without the Buffanblu football team winning a state championship last fall. That certainly should change this year, with Punahou returning the most talent of any team on the Islands. A parade of Division I prospects begins with Te’o, the reigning state player of the year. As a junior, the 5-star recruit recorded 91 tackles and nine sacks and also broke away for a state-record 99-yard touchdown run on offense. Hilliard, who is also being recruited heavily, is equally dangerous running the ball or catching it out of the backfield. Makaula and New Mexico recruit Shutter will share quarterback duties again. Toma led the team in receptions last season. Feifa, a transfer from California, will be a great addition to the offensive line. The defensive front is solid with Fuimaono and Iosefa’s size and experience. Tuumalo has the look of a future star.

Toughest games: Sept. 6 vs. Central Kitsap (Wash.) in Seattle, Sept. 13 vs. St. Louis, Nov. 12 vs. St. Louis

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