2022 Breakout Players For Hawaii Football
Who is going to stand out under Timmy Chang
Whose next for Hawaii?
Without looking back too far and re-opening any old wounds, the truth of the matter is the Warriors lost a lot of talent to the transfer portal following the 2021 season. If we’re looking at this glass half full, this means that there are a lot of opportunities for new faces to step into big roles for the Bows. Here are some players to watch for.
Zion Bowens WR
Zion Bowens has shown flashes throughout his two seasons as a Warrior. No better example than the 2021 home finale against Colorado State where he recorded 6 catches for 172 yards including a 93 yard touchdown. This season, Bowens has the chance to be the number one option through the air. He’s got the physical tools and it looks like he and Brayden Schager were developing some pretty good chemistry throughout spring ball.
Calling Dedrick Parsons a breakout player is a bit of a stretch. Last season he ran for 618 yards and 8 touchdowns while adding another 279 yards receiving. It’s safe to say that we’ve already seen what he can do when given the opportunity.
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) October 24, 2021
Now that he is stepping into the full-time starting role I think the best is yet to come. He is a tough physical runner and showed a really good burst in the spring game. He should break the 1,000 yard mark in all purpose yards this season.
Jonah Kahahawai-Welch, Wynden Ho’ohuli and Mataio Soli Edge
It’s been a while since Hawaii has had a dominant edge rusher, but this season the Warriors have three exciting prospects. Jonah Kahahawai-Welch was one of the top recruits in the 2018 class and thus far his career has been injury riddled. He missed most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to injury, but this spring he has emerged as a leader on the defense. He was playing with the first team during the spring game and flashed a couple times with some dominant wins off the edge.
— Hawaii Athletics (@HawaiiAthletics) June 25, 2022
If he can stay healthy I think he could be due for a big year. Wynden Ho’ohuli is a former 4-star recruit out of Mililani High School and his return home from Nebraska is surrounded with a lot of hype. He enrolled in January and was able to participate in spring ball so he should hit the ground running going into fall camp. Mataio Soli is another former 4-star that has made his way to the islands via the transfer portal. Soli appeared in 17 games including 11 starts during his freshman season at Arkansas. His playing time over the last two seasons has dwindled due to injury and solid depth but he’ll get a fresh start with the Warriors and should arrive on campus this summer.
Isaiah Tufaga and Demarii Blanks Linebacker
The Bows will need to find a way to replace the production of Darius Muasau. Replacing that kind of player is difficult, but the Warriors have depth at the Linebacker position. Penei Pavihi is a returning starter at one Linebacker position and Isaiah Tufaga and Demarii Blanks seem to be the guys in line to start at the other LB spot. Since transferring from Oregon State, Tufaga has been a solid rotational player for the Bows.
He’s a guy who always seems to be in the right place, at the right time. He’s started 4 games throughout his time as a Warrior and has shown that he is dependable. Demarii Blanks comes to Hawaii from the College of San Mateo where he was named the conference defensive player of the year. He participated in Spring Ball and will likely be in the mix this coming season.