The Tony Tuioti effect for Nebraska football recruiting is in full swing.
In the last 24 hours, three prospects from Hawaii — where Tuioti was once a high school and college coach — claimed new scholarship offers from Nebraska. Two had offers from Tuioti at his previous coaching stop, California.
All— defensive lineman Stanley McKenzie and safeties Alaka’i Gilman and Kamo’i Latu — come from top high schools in Honolulu, too.
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound McKenzie, from St. Louis High School, has offers from a litany of Pac-12 schools, plus Virginia, where coach Bronco Mendenhall has tried to maintain island recruiting ties he established when he was head coach at BYU. The 6-foot-1, 178-pound Latu also plays at St. Louis High School and has offers from Oregon State, Utah and Hawai’i. The 5-11, 190-pound Gilman, from Punahou High School, has offers from most of the Pac-12 powers, including Washington, USC, Stanford and Oregon.
According to the 247Sports composite service, Gilman, Latu and McKenzie are the ninth, tenth and 16th highest-rated prospects in Hawaii.
In all, the 247Sports composite service lists 23 three-star Hawaii prospects for the 2020 class. That’s strong for a state with a population of 1,420,491.
For comparison, the state of Nebraska, with 1,929,268 persons living in the state, has five three-star 2020 prospects according to the 247Sports composite. West Virginia — population 1,853,011 — has four three-star 2020 prospects.
Better yet: Just one of those 23 Hawaii prospects has verbally committed. Among 2019 signees from Hawaii, six signed with Pac-12 schools (four of those were with Washington), and one each signed with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Central Florida and Navy. In 2018, it was more eclectic — three of the top 11 signed with Mendenhall at Virginia.
McKenzie and Gilman become the third and fourth 2020 prospects from Honolulu to be offered by Nebraska. The first two — offensive tackle Solatoa Moea’i and linebacker Jordan Botelho — also play at Punahou and St. Louis High Schools, respectively.