Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Huskers Land Hawaii Linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli

January 02, 2021

The Huskers have added another versatile defender to the class of 2021.

Hawaiian 4-star linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli announce on Saturday that he is committing to Nebraska. He made the announcement during the All-American Bowl Declaration Day festivities. There was no game this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ho’ohuli is rated as the best prospect in Hawaii this recruiting class. The pandemic has forced recruiting to be done a lot differently this year. Everyone has had to adjust. But things may have been tougher on Hawaiian prospects than anyone else. Prospects from mainland states at least had the ability to drive to campuses they wanted to see. Players like Ho’ohuli had to rely solely on virtual visits. In his case, the only school he ever visited was Washington.

The Huskers haven’t signed a player from Hawaii since the 1990s. They are starting to have more success getting Polynesian players interested in the program since defensive line coach Tony Tuioti was hired. Last month, Tuioti spoke about attempting to build a Polynesian pipeline to Nebraska.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to build that pipeline with having some kids here,” Tuitoti said. “Especially in Hawaii we need some Polynesian kids to come out here to Nebraska. My mindset in recruiting kids with Polynesian ties is that we want to make sure we bring the right kids into the program. A lot of them like to stay on the west coast.

“There are a few we are doing a good job of building the relationships with the families we are recruiting. I think we have some traction with Polynesian kids but it has to be the right fit for both sides.”

Ho’ohuli has a good frame (6-3, 220) that he can add lean mass to without sacrificing explosion. He is a versatile linebacker who could fit in at either inside or outside linebacker in Nebraska’s defense. The Huskers prioritized linebackers that could play either inside or outside this cycle. Ho’ohuli will fit in nicely with Randolph Kpai, Seth Malcom and Mikai Gbayor.

The Huskers won out for the defender over Washington, Kansas State and Utah. Nebraska now has 20 known high school commitments for the 2021 class. Nebraska had three commits, Thomas Fidone, Kamonte Grimes and Ho’ohuli selected to play in the All-American Bowl. Ho’ohuli now slots in as the second highest rated commit in the class.

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