Then there was one. Kaiser offensive lineman Michael Eletise has committed to play college football at the University of Arizona.
After receiving 42 scholarship offers, Eletise narrowed his list to 10 schools in June, and then further trimmed it to just five earlier this month before announcing his decision Monday night on KHON2 News at 6 p.m.
Despite winning the Pac-12 South Division last season, the success and rise of the Arizona Wildcats football program wasn’t the biggest deciding factor for the state’s top prospect.
“It wasn’t as big a thing as you’d think just because any program can be a great program,” Eletise told KHON2’s Sam Spangler. “It had to do with the coaches and how they talked to me, and how the players interacted with the coaches, and just everything combined together.”
In 2014, the Wildcats finished with a 10-4 record while capturing the top spot in the Pac-12 South Division. In the Pac-12 Championship Game, they lost to the Marcus Mariota-led Oregon Ducks, and then again to Boise State in the Vizio Fiesta Bowl.
Eletise will join Hawaii natives sophomore-to-be starting quarterback Anu Solomon and rising junior defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono.
Playing for the Wildcats in Tucson, Arizona will also bring Eletise near his sister who attends Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
Eletise is considered to be the most highly recruited player in Hawaii high school football history. The 6-foot-4, 313-pound rising senior is rated a four-star-recruit by Scout.com and is the No. 1 offensive guard in the West. He is ranked No. 11 in the nation at his position and No. 212 overall.
National Signing Day is set for Feb. 3, 2016 when Eletise can make his commitment official.
Before he can ink in his college commitment, Eletise still has work to be done as the Kaiser Cougars will begin the 2015 season with a road game Aug. 8 against Kapolei.