The University of Hawaii football team has invested in a protection plan, securing 2025 commitments from two offensive linemen.

Jordan Kernaghan of Campbell High and Uluaki “Waki” Taukiuvea of Hunter High in West Valley City, Utah, both confirmed their pledges to the Rainbow Warriors. They can put their commitments in writing on Dec. 4, the first day of the early-signing period for 2025 football prospects.

Kernaghan and Taukiuvea completed UH-hosted visits on Sunday morning.

“I just committed,” Kernaghan said. “They really welcomed us. They made us feel like a priority and treated my family really well.”

Kernaghan, who is 6 feet 4 and 285 pounds, blocks for Jaron-Keawe Sagapolutele, who is considered one of the state’s best quarterbacks. Kernaghan — who also can play left tackle, center and defensive tackle — allowed one sack last season.

Kernaghan’s footwork, first-step quickness and reach are credited with his pass-blocking success. He also said his ability to set screens in basketball helped impede pass rushers.

“When you play basketball, you slide in front of that defender,” Kernaghan said. “I stood in the way so they don’t hit Jaron and he could get a clean ball off. Jaron’s a really good captain and also a good player. I’ve got to protect him so he can throw a good ball.”

Kernaghan praised Derek Fa‘avi, UH’s new O-line coach. “Coach Fa‘avi is a really good coach,” Kernaghan said. “He’s straight up with you. I like that. Outside of football, he’s a real chill guy, really down to earth.”

Taukiuvea also enjoyed his visit. “I loved everything,” he said. “I loved how welcoming they were. They made me feel like I was part of the family even though it was an official visit.”

The past two seasons, Taukiuvea, who is 6-4 and 250 pounds, played quarterback for Hunter. “We needed someone like him to be the alpha over the team and take control,” said Hunter head coach Harold Moleni, a former UH tight end. “He did a great job.”

Taukiuvea said he was recruited to UH to play on offensive line. Taukiuvea has an 82-inch wing span.

“I think that’s where he’ll excel,” Moleni said. “I think he’ll do great at that position.”

Moleni said Taukiuvea will play tight end and defensive end this coming season for Hunter. “We’ll let him have some fun for his senior year,” Moleni said.

Taukiuvea’s father, Moleni “Big Mo” Taukiuvea, was a star basketball player at Dixie State. “He’s pretty humble about this,” Moleni said of the elder Taukiuvea. “When we were growing up (in Utah), he was the best basketball player we knew.”

The elder Taukiuvea said his son is a hard worker with a passion for sports. Uluaki Taukiuvea also is a standout basketball player.

“I’m proud of the projection he’s setting for himself,”the elder Taukiuvea said. “I’m proud of him.”

Moleni said Taukiuvea is popular among teammates because of his leadership and fun-loving attitude.

“You need someone like that when you’re going through two-a-days, when you’re going through camp,” Moleni said. “You need kids who are happy-go-lucky and lighten the mood. He’s a great personality. Love having him around.”

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