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Boise State roster countdown 2018: Day 28, Kekaula Kaniho

NCAA Football: Boise State at San Diego State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

28 days later...the season started. Today’s honoree happens to wear’s sophomore sensation Kekaula Kaniho

#28, Kekaula Kaniho, Sophomore, DB


Height: 6’0”

Weight: 183 lbs. (+13)

High School: Kahuku High School, Kahuku, HI

How’d he get to The Blue™?

Kaniho was a HUGE pickup for the Broncos when he committed a few weeks before signing day (January 15th to be exact) as he was the reigning Hawaii Defensive Player of the Year...and as you all know, Hawaii produces some fantastic football talent year in and year out.

A consensus 3-star recruit and #1 rated corner in the Aloha State, Kaniho was the 2016 American Family Insurance All-USA Hawaii football team Defensive Player of the Year (that’s a mouthful) as well as earning the honor from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was voted the Super 25 Top Star by USA Today readers after a stellar October performance and as a Kahuku team captain, helped his squad to an 11-2 record and a spot in the First Hawaiian Bank Open Division State Championship game. Oh, and all Kaniho had to do to land all those accolades was to have FIVE pick-sixes (out of six INTs) for the Red Raiders to go along with his 26.5 tackles. Along with his Boise offer, he received scholly offers from Army, Colorado, Hawaii, San Diego State, Vanderbilt, Washington State, and Yale.



The self-professed Lego collector really should have something befitting his brickhead status.


Still seeing a dash of Andy Avalos

Career highlights

Academic All-Mountain West selection for Fall 2017. Appeared in 14 games as a true frosh for the Broncos in 2017 and made five starts. Inducted into Hawaii Hall-of-Honor in 2017. Honolulu Star-Advertiser and American Family Insurance All-USA Hawaii Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Voted Cover2’s Manti Te’o defensive player of the year. Led squad to appearance in State Championship game in 2016 and a State title in 2015.

2018 Prospectus

As a senior at Kahuku, Kaniho pulled down six INTs and housed FIVE of what does he do in his freshman campaign in Boise? Scores TWO defensive TDs. That’s as many touchdowns as WR AJ Richardson scored last season. Maybe the more impressive feat from Kaniho last season was taking defensive snaps away from Desmond Williams, who looked pretty damn good last year, I might add. Kaniho was simply too good to keep off the field, which wasn’t surprising given his high school accolades, but it was surprising who it came at the expense of.

In 2018, however, I’m choosing to look at this thing at a higher level...let’s not look at it as Des vs. Kekaula—let’s look at it as WE HAVE DES AND KEKAULA, ISN’T THAT AWESOME?? SAM ‘backer (or nickel if you’d prefer) is looking better than it has in years and the Broncos have big-hitters and ballhawks at every turn. Last season, apart from his two defensive scores, Kaniho had 32 tackles (6.5 for loss), and 1 sack and Williams had 30 tackles (3 for loss), and 2 sacks. That’s not what I’d really call “drop off”, so the Broncos will have fresh legs on the field at all times. I’m guessing both Kaniho and Williams improve on their tackle numbers this year and possibly get a bit more of an even distribution of snaps. You can’t really go wrong with either, but Kaniho definitely gets the edge on touchdowns scored from the “wrong” side of the line-of-scrimmage. LVE got most of the eyeballs last season at linebacker, but this year it’ll definitely be worth watching some of these youngsters.

Is he on Twitter?

No, but his brother (@kaonohikaniho ) if you have something to tell Kekaula, maybe his bro will pass it along.

Completely made up fact

Fresh pineapple is bountiful on the islands, and Kekaula once ate so much of it, he couldn’t feel his tongue for a day. BTW, this actually happened to me at a Poly wedding reception...I regret nothing.