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Boise State roster countdown 2019: Day 28, Kekaula Kaniho

Colorado State v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

Ooooh, we’re getting right down to it, folks. Today’s honoree happens to wear the #28—that’s the same as the number of days until the Broncos take on Florida State. How about that.

#28, Kekaula Kaniho, Junior, DB


Height: 5’10”

Weight: 182 lbs. (-1)

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.



I mean, he’s a professed Lego collector and he’ll make you “lego” of his football.


STILL seeing a dash of Andy Avalos. Miss ya, Andy.

Career highlights

Appeared in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2018, with 8 starts. Led the team in interceptions in 2018 with 3 and also broke up 4 passes to go along with his 40 tackles (3 for loss) and sack. 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.

2019 Prospectus

I’m afraid we’re experiencing diminishing returns with Kaniho as he had two defensive TDs as a frosh but only ONE measly defensive touchdown a season ago. Obviously, I kid...3 defensive TDs in two seasons is downright impressive and speaks to the fact that Kaniho is not only around the ball a lot, but knows what do to with it once he pries it loose. Now, as Kaniho is set to enter his junior year (time flies when you’re getting pick-sixes), his role should only expand...and with it, some more great ball from one of the most blue collar kids on the squad.

With Desmond Williams electing to transfer to Weber State (I don’t know either), one would think that Kaniho would get the vast majority of the nickel snaps and since he’s pretty darn good at nickeling, I think it should be a fun year to watch him roam sideline to sideline. With any luck, the Bronco staff will be able to lure another Kaniho to The Blue before his eligibility clock is up. For now, let’s see if he can push for that defensive TD record (I have no idea what it is, but seems he’s on pace to challenge it, right?!).

Is he on Twitter?

Nah. But clowns like myself are on there, so he’s probably made the right decision.

Completely made up fact

Kaniho was the defensive captain for the Boise State summer classic softball game (that part’s true), but it was rather unhelpful that every defensive stop he made, he’d “take to the house”.