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December 7, 2009
Top talent set for Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl
MORE: Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl rosters | U.S. Army All-American Bowl selections
The second annual Hawaii/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl is set for 7 p.m. Saturday (1 a.m. EST Sunday) at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
The game will feature several of the nation's top prospects from the continental 48 states taking on a roster filled with Hawaii all-stars as well as "mainland" players with Polynesian roots.
The Mainland squad is led by the nation's top running back, Lache Seastrunk. The five-star prospect will be joined by several other talented skill-position players, including Rivals100 wide receivers Trovon Reed, an Auburn commit, and Tennessee commitment Markeith Ambles.
Oregon commit Dontae Williams is another four-star Texas running back on the Mainland roster. Rivals250 athlete A.J. Derby will also participate. The Iowa commitment is expected to play quarterback.
Other offensive standouts include Michigan commit Jeremy Jackson at wide receiver as well as five offensive lineman committed to BCS schools: Skyler Schofner (Michigan State commit), Brandon Sacco(Pittsburgh commit), Brandon Vitabile (Northwestern commit), Johnathan Ragoo (Minnesota commit), and Colin Porter (Washington commit).
The defensive line showcases five of the 11 prospects on the Mainland team rated four stars or higher. Sharrif Floyd, the nation's top defensive tackle and No. 9 prospect overall, leads the way. He is joined by four-star Pittsburgh commitment Bryan Murphy. The other three linemen come from Florida, Rivals100 defensive end Corey Lemonier, Rivals250 Florida commit Lynden Trail and four-star defensive tackle Calvin Smith.
Ohio State commit David Durham will make the trip from North Carolina to bolster the linebacker corps, and Rivals100 prospect Ahmad Dixon (Baylor commit) leads a group of talented defensive backs.
Pittsburgh and Connecticut are each represented by two prospects. UConn commits Brandon Steg and Gilbert St. Louis will play alongside Pitt commits Sacco and Murphy.
Like the Mainland team, the Hawaii/Polynesia team's strength is along the defensive line. Hawaii's second- and third-ranked prospects, Kona Schwenke and V.J. Fehoko will be rushing the quarterback all night. Fehoko is projected as a middle linebacker, but he is more experienced at defensive end. He recorded 30 sacks this year for Farrington High School. Schwenke is one of four BYU commits on the roster.
The middle of the defensive line should be very strong. Salt Lake City Brighton defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli is the most highly touted of nine non-Hawaiian prospects on the roster. Heimuli is also a BYU commit, along with Kahuku defensive end Hau'oli Jamora. Tuni Kanuch, an offensive lineman from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham, rounds out the Cougars' commits.
Hawaii's No. 1 prospect, Shaydon Akuna, will be roaming around on defense. The 6-foot-3 prospect's recruitment has reached a national level. He has picked up offers from Arkansas, Florida State and several Pac-10 schools.
If Hawaii scores big with passes down the field, the catches will likely come from Taz Stevenson and Samson Anguay. The two Hawaii prospects could not be more different. Stevenson, a Washington commit, is a 6-2 long strider with plenty of speed that will have no problem athletically matching up with the Mainland team's best. He could also play safety if needed. Anguay, a Hawaii commit, is a 5-8 shifty runner who can make plays with his feet after the catch.
The Mainland All-Stars won last year's contest 22-8. The game was riddled with 13 turnovers, eight by the Hawaii-Polynesia team. Ohio State's Corey Brown picked off three passes. Minnesota's Matt Garin recorded three sacks in the win.
Rivals.com will be in Hawaii all week to give you insight on the prospects participating in the all-star game.