Former Hawaii Warriors Linebacker Jahlani Tavai made a lot of Hawaii fans excited on Friday night when the standout hard-hitter was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the 43rd pick in the NFL Draft. Honolulu Blue has never been more appropriate.
During the June Jones era, Hawaii regularly had players drafted. The last decade, that hasn’t been the case, but Nick Rolovich is bringing it back. The last Warrior to be drafted was running back Joey Iosefa in 2015 when the Patriots took him in the 7th round. The last time a Warrior went as high as the 2nd round was 2009 when the Cleveland Browns drafted David Veikune with the 52nd pick. Needless to say, it’s been quiet on the draft front for Hawaii for years now, and Rolovich and his staff have to be elated that the ice has been broken. The coaching staff can now walk into the living room’s of recruits and say that in 2019, the Hawaii Warriors had the first Mountain West football player taken in the NFL Draft. A momentous occasion for Tavai and the Warriors.
The three-time all-conference selection had 391 career tackles for the Warriors. Now he’ll be anchoring the middle of the Lions defense.