June 10, 2012

Former Ellerson player helps in Hawaii recruiting

The Army football recruiting Class of 2012 includes successfully landing two incoming prospects from as far away as Hawaii --Tim Kamana of Honolulu Punahou and Kyle Fleming of Waimea High on Hawaii's Big Island.

And now that the Army's staff is already working on the Class of 2013, two Hawaiians rated by Rivals as 2-star prospects who received their first scholarship offer from Army are offensive lineman Joey Anglemire (6-3, 270) and defensive end Dakota Turner (6-3, 245) of Mililani High in central Oahu.

Army head coach Rich Ellerson benefits from his Hawaii roots through three coaching stints with the Rainbow Warriors, but when you're trying to recruit from an office at West Point that is halfway around the globe, it helps to have a Hawaiian Eye.
Doug Nomura, a retired Army Colonel now enjoying working as a high school assistant football coach in Hawaii, is happy to play the role for his old college coach.

Ellerson and Nomura first crossed paths three decades ago when Ellerson's duties at the University of Hawaii included coaching special teams from 1981-83. Nomura attended Hawaii as an Army ROTC student and made the Rainbow Warriors' roster as a walk-on long-snapper.

"Coach Ellerson made an impact on me," Nomura said. "I was just a walk-on, and if he told me to go get the chains, I got the chains. If told me to go get the water, I got the water.

"When he got the job at Army, I sent him an email to let him know I was back in Hawaii. I said, 'If I can help in any way, my email and my phone are always open to you.' "

Nomura's help for Ellerson and co-defensive coordinator Payam Saadat, who has the enviable chip of Hawaii as recruiting turf, might be an informal scouting report.

"Payam might say, 'Do you know anything about this guy?' " Nomura said.

Or it might be as simple as a phone number for a coach of a player that interests Army. In the case of Tim Kamana, his father Carter Kamana is coincidentally is one of Nomura's friends. Nomura didn't need to look up that number.

"The good thing about Hawaii high school coaches is even though we might be on opposite sides of the field," says Nomura, "we all want to help a local boy pursue his dream of going to college and playing at the next level."

As a retired Army officer who played for Ellerson, Nomura can't think of a better choice for college and life beyond football than West Point. When Anglemire told Nomura he wants to major in engineering, he told the Army recruiting target, "West Point is one of the best -- if not the best -- schools for engineering."

Nomura, who before joining to Mililani's staff previously coached at Honolulu St. Louis and Kaneohe Castle, said Anglemire and Turner are both high-character kids with Division I talent.

"One of the things I like about Joey and Dakota is they want to learn," Nomura said. "When I look in their eyes, they have a sparkle. Sometime you look at kids and you can see right through them and what you say is going in one ear and out the other. But these kids are saying, 'I want more. I want more.' "

Nomura says Anglemire is strong on techniques and brings some special footwork to his offensive line skills. In addition to the common story of big linemen developing footwork from playing basketball when he was younger and too big for Pop Warner rules, Anglemire's Samoan mother teaches Polynesian dances. Among the dances Anglemire has learned from her include the Samoan Fire Knife that Hawaii tourists will typically see performed at a luau.

Turner is being recruited as a defensive end, but Nomura points out he's athletic enough to play in the offensive backfield. Turner was working as a slot back during spring drills under offensive coordinator Timmy Chang, the NCAA record-setting quarterback at Hawaii (2001-2004) who also played in the NFL and Canadian Football League (Chang has since left Mililani for a graduate assistant's position at SMU under June Jones, his head coach at Hawaii).

Mililani isn't known among Hawaii high schools for turning out Division I prospects as well as Honolulu traditional powers St. Louis, Punahou and Kamehameha or Kahuku on Oahu' North Shore, but Nomura expects word to spread on Anglemire and Turner. Both players are making trips this month to the mainland to visit college camps.

"I'm glad Coach Ellerson is recruiting Hawaii," Nomura said. "Some of these schools are going to learn about Joey and Dakota and say, 'What, Army is already in Hawaii?' "

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