Kahuka High School
Kekaula Kaniho Boise State Broncos
Deceptive playmaking defensive back that isn't a consistent tackler but trusts his eyes and plays to his speed with a high enough motor.
As productive as he can be over his college career, Kekaula Kaniho possesses sound ball skills in the back end of your defense. Comfortable playing in space and has decent range to cover ground both laterally and vertically. Brings a lot of effort to his game with good eyes and a willingness to pursue the ball. When in the air, Kekaula Kaniho has good hands and closes on intended receivers well. Comfortable as a zone defender with solid zone integrity. He's quick to come downhill and diagnoses screen plays as though he was tipped beforehand. He is very instinctive in those regards and understands some nuances within the route combinations he sees. Has experience playing as a single high safety and in the slot but looks more comfortable with the latter.
Although Kekaula Kaniho has been a mainstay on the Boise State defense, there still are concerns with his tape. Isn't experienced in press coverage, this is largely due to size and playing from the nickel. Has issues when he rotates to free safety as a segmented mover transitioning between going downhill and his backpedal. Shouldn't be seen as a free safety at the next level unless it's in an emergency situation. When it comes to the run he doesn't adequately break down before the tackle point leading to unsound tackles. Lacks the physicality to make an impact in the box (despite showing the willingness to.
An undersized defensive back that plays bigger than he appears. Brings energy and a good motor every snap which overcomes some of his issues as a tackler in college. Will be sequestered to the slot at the next level though. As far as playmaking goes, Kekaula Kaniho plays the ball in the air well but has issues against more aggressive receivers. Against the run, Kekaula Kaniho is willing to come downhill quickly and fill gaps but is tapped out physically already. He trusts his eyes and that can get him in some trouble but is quick to recover and recognize what he reads.
From Kahuku, Hawaii where he graduated high school from Kahuku High School. Son of Jarrett and Misty and has a younger sister named Teavana. Was a 247Sports composite three-star corner recruit and the ninth rated Hawaiian recruit in the class of 2017. Named the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to the 2016 American Family Insurance All-USA Hawaii Football Team Defensive Player of the Year. Helped lead Kahuku HS to an 11-2 record where they made the Hawaiian Open Division State Championship game. Finished his senior season with 26.5 tackles, six interceptions, and five total defensive touchdowns. Held offers from Army, Colorado, Hawaii, UNLV, San Diego State, Vanderbilt, and Washington State before choosing Boise State. Mentioned Earl Thomas as his favorite athlete because “He flies around the field with so much energy and passion. And the fact that he is undersized, he plays bigger than his size.” Majoring in health science.
Current Player Value/Potential Player Value
1/26 - Get to know this young man, as Kaniho is one of the feistiest corners that you will find between the white stripes here at the historic Rose Bowl. His instincts, football IQ and alertness all register as top-notch. He made an outstanding pick-six interception on Tuesday, off Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass, which drew oohs and aahs from the players. Kaniho can play in the box, blow up the backfield or slide into the slot and cover, making him a versatile chess piece. However, his most valuable asset at the next level will be on special teams, making him an ideal backend defensive back that any NFL team would welcome on the roster. There is a very good chance that Kaniho hears his name called late on Day Three.
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