What’s up Muskie? — Deputy Dawg
An image pops up in my head when someone mentions Titus Mokiao-Atimalala. It’s of a fleet-footed receiver getting separation on DBs, catching a pass in stride and leaving defenders way behind.
Or another image: Mokiao-Atimalala in the middle of a sea of defenders and at the last second finding some itty bitty space or going up to bring down a hard-thrown ball.
Campbell star wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala signd with UCF. (Image credit: 247Sports).
But you get the picture. The definition of a baller. As a matter of fact, name a receiver better than Mokiao-Atimalala in high school in Hawaii, all time. Always going to be arguments. Jason Rivers was amazing. Ashley Lelie was stellar. Kalakaua Timoteo was a true beast. Gerald Welch was that working-man’s slot kind of a guy that the Saint Louis offense revolved around during the hey day of that dynasty’s hey day.
For argument’s sake, Mokiao-Atimalala could be the best pure receiver of the bunch with the most upside. In three year the high school scene , he landed as the fourth leading receiver in yardage.
And up until today, it was anybody’s guess where the James Campbell High School two-way (he also played safety and corner) difference-maker was going to go to college. He ended the suspense by picking UCF, where two Hawaii quarterbacks (McKenzie Milton and then Dillon Gabriel) have made their marks in the last half decade.
808 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 407
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) February 3, 2021
UCF welcoming Titus-Mokiao-Atimalala on Twitter, with a great highlight reel. In the video, a countdown leads to the words, “Go For Launch.” Judging by Mokiao-Atimalala’s Hawaii high school career, he is ready for takeoff, despite missing his senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Great young man, great team captain, great example, great leader, coachable, very focused,” Sabers coach Darren Johnson told Bedrock Sports Hawaii about Mokiao-Atimalala today.
Apparently, former Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel, the standout UCF quarterback, was a lure for Mokiao-Atimalala.
“Dillon Gabriel is the best recruiter in the world right now,” Johnson added. “Dillon knows that Titus can play. And Titus will definitely going to be playing as a freshman. (For us), he didn’t just do it on offense, he did it the whole football game. He was a game-changer.”
Author’s note: I remember watching Mokiao-Atimalala as a freshman at Kapolei, before he transferred from the Hurricanes to the Sabers. There were two of them — older brother Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala (now playing for the University of Hawaii) and Titus catching passes all night long. Doing live blogs and then writing stories on deadline with the punching out those last names was a learning endeavor. Mokiao-Atimalala has 16 characters and there are many T’s and L’s and A’s to get straight, right? Ha, and they were together on the same team for three years (2017-2019). By that third year, I could write their last name in my sleep.
But Titus, the younger one, never got his chance to shine in a fourth year because of COVID-19. Instead, he’s going to UCF and hopes to break in right away.
Mokiao-Atimalala joins former Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel at UCF. (Image credit: 247Sports).
In 32 high school games, Titus caught 170 passes for 2,915 yards and 37 touchdowns. He was on pace to be No. 1 all time in the state.
Titus also had 20 Division I offers, choosing UCF over Arizona, Arizona State, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, and Wisconsin. Those 20 offers were more than anyone else from Hawaii in the Class of 2021.
ALSO AT BedrockSportsHawaii.com — Coaches: A Shortened ILH Football Season Is Still Possible