Recruiting: Former Hawaii middle-school teammates Dillon Gabriel & Blake Feigenspan to join forces at Army

Dillon Gabriel and Blake Feigenspan were middle-school football teammates in Hawaii.

Gabriel, a quarterback, and Feigenspan, a center, went their separate ways in high school attending Mililani High School and Punahou School respectively.

They will once again join forces in college as Gabriel and Feigenspan recently committed to Army a few days apart.

Gabriel, who is entering his fourth season as a starter, gave the Black Knights his pledge during an official visit last weekend. Feigenspan announced his commitment Wednesday.

“We go back,” Gabriel said. “We are great friends. Having him come adds a little sense of home. For me, I’m excited about that. I’m excited that we have another recruit from the islands. I know that’s a couple more that are definitely looking into it (going to Army) and are excited…I talked to him. We both said the same thing (about Army) in what it can do for you on field and off the field. I was just coincidence that we decided a couple of days close to each other.

“I let him know I committed and told him to do what you have to do best. In Hawaii, we are just trying to find a way out to get that top-notch education and Army was the spot for both of us.”

Gabriel had offers from Hawaii, Navy and Air Force but he said it was Army and assistant Sean Saturnio, who was a Hawaii high school football coach, that recruited him the hardest.

“They showed me that they really wanted me and they were pretty much the only school (that did that) for me,” Gabriel said. “It was big.”

Gabriel added, “Coming from Hawaii, we are really family based. Sean Saturnio use to live in Hawaii and coach in Hawaii. For me, it was really big having that person from Hawaii. We like to stay together and knowing someone is from Hawaii was a big part of my decision.”

Gabriel’s family has a connection to the Army staff. Jeff Monken coached Garrett Gabriel, Dillon’s father, as a graduate assistant at Hawaii in 1989-90. Garrett Gabriel, also a quarterback, graduated as Hawaii’s leader in passing yards. His 5,631 yards currently stands fifth in Hawaii’s all-time list.

Gabriel chose to explore options outside of the islands despite his father’s strong ties to Hawaii’s program.

“For me, Hawaii will always be my home but I feel like I have to go away to experience (life),” Gabriel said. “Only people from Hawaii can really explain it. It’s a good experience. It’s really different. You see things that you’ve never seen before. You are away from home and you learn a lot about yourself.”

Gabriel has thrown for more than 6,100 yards in his high school career. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Gabriel is 2,057 yards shy of the state record of 8,158 held by current Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Gabriel was called up from the junior varsity to replace then-senior Mackenzie Milton in the final regular-season game of his freshman year and has started for Mililani ever since. Milton had a breakout sophomore year in 2017 at Central Florida and could be in the Heisman Trophy conversation this season.

Gabriel said Army’s coaching staff, academics, the program’s recent winning and facilities sealed his decision.

“The staff in general made it feel like home and their energy and passion that they bring to the football field and how passionate they are about football, it intrigued me,” Gabriel said…The first day (of the visit), we looked at the academics and from then on I really knew that this school was for me. It will set me up for life. We got to talk to alumni and they all had great stories and not regret ever going because right now they are married and supporting their family. To me, that’s big. Hawaii, we are based off family and if I can set up my future family that’s what I want to do.

“I knew Army was starting to become a Top 25 team. I wanted to find the balance of great academics and great football. Being able to get the best of both worlds that’s exactly what I wanted.”

2019 commits (12)

OL Connor Bishop, 6-3, 270, Archbishop Wood HS, Warminster, Pa.
LB Jalen Brooks, 6-foot, 220, Cardinal Gibbons HS, Raleigh, N.C.: Other offers – Navy
S Jimmy Ciarlo, 6-3, 190, St. Joseph Regional HS, Montvale, N.J.: Other offers – Syracuse, Old Dominion. (COMMITTED, April 13)
RB Shacori Collier, 5-10, 200, Many (La.) HS
RB Clayton Cribb, 5-10, 210, North Lincoln HS, Denver, N.C.: Other offers – (COMMITTED, May 22)
C Blake Feigenspan, 6-4, 264 Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii: Other offers – Hawaii
QB Dillon Gabriel, 6-1, 180, Mililani (Hawaii) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Hawaii (COMMITTED, June 17)
QB Alex Meredith, 6-foot, 185, A.L. Hanna HS, Anderson, S.C.: Other offers – Navy, Coastal Carolina (COMMITTED, June 6)
OL Justin Kopko, 6-4, 315, Hanover Area (Pa.) HS: (COMMITTED, April 13)
FB Nick Mell, 6-foot, 212, Stone Bridge HS, Ashburn, Va.: Other offers – Navy (COMMITTED, May 21)
FB Cole Truex, 6-2, 226, Marin Catholic HS, Kentfield, Calif.: Other offers -  Navy, Air Force (COMMITTED, June 7)
QB Dedrick Wilson, 6-1, 195, Kenedy (Texas) HS: (COMMITTED, March 28)

Here’s a list of 2019 recruits Army has offered but they have committed elsewhere:
DE Adetomiwa Adebawore, 6-2, 240, North Kansas City HS, Kansas City, Mo.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Northwestern, Washington State, Northern Illinois, Tulane, Toledo (COMMITTED to Northwestern, April 17)
RB-LB Anthony Adkins, 6-3, 205, Larue County HS, Hodgenville, Ky.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Louisville, Western Kentucky, Bowling Green. (COMMITTED to Louisville, June 15)
LB Josh Ahern, 6-3, 217, Lake Braddock HS, Burke Va.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Virginia, Temple, Cincinnati, Old Dominion, Liberty (COMMITTED to Virginia, May 25)
LB Kyle Beaudry, 6-1, 205, Liberty HS, Henderson, Nev.: Other offers – UNLV, Nevada, Hawaii (COMMITTED to UNLV, June 20)
RB Aaron Bedgood, 5-8, 168, Richmond Hill (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Coastal Carolina (COMMITTED to Coastal Carolina, June 18)
S Giovanni Biggers, 6-1, 175, Latin HS, Baltimore, Md.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke, Virginia, Rutgers, Maryland, Boston College, Temple, Buffalo, Old Dominion (COMMITTED to North Carolina, May 9)
WR Jase Bowen, 6-1, 180, Central Catholic HS, Toledo, Ohio: Other offers – Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Toledo, Western Michigan. Former Notre Dame baseball commit (COMMITTED to Michigan State for football and baseball, April 7)
LB Zach Bowers, 6-1, 215, Chandler (Ariz.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Hawaii, Syracuse, Oregon State, Nevada, New Mexico State (COMMITTED to Hawaii, June 20)
TE Jack Bradley, 6-6, 235, Bishop Lynch HS, Dallas, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Rice, Colorado, San Diego State, South Alabama. New Mexico State, Texas-San Antonio (COMMITTED to Rice, June 11)
TE-DE Joey Carroll, 6-5, 230, St. Francis de Sales HS, Toledo, Ohio: Other offers – Toledo, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan (COMMITTED to Toledo, April 8)
LB Bryton Constant: Other offers: Clemson, Auburn, Florida, TCU, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Kentucky, Boston College, Memphis, Louisiana-Lafayette, SMU  (COMMITTED to Clemson, April 13)
LB Chris Conti, 6-2, 212, DePaul HS, Wayne, N.J.: Other offers – Rutgers, Western Michigan, Kent State, (COMMITTED to Rutgers, June 8)
OL Eli Cox, 6-4, 295, West Jessamine HS, Nicholasville, Ky.: Other offers: Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ball State, Toledo, Western Michigan, Ohio, Marshall, Georgia State, Liberty (COMMITTED to Kentucky, May 7)
DE Braxten Croteau, 6-5, 240, Liberty HS, Peoria, Ariz.: Other offers – Air Force, California, Washington State, Oregon State, Memphis, Utah State (COMMITTED to California, April 15)
OL Dominick D’Antonio, 6-4, 285, Etowah HS, Woodstock, Ga.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Northwestern, Rutgers, South Florida, Western Kentucky, Troy, Arkansas State, Buffalo, East Carolina, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Liberty, Texas State, Tulane (COMMITTED to Northwestern, April 7)
CB Dorian Davis, 6-foot, 176, Shelby (N.C.) HS: Other offers – Kent State, Liberty (COMMITTED to James Madison, May 13)
WR Wayne Dennis, 6-4, 188, Armwood HS, Seffner, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Northwestern (COMMITTED to Northwestern, June 18)
CB Storm Duck, 6-1, 180, Boiling Springs HS, Spartanburg, S.C.: Other offers – North Carolina, West Virginia, Temple, Western Kentucky, Kent State, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Georgia State, Liberty (COMMITTED to North Carolina, June 9)
LB Luke Dwyer, 6-2, 200, Lake Zurich (Ill.) HS: Other offers – Navy (COMMITTED to North Dakota State, June 8)
LB Michael Erhart, 6-2, 212, Chaminade Prep, West Hills, Calif.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Oregon State, Utah State (COMMITTED to Oregon State, June 10)
LB Luke Felton, 6-3, 210, Cardinal Mooney HS, Youngstown, Ohio: Other offers – Wisconsin, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa, West Virginia, California, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Duke, Syracuse, Virginia, Rutgers, Boston College, Indiana, Kentucky, Temple, Cincinnati, Western Michigan, Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Ohio, Toledo (COMMITTED to Michigan State, May 24)
DE Ryan Franke, 6-4, 210, Oaks Christian School, Westlake Village, Calif.: Other offers – Oregon State, Fresno State, New Mexico, San Jose State (COMMITTED, Oregon State, June 10)
LB-S Bryce Gallagher, 6-3, 210, St. Sebastian’s HS, Needham, Mass.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Duke, Boston College. (COMMITTED to Northwestern, Sept. 19)
CB Tyruss Gayden, 5-10, 165, West Jefferson HS, Harvey, La.: Other offers – Air Force (COMMITTED to Southern, June 11)
DL Jason Gold, 6-3, 260, Clear Springs HS, League City, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Houston, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Missouri, Northwestern, Kansas State, Minnesota, Duke, Virginia, Boston College, Iowa State, Rice, UTEP, Memphis, Colorado State, Tulane, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Arkansas States, Louisana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe (COMMITTED to Northwestern, May 19)
CB Demarcus Governor, 6-1, 188, Durant HS, Plant City, Fla.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Toledo, Buffalo, Southern Mississippi, Appalachian State, South Alabama, Liberty (COMMITTED to Central Michigan, June 20)
DL Aaron Hamilton, 6-3, 275, Johns Creek (Ga.) HS: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, South Alabama (COMMITTED to Eastern Michigan, June 21)
WR Rahmon Hart, 6-3, 205, Imani Christian Academy, Pittsburgh, Pa.: Other offers – Ball State (COMMITTED to Ball State, May 14)
CB Rod Heard, 5-11, 160, Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, Mich.: Other offers – Northwestern, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, Akron. (COMMITTED to Northwestern)
S Zukudo Igwenagu, 6-4, 216, Worcester (Mass.) Academy: Other offers – Rutgers, Temple, Rice, Buffalo, Kent State, UMass (COMMITTED to Rutgers, June 20)
RB C.J. Jackson, 5-10, 190, Hermitage HS, Richmond, Va.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, Purdue, East Carolina, Kent State, Marshall, Old Dominion (COMMITTED to James Madison, June 7)
WR Courtney Jackson, 5-11, 170, Gateway HS, Monroeville, Pa.: Other offers – Syracuse, West Virginia, Kentucky, Northwestern, Baylor, Boston College, Memphis, Temple, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Toledo (COMMITTED to Syracuse, April 27)
DE Christian James, 6-4, 245, Christian Brothers HS, Memphis, Tenn.: Other offers – Navy, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Memphis, Cincinnati, Tulsa, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe (COMMITTED to Vanderbilt, June 18)
LB Tyler King, 6-foot, 220, Pine-Richland HS, Gibsonia, Pa.: Other offers – Navy, Old Dominion, Ball State, Kent State, Buffalo, Akron (COMMITTED to Navy, April 14)
RB-WR Brandon Legendre, 5-9, 178, E.D. White Catholic HS, Thibodaux, La.: Other offers – Air Force, Notre Dame, TCU, Central Florida, West Virginia, Arizona State, Utah, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Kansas, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, SMU, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Arkansas State, Southern Mississippi, New Mexico State (COMMITTED to Louisiana-Lafayette, June 18)
LB Keith Maguire, 6-2, 215, Malvern Prep, Malvern, Pa.: First offer – Army. Other offers – Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, West Virginia, North Carolina, Baylor, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Temple, UConn, Buffalo, Kent State, Toledo, Old Dominion (COMMITTED to Clemson, April 27)
TE Drew Martin, 6-4, 225, North Little Rock (Ark.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Memphis, Indiana, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Bowling Green, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe (COMMITTED to Memphis, June 5)
K Kolton McGhee, 6-foot, 170, Bishop Guilfoyle HS, Altoona, Pa.: (COMMITTED to West Virginia, July 22)
OL Taylor Miterko, 6-6, 270, Carlsbad (N.M.) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Notre Dame, Okalhoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, Oregon, Washington, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Baylor, Colorado, California, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Virginia, Boise State, Colorado State, Texas State, Rice, New Mexico, UTEP (COMMITTED to Oklahoma State, June 20)
S Taylor Morin, 5-11, 170, Westfield HS, Chantilly, Va.: Other offers – Wake Forest, Old Dominion, UMass (COMMITTED to Wake Forest, June 13)
DE R.J. Oben, 6-4, 240, St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J.: Son of former NFL lineman Roman Oben. Other offers – Duke, Louisville, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Rutgers, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Boston College, Virginia, Temple, Ball State (COMMITTED to Duke, June 14)
WR Ryan O’Keefe, 5-10, 170, Round Rock (Texas) HS: Other offers – Air Force, Central Florida, Boston College, Tulsa, SMU, North Texas, UTEP, Bowling Green, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, UMass (COMMITTED to Central Florida, May 9)
LB Alec Pell, 6-4, 215, Cherry Creek HS, Greenwood Village, Colo.: Other offers – Air Force, Boise State, California, Iowa State, Colorado State, North Texas, Wyoming (COMMITTED to Boise State, April 16)
CB Xavier Player, 6-foot, 180, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas: Other offers – Air Force, Oklahoma State, Rice, Texas-San Antonio, North Texas, Texas State, New Mexico, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama, Liberty (COMMITTED to Oklahoma State, June 8)
LB-S Ryan Puskas, 6-3, 205, Liberty HS, Peoria, Ariz.: Other offers – Air Force, California, Memphis, Utah State (COMMITTED to California, April 15)
TE Hayden Rucci, 6-5,  230, Warwick HS, Lititz, Pa.: Other offers – Wisconsin, West Virginia, Minnesota, Boston College, Duke, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest, Temple, Western Michigan, UConn (COMMITTED to Wisconsin)
T Blerim Rustemi, 6-4, 275, DePaul Catholic HS, Wayne, N.J.: Other offers – Navy, Boston College, Rutgers, Virginia, Temple, East Carolina, UConn, Western Michigan, Buffalo, Kent State (COMMITTED to Boston College, June 4)
LB Chad Soelle, 6-1, 195, Saguaro HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.: Other offers – Arizona State, Vanderbilt, SMU, Nevada, New Mexico State(COMMITTED to Arizona State, June 20)
RB-LB Chad Stephens, 6-1, 215, Southeast Guilford HS, Greensboro, N.C.: Other offers – Navy, Air Force, East Carolina, Coastal Carolina, Charlotte, Liberty (COMMITTED to East Carolina, June 21)
DE-LB Sayyid Stevens, 6-2, 227, Calvary Day School, Savannah, Ga. Other offers – Navy, Cincinnati, Troy, Florida Atlantic, Miami (Ohio), East Carolina, Tulane, Kent State, UNLV, Middle Tennessee State, Old Dominion, Georgia State, Coastal Carolina, UMass (COMMITTED to Duke, June 11)
OL Jack Stewart, 6-5, 280, New Canaan (Conn.) HS: Other offers – Michigan, Auburn, TCU, Maryland, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky, Baylor, Indiana, Rutgers, Boston College, Temple, Liberty (COMMITTED to Michigan, April 16)
OL Xavier Truss, 6-7, 330, Bishop Hendricken HS, Warwick, R.I.: Other offers – Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn, Penn State, Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, LSU, Louisville, Florida State, Florida, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Oregon, Arkansas, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Missouri, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse, Boston College, UConn (COMMITTED to Georgia, June 17)
S Solomon Turner, 6-1, 210, Prestonwood Christian HS, Plano, Texas: Other offers – Baylor, Illinois, Texas State, Colorado State, Toledo, Tulane, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico, New Mexico State, South Alabama (COMMITTED to Baylor, June 19)
QB Paul Tyson, 6-4, 215, Hewitt-Trussville HS, Trussville, Ala.: Other offers – Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU, USC, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, Oregon, Arkansas, Tennessee, Duke, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Kentucky, UConn (COMMITTED to Alabama, April 5)

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Sound Cloud @salinterdonato. For Army coverage on Facebook, here’s the link.

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    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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