Cordeiro’s debut victory Hawaii’s first for true freshman quarterback in decades


For those who followed his lone season as the starting quarterback at Saint Louis, it was never a question of if, but when.

At what point would we see the patented magic act of Chevan Cordeiro at quarterback for the University of Hawaii?

Filling in for an injured Cole McDonald, the 18-year-old got his shot this past weekend and made the most of it.

Just 11 months removed from throwing an eerily similar game-winner to beat Kahuku in the state championship game, the reigning Cover2 Marcus Mariota Award winner found Jojo Ward on a 38-yard winning touchdown pass to beat Wyoming and reclaim the Paniolo Trophy.

“He’s here for the right reasons. He wants to represent this state on the football field with the Warrior jersey on, and that’s what he told us when he committed. That’s what he told us when he signed. He doesn’t say a lot, but I believe that he dreamed about this moment when he put that pen to paper to be a Warrior for the University of Hawaii,” said head coach Nick Rolovich.

Cordeiro is the first true freshman quarterback to start a game since Timmy Chang in 2000, and the first true freshman to win his debut since Blaine Gaison in 1976.

“I couldn’t be happier for him. I thought he battled in training camp. I thought he was obviously disappointed when we went to Cole. We were going to play him in the Colorado State game, but Cole just kept going and kept going, and his moment came,” Rolovich said. 

“(Quarterbacks coach Craig) Stutzmann deserves a ton of credit. He calls it the QB hui, and it is,” he added. “We want from top to bottom, the quarterbacks to be the best quarterbacks unit in the nation. He preaches that every day and he kept those guys ready, and we knew that if we needed to go to Chevan, or if we needed to go to (Jeremy) Moussa, or if we needed to go to Kolney (Cassel), we are going to execute the best we can on offense and there’s a lot of trust in that.”

McDonald’s status is uncertain for this week’s game at BYU due to an undisclosed injury.

There is no current timeline for his recovery, though Rolovich said Saturday that it’s not expected to be long-term.

The Warriors are back to practice Tuesday, with kickoff at archrival BYU set for 4:15 p.m. Hawaii time Saturday on ESPN2.

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