From the moment he signed his National Letter of Intent with the University of Hawaii as a highly-touted quarterback at Saint Louis, Chevan Cordeiro seemed destined to be the face of the program one day, with multiple Mountain West media days as a representative of his school a foreseeable part of his future.

Cordeiro fulfilled his destiny on Thursday. It just happened to be for one of UH’s biggest rivals.

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Cordeiro transferred to San Jose State last fall following the 2021 season and quickly made an impression, throwing three touchdowns in the team’s spring game. His presence at Mountain West media days, where teams are generally represented by one player on offense and one on defense, signifies his quick emergence as one of the leaders for the Spartans this fall.

Naturally, an environment like media days, of which conference rival Hawaii was also a part of, had Cordeiro reminiscing on a turbulent 2021 season in which many impact players departed the program.

“You can ask everyone that I know. All my friends, my family, it was very difficult to make the decision to leave my home, leave the island, but it had to be done,” Cordeiro told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “Everything happens for a reason. Now they got coach Timmy (Chang). Now they’re having fun. I see smiles on my brothers’ faces and I’m having fun over here. It all worked for all of us.”

Many close to the program believe it was Cordeiro’s departure that kickstarted the process of the departure of former UH coach Todd Graham, who resigned in January after his coaching methods were heavily scrutinized.

“It took a lot of us,” Cordeiro recalled. “Of course Leonard Lee speaking out. Me, Dae Dae (Hunter), Nick (Mardner), Darius (Muasau), all the guys transferring. It really opened everyone’s eyes to see what was actually happening and I feel like if we didn’t do that, we would still be stuck in the same situation and nothing would have been better. I’m glad we did it and now everyone is all happy and it’s going to be exciting.”

Cordeiro’s departure came prior to Graham’s, and in turn, Chang’s hiring. Despite not getting to play for Chang, Cordeiro believes it was the right hire for the school.

“It’s something I tried to block out. … Coach Timmy is a good coach and he’s a good guy. I know that UH is in good hands with him,” Cordeiro said. “I know I talk to a lot of my teammates back home and they’re having fun and they’re enjoying football again. They have the love for the game again and my love of the game is back too. I’m happy over here, I’m happy at San Jose with coach (Brent) Brennan and it should be a good season.”

Both Hawaii and San Jose State close out the regular season against each other on Nov. 26 at CEFCU Stadium.

“I just want them to know that they’re not the reason why I left. I love the UH fans, I love my teammates, I just wish, I mean, everything happens for a reason and I just hope that they’re not mad at me,” Cordeiro said. “I hope they respect my decision and I’ll see them the last game of the season. Too bad we have to wait until the very end but I mean, save the best for last.”