Punahou alumnus Kilinahe Mendiola-Jensen is transferring to the University of Hawaii football team.
Mendiola-Jensen spent the last two seasons at UNLV, where the versatile athlete was used as both a receiver and defensive back. He originally signed with the Rebels out of high school after receiving dozens of offers.
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The 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior anticipates competing at the nickelback position for the Rainbow Warriors, a program that his cousins Kawika, Noa, and Kamuela Borden all played for over the years.
“My family has been through this program for about the past 14 years, and I’ll be continuing their legacy,” Mendiola-Jenson told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “I’m a Hawaii kid through and through. It means a lot just playing for the state, playing for something bigger than just myself, but for the people and everyone here that supports me. We’re going to change the culture, bring back that winning culture, and really put everything on our shoulders and bring the pride back.”
Ahead of training camp, which starts at the end of July, Mendiola-Jensen has been working out with respected trainer and former Kahuku star defensive back Kawehena Johnson.
“I’m ready to make a difference here. To come home is just awesome,” Mendiola-Jensen said. ‘Friends and family are happy. I’m happy, coaches are happy and I’m just ready to play for the ‘Bows.”
The 2023 UH football season will get started on Aug. 26 at Vanderbilt.