By OSKAR GARCIA
HONOLULU — Hawaii coach Norm Chow said in searching for recruits to his football team, he wanted good players who want to play for the Warriors.
The university announced 20 signees on Wednesday, including three junior-college transfers and six recruits from within the state.
Wednesday was the first day recruits were allowed to officially sign with NCAA schools that offer them scholarships.
“The identity we want to establish is we want to play tough, hard-nosed football with guys that want to be here,” Chow told reporters during a news conference on Wednesday.
Chow said he believes he got the state’s top offensive and defensive linemen, preventing them from leaving for schools on the mainland.
The class includes nine offensive players and 11 defensive players. It features two players ranked within ESPN’s top 300 national recruits: quarterback Aaron Zwahlen of Modesto, Calif., and Kennedy Tulimasealii of Waianae.
Hawaii signed six players from California, four from Utah, two from Florida and one each from Louisiana and American Samoa. Hawaii also signed five midyear transfers not included in the class. They signed in December.
Chow says the class should be judged in two to three years, when its impact will be the biggest.
“Last year’s and this year’s class coupled with the next few classes, and we should really have ingredients of a strong program,” he said.
Chow is entering his second season with the program after being hired in December 2011. The Warriors finished 3-9 last year, with only one win in the Mountain West. Hawaii won its last two games, beating UNLV and South Alabama at home.
Ammon Barker, wr, 6-4, 200, Alta HS, Salt Lake City
Keelan Ewaliko, ath, 5-11, 185, Baldwin HS, Wailuku, Maui
Rashaan Falemalu, lb, 6-1, 210, Kahuku HS, Hauula, Oahu
Trayvon Henderson, db, 6-1, 195, Grant Union HS, Sacramento, Calif.
Barry Higdon, db, 6-3, 180, Chaminade-Madonna Prep, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Tigi Hill, db, 6-2, 215, Mesa CC, Laie, Oahu
Marcus Kemp, wr, 6-4, 185, Layton (Utah) HS
Keith Kirkwood, wr, 6-5, 200, Neptune (N.J.) HS
Matthew Koloamatangi, of, 6-6, 230, Woodside HS, East Palo Alto, Calif.
Drake Miller, lb, 6-1, 215, Bingham (Utah) HS
Terrance Polk, wr, 5-11, 180, Los Medanos JC, Pittsburg, La.
Diocemy St. Juste, rb, 5-9, 190, Santaluces (Fla.) HS
Ualesi Sale, dl, 6-1, 245, Aiea HS, Honolulu
Jamie Tago, lb, 6-2, 210, Samoana HS, Pago Pago, American Samoa
Kennedy Tulimasealii, dl, 6-3, 285, Waianae (Oahu) HS
Elijah Tupai, ol, 6-4, 255, Cottonwood HS, Salt Lake City
John Waa, ol, 6-4, 285, Kahuku (Oahu) HS
Darzil Washington, lb, 6-2, 240, Eastern Arizona JC, New Orleans
Aofaga Wily, rb, 5-11, 210, Kahuku HS, Oahu,
Aaron Zwahlen, qb, 6-3, 185, Downey HS, Modesto, Calif.