Warriors’ Santiago receives release from team


Defensive back Keala Santiago, left, received a release from UH and said he will pursue academics and football at another university.

Kahuku High graduate Keala Santiago has requested — and received — a release from his University of Hawaii football scholarship.

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided that I will be transferring and pursuing my academics and football career at another university,” Santiago announced to his Twitter followers. “I can inform you that this was not an easy decision but it’s the best decision for me. I will be forever grateful and honored to come from a great place. Hawaii will always be home.”

The release allows Santiago to receive a football scholarship from another school for the 2018 fall semester. He still would have to redshirt if he transfers to another FBS school. Santiago reportedly has drawn interest as a preferred non-scholarship player from two Pac-12 schools.

Santiago was the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s 2015 defensive player of the year as a Red Raiders senior. Santiago’s father, Louis, who also goes by Keala, is one of three brothers who played for the Rainbow Warriors.

Santiago, who signed with the Warriors in February 2016, played 22 games in his two UH seasons. He started four games this season when the Warriors opened in a three-safety alignment.

Warriors’ Santiago receives release from team