Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Jayden Maiava Twitter

FSM Presents: Zo Huddle –Rebel Vision ’21 – Jayden Maiava Commits To UNLV


The Rebels scored big on the island: Receiving a verbal commitment from Honolulu (Hi.) 2022 quarterback Jayden Maiava, who turned down three blue blood programs to commit to UNLV. 


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit Jay Metzger

Maiava had Auburn, Louisville, and Tennessee coaxing the 6-foot-5, 220-pound pro-style quarterback with its four-year scholarship offers. However, UNLV comes away as the big winner in receiving the verbal commitment from the state of Hawaii’s No. 1 QB according to 24/7Sports.

Maiava tells Franchise Sports Media that the relationship-building process between him and the Rebels coaching staff, including head coach Marcus Arroyo helped decide that Sin City (or “The Ninth Island,” as some have called) was the spot for him after high school.

“It was the coaches building our chemistry. They always kept checking on us — not just me, but they were checking on my parents as well. That was a big thing for me,” Maiava said by phone.


Maiva to play for the man who once coached an L.A Chargers rookie standout 


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Jay Metzger

The three-star Maiava not only cited the communication and check-in aspect of why he was sold by the Rebels‘ vision but before taking the reins at UNLV, Arroyo once coached up a QB of similar flair in Justin Herbert during the duo’s time at Oregon. Arroyo’s coaching helped turn Herbert into a high draft pick that later parlayed into a stellar rookie season with the Chargers in 2020.

“That played a big part in my decision in committing to UNLV,” Maiava said. “For him to come from such an amazing program like Oregon and coach an amazing, talented player like Justin Herbert, that was a big part in making my decision. Now I know what I’m facing when I get there, and now I know that I can trust him to get me into the next level.”

Arroyo spent 2017 to 2019 with the Ducks. Herbert went on to have a strong trajectory with Arroyo overseeing his QB development: Combining for 76 touchdown throws in the three seasons Arroyo was at Eugene. Herbert’s last two seasons with the Ducks saw 3,151 yards and 3,471 passing yards his junior and senior season, respectively.

At UNLV, Maiava plans to major in business, saying “I just want to be able to build a business to help others and come back to Hawaii and give others exposure.”

Verbal commitments are considered non-binding until a prospect officially signs his National Letter of Intent either in December (during the early period) or February. Signing the LOI officially makes the player a future student-athlete at the school he chose to commit to.

Now that Maiava got his commitment out the way, he can focus his attention on playing his senior season at what he calls an ultra-competitive football state.

“It’s all competition here. It’s not just you wanting to get somewhere, it’s every single person,” Maiava said. “Whatever sport they’re playing, they want to get somewhere. It’s not just you who wants to get to the top.”


         Zo Huddle’s take


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Jay Metzger

I’ve played close attention lately to who the Rebels are bringing in recruiting-wise. And coach Arroyo and his crew have been skilled at convincing Power Five talent to come to UNLV.

Defensive end Nick Dimitris of Baldwin Park (Calif.) Sierra Vista was one who could’ve played at Auburn…let alone Arizona State, Arizona, Florida, and Colorado. But instead chose UNLV, becoming the highest-rated signing for the Rebels 2021 haul according to 24/7Sports. His high school teammate Anthony Rosas was additionally courted by the Gators and Auburn but chose UNLV and became the highest-rated offensive lineman to ever commit to the Rebels according to 24/7Sports.

Now Maiava becomes that prized signing who said no to a trio of blue blood programs for the Rebels.

Field-wise, I’m a huge fan of his arm. When you watch his film, few high school quarterbacks can fling the ball downfield past 40 yards the way he can. He shows tremendous patience with his blockers and then lets it fly the moment he finds the one-on-one scenario.

But outside of his howitzer for an arm, Maiava has the potential to win over the Rebels with his athleticism. On one play, Kaimuki flexed him out at wide receiver inside the red zone. He ends up winning that jump ball battle.


Zo Huddle
Photo Credit: Star-Advertiser

Here’s where you could also see the Herbert comparisons. Maiava is a fearless runner with a nose for the end zone. With his frame, he’s strong enough to slip out of the grasp of a defensive end and still fire downfield.

The biggest thing to work on will be his ability to not force throws and down the road, building his cohesion with his future Rebels teammates. But the physical tools are certainly there. If you’re a UNLV fan, you should definitely be excited about your future QB.

One more thing I respect about Maiava: He’s a humble spirit.

“I don’t really compare myself to anybody. I just do what I got to do to give my team the best outcome. It’s all about walking out of that stadium with a ‘W,’ that’s all that matters,” Maiava said. “I want to bring history. I want to make sure to everyone that you don’t have to go to SEC schools to get to the next level. It’s about how you play at wherever school you go to.”


UNLV is moving in the right direction under head coach Marcus Arroyo. When Maiava comes to UNLV, whether it is in the 2022 class or if he re-classifies and comes this June, they are getting a raw, strong armed, athletic signal caller who’s potential is enticing and limitless.


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Lorenzo J. Reyna – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Zo on Twitter: @LJ_Reyna

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