In true Hawaiian fashion, Reeve Koehler's U.S. Army All-American jersey presentation took place outside. He even wore a lei around his neck. It might as well have all gone down at one of those overpriced, tourist-trap luaus.
His classmates gathered around in the school's courtyard, watched the ceremony and cheered a few times. What they saw was a high school football star being honored for years of hard work. What Koehler saw was a career coming full circle.
The four-star defensive tackle embarked on his prep career as an eighth-grader playing in the U.S. Army's Youth All-American game. And now, four years later, he'll return to the city that hosted that game as a participant in the week's main event.
A man with invitations to attend three separate postseason showcase games, Kohler never really had a choice.
"I was invited to Army, Under-Armour or the Semper-Fi game," Koehler said. "But for me, I knew I had to end up where I started my high school career. It was just such an honor to have that opportunity."
The big question that remains now involves his recruitment, and it's one with a interesting but complicated answer.
The Honolulu St. Louis High School senior was once thought to be choosing between Tennessee and California. Many thought he was actually a silent pledge to the Vols. He was expected to announce his choice at January's All-Star game in San Antonio. Of course, all of that was before the coaching carousel slipped into gear.
Things now are less certain. Whether or not there will be an announcement at all is even in doubt. Then, that's what happens when both schools in your top two lose their coaching staffs.
"I'm still supposed to announce there, but I'm not sure if I am really going to yet because of the coaching changes at Cal Berkley and Tennessee," Koehler said. "I haven't figured out which place is right for me yet. I might still do it if I can come to a decision."
The options at hand now aren't miles different than the originals. Koehler has narrowed his list yet again. And, yet again, the Golden Bears have made the cut. Either way, things are more interesting than they were two months ago.
"Now I'm considering the University of Hawaii and Kansas and then Cal Berkley and maybe Tennessee if my offer still stands. But I'm not sure about that."
Koehler has already visited Kansas, Tennessee and Hawaii. He is slated to take his official visit to Cal in January. Regardless of where he lands or when his decision is announced, though, the All-American tag he's earned can't be taken away.
And that, according to Koehler, is what's most important.
"I was hoping to play in this game because my brother did," Koehler said. "I started there and, after watching him, I knew that where I wanted to finish. "