Dalton Gouveia's home is just outside Charlotte in Mooresville, and he played high school football at Charlotte Christian School. But there will be an entire country and an ocean between the 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker and his hometown when the 2018 Football Bowl Subdivision season begins.
Gouveia is entering his redshirt junior season at the University of Hawaii, giving him the distinction of traveling the longest distance among the 445 North Carolina high school graduates on FBS rosters this season.
It was a powerful family connection that led Gouveia to trek the approximately 4,670 miles from Mooresville to Honolulu to first play for the Rainbows in 2015 after a stellar career at Charlotte Christian. As a four-year varsity starter, he helped the Knights capture three straight N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championships playing linebacker and offensive guard. He was twice an all-state selection and finished with 188 career tackles.
Appalachian State and smaller schools recruited Gouveia, but he had his mind set on Hawaii where his father and brother were part of the coaching staff at the time.
“I’ve played football since I was little, and it’s always been my dream to follow my father’s footsteps,” Gouveia told Stephen Tsai of Hawaii Warrior World. “This was just the next step. I have to work hard, be humble and try to be the best.”
Gouveia's father is Kurt Gouveia, a Hawaiian native and a star linebacker for Brigham Young's 1984 national championship team. He went on to become a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Washington Redskins during a 13-year NFL career before entering the coaching profession.
Kurt Gouveia was Hawaii's outside linebackers coach when Dalton enrolled in June 2015, while older brother Jeron, a former Virginia Tech safety, had been hired as a defensive intern. Another family connection to the Rainbows is brother Landon, who played wide receiver at Hawaii in the early 2000s. Kurt and Jeron Gouveia are now coaches at Brevard College.
Dalton has yet to play a down for the Rainbows in his first three years on campus, but he could see some action on special teams this season.
Staff writer Sammy Batten can be reached at email@example.com or 910-486-3534.
Produced by Hrisanthi Kroi