Signing Day: Tuileta’s dilemma and more

by Paul Honda on February 5, 2014

Larry Tuileta, Punahou’s All-State quarterback, spurned Hawaii and signed with USC this morning at PIAA’s Letter-of-Intent signing ceremony at the Sheraton Waikiki.

In the story at the Star-Advertiser’s breaking news this morning, “Tui” explains how USC got involved long after he had committed to play football and volleyball at UH. He will be a preferred walk-on at USC (football) with the emphasis on volleyball. He turned down a straight-out scholie from Manoa.

From what I understand, UH was counting on Tuileta heavily to take over Norm Chow’s multiple-set offense. I have no doubt Tui would’ve been perfect for the role. It’s understandable that the staff in Manoa may be upset, particularly Coach Chow since he was an outstanding offensive coordinator at USC during Pete Carroll’s stint. As a Warrior fan, it hurts, but everybody’s got his or her own path. More power to Tui. And if things don’t work out at USC, he should always be welcomed back home. No point in burning bridges.

It was Stephen Tsai, our UH football beat writer, who first noticed that Tui walked up to his spot on the signing table without a letter. Eventually, he was seated and there was a letter, but he had no hat on. I didn’t notice anything unusual, but Stephen did. Sure enough, on came the USC hat a few minutes later.

Punahou's Larry Tuileta kept hats off his head until after signing his letter. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Punahou’s Larry Tuileta kept hats off his head until after signing his letter. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Below, photos from this morning’s ceremony, hosted by PIAA. Job well done once again by executive director Doris Sullivan and her awesome band of volunteers.

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All-State defensive player of the year Kelii Padello signed with Southern Oregon.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

All-State defensive player of the year Kelii Padello signed with Southern Oregon. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Nanakuli's Dallas Garringer-Kaapuni signed with Briar Cliff (Iowa).  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Nanakuli’s Dallas Garringer-Kaapuni signed with Briar Cliff (Iowa). (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Saint Louis offensive lineman Louis Vailopa is on his way to Eastern Illinois.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Saint Louis offensive lineman Louis Vailopa is on his way to Eastern Illinois. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Lahainaluna defensive lineman Hercules Mata‘afa inked his letter with Washington State.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Lahainaluna defensive lineman Hercules Mata‘afa inked his letter with Washington State. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Devan Stubblefield fields questions from TV media. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Devan Stubblefield fields questions from TV media. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Larry Tuileta and family do a group selfie. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Larry Tuileta and family do a group selfie. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Saint Louis' Jaisen Sanchez (Colorado), Jacob Lacaden (Nevada), Devan Stubblefield (Hawaii) and Louis Vailopa (Eastern Illinois).

Saint Louis’ Jaisen Sanchez (Colorado), Jacob Lacaden (Nevada), Devan Stubblefield (Hawaii) and Louis Vailopa (Eastern Illinois).

Saint Louis wide receiver Devan Stubblefield has at least two reasons for staying home to play for the University of Hawaii.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Saint Louis wide receiver Devan Stubblefield has at least two reasons for staying home to play for the University of Hawaii. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

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Moanalua wide receiver Donald Lambert was relaxed as he signed on with UH.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Moanalua wide receiver Donald Lambert was relaxed as he signed on with UH. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

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‘Iolani soccer player K.J. Ahlo is on his way to play for the University of San Francisco.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

‘Iolani soccer player K.J. Ahlo is on his way to play for the University of San Francisco. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

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Lahainaluna defensive lineman Hercules Mata‘afa inked his letter with Oregon State.  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Lahainaluna defensive lineman Hercules Mata‘afa inked his letter with Oregon State. (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

The PIAA crew!  (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

The PIAA crew! (Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen Pascual February 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Correction: Hercules Mataafa signed with Washington State, not Oregon State.

Paul Honda February 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Mahalo Glen!

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