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.
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.