Campbell’s Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala commits to UH

Campbell's Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala got open deep against Mililani's Muelu Iosefa in the state tournament last season. Photo by George Lee / Star-Advertiser

Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala has a plan.

Pylon tournament in Las Vegas, late February. Adidas tournament, late March. Polynesian Hall of Fame combine at Bishop Gorman, summer. Campbell senior season in the fall. Enroll at the University Hawaii in 2020.

The 5-foot-11, 175-point two-way player made an oral commitment to Hawaii on Sunday, though he cannot sign his letter of intent until, at the earliest, December.

“UH offered me as a sophomore during the summer time. Me and my family sat down and talked to each other and decided this is the best decision for me and the family,” Mokiao-Atimalala said on Thursday morning.

Campbell maximized his usage. The speedster played defensive back and wide receiver, as did his brother Titus and Poki‘i Adkins-Kupukaa. Tamatoa caught 36 passes for 475 yards and four TD’s and was impressive on defense in the Sabers’ season finale against Mililani.

Committing early to UH, his only offer so far, brings some peace of mind. Mokiao-Atimalala said he is already an NCAA Clearinghouse qualifier. He is taking Algebra II this semester, one of the requirements.

“If I had other offers, UH would always be in my top 3. Playing in front of my family and the 808, it’s always a blessing,” he said.

Hawaii assistant coach Craig Stutzmann was an integral part of the recruitment, Mokiao-Atimalala added. Beyond high school, he will be prepared to play on either side of the ball for Warriors coach Nick Rolovich.

“Coach Rolo saw me play both positions. They’ll probably use me in both. Whatever helps the team,” he said.

Until then, it’s more reps and more exposure. Back in the day, Mokiao-Atimalala was one of the youngsters on the field learning from former Ewa Beach Sabers coach Galu Tagovailoa and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa during Sunday clinics. The youngest Tagovailoa brother, Taulia, was a teammate of Mokiao-Atimalala.

Now, he and his brother work out with Campbell assistant coach Kawe Johnson, the former All-State defensive player of the year out of Kahuku. The Pylon team traveling in February is coached by his varsity head coach, Darren Johnson, on a team that is exclusively Campbell fed.

“I’m just ready for the season already,” he said.


  1. ??? January 24, 2019 3:41 pm

    Congratulations young man!!

  2. Rebel January 24, 2019 4:45 pm

    Thought Campbell advertised the Football position. Is Coach Johnson coaching Campbell in 2019???

  3. Austin Chang January 25, 2019 12:07 pm

    What the hell happened to Darren Johnson?

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