Punahou’s Tufono headed to the Pac-12

Five days before the start of his senior season against Kahuku, Punahou's Maninoa Tufono ended his recruitment by committing to USC. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Punahou linebacker Maninoa Tufono, a four-star recruit with nearly 40 Division I offers, ended his recruiting process on Monday by committing to Southern California.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior chose USC out of a top five that included Texas, UCLA, LSU and Washington.

He posted a video announcing his commitment on his Twitter page.

Tufono picked the Trojans over the Huskies, where his father, Albert, was a linebacker in the mid-1980s and played on a team that beat Oklahoma in the 1985 Orange Bowl.

Rated as the No. 151 overall prospect in the nation and sixth among inside linebackers according to the more recent rankings from recruiting web site 247Sports, Tufono will make his season debut on Saturday at No. 2 Kahuku.

He sat out of a recent scrimmage against Kaimuki to rest a sore knee.

Tufono is the second commitment from the class of 2019 to pick the Trojans. Saint Louis defensive lineman Gino Quinones is also headed to USC after committing in May.

The Trojans currently have former Mililani RB Vavae Malepeai and Saint Louis LB Jordan Iosefa on their roster.

For more on Hawaii high school football recruiting, click here.


  1. Falcon Future August 6, 2018 9:39 am

    Fight On!

    This is a great commit for the Trojans … the video makes me think he’s going to be a drama major.

  2. scfan August 6, 2018 1:17 pm

    great! fight on at usc! hope tuitele chooses usc also.

  3. Kenny Meatoga August 6, 2018 2:01 pm

    My aunty Mona going be happy to hear another local boy going to be a Trojan!

  4. Mahatma Gandhi August 6, 2018 5:22 pm

    The faddah Albert Tufono was Pac-12 too. He went play at Washington. I am not a robot.

  5. ??? August 7, 2018 2:42 pm

    USC continuing Samoan Studs on Defense: Polamalu, Seau, Maualuga, Iosefa, Gaoteote, Mauga, Tuliaupupu and now Tufono.
    Good Luck to all…

  6. Kamehameha #! August 12, 2018 5:36 am

    He was kind non existence last night against Kahuku.

  7. KanakaUso August 12, 2018 5:13 pm

    No lie you not from Kamehameha, Kamehameha#!. So sad U Crusaders. Cause Kamehameha kids know braddah Uce live on da Nalo Reservation.

  8. CTS August 12, 2018 10:44 pm

    Looked overweight and slow last night. Not in shape?

  9. Kamehameha #! August 13, 2018 5:35 am

    I expected more speed from him! He didn’t play like a top recruit lb. The 240 fullback from Kahuku ran away from him and he didn’t make plays that a 4 star athlete makes! More impressed with the Kahuku lbs.

  10. Yuuup August 13, 2018 11:50 am

    Don’t. Believe. The. Hype.
    However, Tuitele should be Defensive Player of the Year, big time play maker and great character. Can’t say the same for Tufono especially after his performance and comments before the Kahuku game smh

  11. Loca1boiAnonymous August 14, 2018 10:25 pm

    This kid got served humble pie from Kahuku running his mouth like that before pre game. Also heard the Punahou crowd was ridiculous too. Hopefully they all had a long quiet ride home to reflect on their actions and the smackdown Kahuku gave them.

  12. Kamehameha #! August 16, 2018 6:42 am

    I know its tough playing in Kahuku! I wish they would let St. louis play there and see how they handle!
    That game should have been played at the stadium.

  13. Rrforlifebaby August 16, 2018 8:09 am

    In all fairness to the kid, I heard he was playing hurt. Personally, I would’ve sat him. Who knows how much punishment he took in that game. But yeah, he was doing a lot of smack talking….got really quite as the game went along.


  14. BOH August 18, 2018 11:48 pm

    Too much God this and God that. Please, please, please do NOT be another Manti Teo!

  15. 88 August 20, 2018 7:57 am

    You talking about State Champion, Heisman candidate, Butkus award winner, NFL veteran etc…. M. Te’o?

  16. Kamehameha #! August 30, 2018 12:00 pm

    “Don’t. Believe. The. Hype.
    However, Tuitele should be Defensive Player of the Year, big time play maker and great character. Can’t say the same for Tufono especially after his performance and comments before the Kahuku game smh”

    I don’t think Cal will play him that much to be pick the Defensive player of the year, but, He is what it is! 5 star Down lineman, Best in the nation, Can’t be block! Fear in the eyes of the opposing team when he steps on the field. I wasn’t impressed with him against Waianae, But man he dominated the Cal team and more. Best D-Line ever from Hawaii!

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