After 21 years, Hawaii is tapping the pipeline to Waipahu again.
Marauders linebacker Fiva Tulafale, a 6-foot-3, 231-pound junior, has received an offer from the Warriors, according to Waipahu coach Bryson Carvalho.
“He’s surprised. There’s a lot of people that talk to him, but to get an official offer, this is the first,” said Carvalho, who noted that UH assistant coach Craig Stutzmann was directly involved.
“The kids see, too, where the program has come. They see college coaches walk on campus. Oregon. UH. They see all this stuff. This stuff is real. For Waipahu kids, it felt like it’s a fantasy, but now they see coaches who are serious about getting into their colleges. The opportunity is four years away to go and play at the next level,” Carvalho said.
Tulafale is gotten one key class in his grasp. Many schools require Algebra II, a class he is currently taking.
“We start all of our freshmen with Algebra I, and by the end of their junior year, they should have Algebra II out of the way,” Carvalho noted. “Fiva has to take a few other classes, may have to take summer school for some college courses.”
Tulafale is very mobile for his size. Carvalho expects him to gain weight naturally, but more work in the weight room would create a lot of hybrid situations, maybe.
“It depends. If he fills out he can definitely play lineman, but he can really move so I see him at linebacker. If he puts muscle on, you never know. We put him at safety a few games, too,” Carvalho said. “He fullback and tight end for us in our heavy package.”
In 1998, lineman Lui Fuga accepted an offer to play for Hawaii. He was part of an incoming class that included: Chris Brown (Damien), Stutzmann (Saint Louis), Shawn Withy Allen (Kalaheo), Matt Wright (‘Iolani), Nate Jackson (Waianae) and Lua Fuata (Lahainaluna). Each of these players went on to earn four letters each.
Another signee from the ’98 class earned three letters before departing for the NFL: Ashley Lelie of Radford.
Jerry Campany contributed to this report.