It’s been just two quick years since Faatui Tuitele was among several eighth-graders to make a splash at a Nike Sparq combine held at Aloha Stadium.
“I’m getting older, improving my skills since two years ago. I’m motivated by my coaches, my family,” Tuitele said moments after earning MVP defensive lineman honors at the GPA Football College Showcase on Sunday.
That was merely the beginning, a tremor, of things to come. This weekend, BYU became the second FBS school to offer the Saint Louis defensive lineman a scholarship. The first was Hawaii.
With his freshman year now in the books, Tuitele (listed at 6-foot-3, 270 pounds) carries a 4.1 grade-point average, and combined with his talent and work ethic, has resulted in plenty of interest. He will be en route to mainland camps later this summer.
“I used to work out with Chad Ikei for six weeks, seven weeks, and I stopped because im training with my dad now. I’m going to be gone most of the summer. Three camps. The Stanford University camp, Cal Berekley and the Rising Stars camp in Ohio,” said Tuitele, whose family resides in Kalihi.
His list is likely to grow. Several schools talked with Tuitele at the Showcase.
“Oregon has been talking to me. Washington, Arizona, Arizona State. Nebraska,” he said.
The doors of opportunity have swung wide open thanks to excellent academic results. It was much the same for Kaiser’s Michael Eletise, who had more than 40 offers before he signed with Arozona.
“It’s really important. I’ve got to take care of school first because football is not forever. In case football doesn’t work out, I have a backup plan,” Tuitele said.
The backup plan?
“I want to be a lawyer. Go to law school, get a law degree. That’s pretty much my dream,” he said.