USC and other top colleges watch Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa may be getting more offers from SEC schools, according to his father, Galu Tagovailoa. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Tua Tagovailoa may be getting more offers from SEC schools, according to his father, Galu Tagovailoa. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been practicing for a 7-on-7 passing tournament.

Good thing he’s active at this time because some college suitors came to watch him practice over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

Assistant coaches from USC and UCLA came to the Crusaders’ field on Monday to watch him throw, according to Tua’s father, Galu Tagovailoa. Because he’s still a junior, college coaches aren’t allowed at this time to talk to Tagovailoa or his family directly.

Assistants from Washington came to watch Tagovailoa on Tuesday and BYU coaches were on the Saint Louis campus talking to the Crusaders’ staff Monday, Galu Tagovailoa said.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Tua Tagovailoa has 15 offers from big-name Division I schools — Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Hawaii, Louisville, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oregon State, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State.

But other offers could be on the way soon. He’s drawing interest from Florida State, Alabama and Notre Dame. It’s possible that Texas A&M will join the mix, too, because UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, who has been recruiting Tagovailoa, is now with the Aggies.

Tyson Helton, who joined his brother Clay Helton‘s offensive staff at USC, watched Tagovailoa on Monday. Helton coached under June Jones at Hawaii from 2000 to ’03.

“College is not his priority right now,” Galu Tagovailoa said about his son. “Doing well in school and getting ready for his senior year are the big things for him. He wants to bring something to the school, a state championship. That’s his big priority right now.”

So far at this early stage in the recruiting process, Galu said, “SEC is the place where the big dogs are and we’re expecting to get more offers. We love the West Coast too because he would be closer to home, and they’ve got competitive teams there, too.”

At this point, Galu said, USC, UCLA and Ole Miss are Tua’s top three choices (not in any order), but that could easily change.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi January 22, 2016 8:35 pm

    Ole Miss? That is too radical of a move. Too far away for one.. Secondly, it’s a small tiny haole town. That’s way too far for a person first time away from home. No Polynesians anywhere in Mississippi. I doubt any other Polys on the team. No Asians. He gonna be homesick. Look at Fred Uluy-Perry. He didn;t even last 1 semester at UCLA. Big modern city, good mix of people there in LA. I seen more and more colleges recently recruiting far away. And I seen so many kids leave the program and transfer closer to home.

  2. Action Jackson January 22, 2016 9:34 pm

    No need go to “big dog” schools. Randy Moss went to Marshall. Jerry Rice Mississippi Valley State. John Kitna Central Washington and many others.
    I would recommend Utah. Solid Pac10 school, religious, plenty polys and haoles. No mo asians dey look funny ova dea. Hehe

  3. Mene Fan January 23, 2016 9:28 am

    Scott Pagano attends Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. There are no Polynesians on his team and has adjusted well and loves it there. He just had an opportunity to play in the NCAA BCS Championship game against Alabama in one of the most exciting games ever.

    Every kid’s experience is different. And no kid should limit themselves. If he wants to visit Ole Miss and he and his family think it’s a god fit, then the best of luck to them.

    Who are we to say which kid can prosper at which schools. Only the kid and his family know. None of us do.

  4. James January 23, 2016 10:16 am

    What’s the necessity with having Polys or Asians got to do with anything? Going away for college is about growing up, experiencing new things and meeting new people. Why so small-minded? Some kids are more mature than others and can handle being away from home. Home will always be there, but the opportunity to go to college away is only a small window. As for “big dog” schools, Moss went to Notre Dame until he got kicked out,and KItna and Rice weren’t recruited by the big schools. Let the kids go where they want. The decision is for them and their family, not yours.

  5. hi808 January 23, 2016 10:31 am

    You only homesick when you warm the bench. When you are the man everyone and their dog is nice to you, invites you over for dinners and parties, etc..

    I should know, I was a bench warmer, two other polys from Hawaii were starters and had a blast the entire time. One of them stayed and lives in that Texas town.

  6. The Rim January 23, 2016 11:08 am

    Just take a look at all of the rosters around the country, Divisions I, II, III, not a whole lot of local kids on any particular team. Maybe DIII Pacific and some S. Cal JC teams have more than five….but other than that, less than three on the rosters. Don’t take my word for it, look it up yourself. Each kid is different but going away and experiencing college life away from home is a good thing.

  7. Education First January 23, 2016 12:21 pm

    Such a racist and ignorant comment. I almost thought 88 wrote that.

  8. oldtimer808 January 23, 2016 1:08 pm

    Small minded comments by Action Jackson and yes racist.

  9. H-Man January 23, 2016 6:02 pm

    I thought Action Jackson’s comment was, although somewhat narrow minded, funny.

  10. 88 January 23, 2016 7:52 pm

    Hopefully he gets the ball out quicker. The defenses he will face in college will be a lot faster and bigger than Kahuku’s.

  11. Action Jackson January 23, 2016 9:43 pm

    Jeremiah Masoli’s the only Hawaii guy to play @ Ole Miss. Hard to survive in those areas, definitely need to adapt and be flexible in a southern way.
    Jesse Mahelona played @Tennessee. All the Raiolas played east of the Rockies. In the South everybody picks up the southern draw, be prepared to have an accent when you come home.

  12. Pick Six January 24, 2016 2:21 pm

    I think if Oregon offers, it’s a done deal. Wasn’t that his dream school?

  13. Action Jackson January 24, 2016 5:33 pm

    Oh, Damon Yee from Punahou c/o 96 was an all star SEC pitcher @Vanderbilt. He even got drafted! His 89mph fastball just couldn’t carry him to “the show” though. If you don’t throw @least 91-92 you’re not making it to the show unless you’re Greg Maddux.

  14. Action Jackson January 24, 2016 5:45 pm

    Racism is a mainland term.
    What about the “Glen MIyashiro” song? That wasn’t racist it’s the truth. Glen miyashiro, George Kobayashi, Faith Yanagi, Mits Funai.
    No act like you don’t remember that song from Frank Delima.

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