Tuata gives Hawaii his word
The running back says UH is the one, but he'll make trips to other schools
Kealakehe running back Gabe Tuata made an oral commitment to Hawaii on Monday, but also said yesterday that he continues to be in contact with Arizona and will consider the Wildcats if offered a scholarship.
Tuata said Arizona is interested in him, but had not offered yet.
"No, they made me wait. That's why I committed to Hawaii. They gave me a solid offer," Tuata said.
He also said UH wanted him to commit "right away."
Tuata said his tentative plan is to sign with Hawaii on Feb. 7, national letter of intent day. He hesitated when asked how firm his commitment is to the Warriors, then said, "I'm committed to Hawaii."
He also said, "There will be trips," when asked if he planned to make visits to other schools.
Tuata (5-feet-7, 175 pounds) has rushed for more than 1,600 yards this season. He said he ran 40 yards in 4.49 seconds, on grass, with a hand-held watch.
» Starting free safety Leonard Peters said he plans to play in UH's game Saturday against Louisiana Tech at Aloha Stadium despite a "loose" knee.
"I'm going to play," Peters said after yesterday's practice, while he rode the exercise bike. "Unless they hold me out."
"They" would have to be the training staff, because coach June Jones won't hold out Peters. "It's his decision," Jones said.
Peters missed all but the first game of last season with an ACL injury in the same knee. He has played most of this season with torn rib cartilage.
Peters said he plans to rest the knee again today and then see how it goes running on it tomorrow.
If he is unable to go, backup safety Mike Malala might start.
"Just in case," said Malala, who worked out with the first team at strong and free safety yesterday. "Some of the boys are kind of
banged up. I've been waiting (for more play at safety), but I take pride in my special teams."
Malala recovered a fumble in last Saturday's 63-10 victory at Utah State. He also made one of the biggest special-teams plays of the year when he leaped over the wedge and tackled the ball carrier with his foot against Eastern Illinois.
He also plays on the front line of UH's kickoff return team.
"Last game when they kicked it to the wedge every time it was kind of a compliment," Malala said. Utah State avoided kicking to deep man Ross Dickerson; Dickerson returned the opening kick 100 yards against Idaho the previous game.
Another player known more for his special-teams exploits might start in the secondary.
Ryan Keomaka is outstanding at covering kicks, and he's intercepted passes as a cornerback late in the last two games. He worked out with the starters yesterday and is listed No. 1 on the depth chart for Saturday along with Myron Newberry.
"He's played well and deserves a chance," Jones said.
A.J. Martinez started against Utah State, but was pulled after he missed a tackle. Martinez underwent a precautionary MRI on Monday for knee pain.
"It's nothing major, they didn't find any damage," Martinez said.
» The awards keep coming for quarterback Colt Brennan. He won the USA Today Player of the Week Award, which is partly decided by fan voting.
Brennan passed for six touchdowns and 413 yards against Utah State. He leads the nation in touchdown passes, passing efficiency and completion percentage.
Brennan was also named yesterday as one of 18 semifinalists for the Davy O'Brien National Quarterback Award.
He was also listed as No. 5 in the weekly Scripps-Howard Heisman Trophy Poll released yesterday. Brennan was also No. 5 in a similar poll released by ESPN.com on Monday.
» Louisiana Tech arrives tomorrow and will have a walk-through at Aloha Stadium on Friday.