Tuioti helps Hawaii land Nevada 'backer
Tony Tuioti's connections are paying off for Hawaii football, just a couple of weeks after the former UH defensive tackle joined the Warriors staff.
2009 UH COMMITS
Note: Players can make their commitments binding starting on National Letter of Intent Day in February.<br />
|Billy Ray Stutzmann
T.J. Alofipo was coached by Tuioti last year at Silverado High School in Henderson, Nev. Yesterday, the linebacker agreed to accept a scholarship from UH and is scheduled to arrive at Manoa in time for the 2009 season.
"It's a perfect situation for me," said the 6-foot-2, 240-pound all-stater, who has family in the islands. "They tell me it's beautiful there."
Alofipo was in on 66 tackles, with 13 sacks for a team that went 10-1 last year, losing only in the state championship game.
"He has great instincts, he understands how to play the game, understands the nuances," Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said of the 17-year-old. "He has the ability to play multiple positions. His size and footwork, he's got footwork of a linebacker, but it's easy to project him as a defensive end because he's probably still growing.
"We also play him at tight end because he has such good hands."
The Warriors have also put out offers to two other Silverado defensive stalwarts: end Keenan Graham and cornerback Michael Wadsworth. Both are considered among the state's best players, as is Alofipo. All are scheduled for a December visit to Manoa.
"I know they have talked about going to play together," Ostolaza said. "They're all real good friends and they're our team captains."
Graham (6-4, 215) is considered by many Nevada's top prospect. Ostolaza said he has offers from 35 schools, including USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Colorado and UCLA.
Wadsworth (6-2, 190) has drawn interest from several Pac-10 schools.
Ostolaza credited Tuioti, who was the Silverado defensive coordinator, for the development of all three players.
"He was a big influence on them and has a great relationship with them," Ostolaza said.
Alofipo said he also received scholarship offers from Arizona, Fresno State, San Diego State, Army, Colorado State and Wyoming.