Hawaii lost out on two-time Hawaii Gatorade Player of the year in quarterback Larry Tuileta who ended up changing his commitment from Hawaii to USC Wednesday morning. Tuileta was verbally committed to his hometown school since April of 2013.
Tuileta is a two-sport star who was going to take a volleyball scholarship at Hawaii and then walk-on the football team, and he will play both sports at USC as well while being a preferred walk-on for football.
This decision for Tulieta to go to USC came as somewhat a surprise as USC made the offer very late in the process. However, at his signing day announcement he was sitting in front of a plaque with his name and a Hawaii logo. Tuileta signed the letter of intent and the expectation that he was going to Hawaii, but then moments later he revealed a USC hat that he had under the table. Picking USC over Hawaii was not this groundbreaking or shocking news, but the way he did it was the surprise.
Tulieta went on to explain his decision about leaving home to go to Los Angeles to play football and volleyball:
"Norm Chow and his staff, they're great people. A great staff. They gave me a great opportunity," said Tuileta, "but in the end it really came down to weighing all my options and discussing it with my parents. They're two really great programs, but I went with my gut feeling."
He also added that the reason to leave home was to be able to grow up as a person and experience life away from home. This is a big blow for Hawaii who struggled to find a quarterback in 2013 and having Tuileta on roster would at the very worst add a capable quarterback to the mix. Also, missing out on a local player who has very good in high school has to hurt with the coaching staff, because landing athletes in your own backyard is very important.