Feature on Aulola Tonga choosing the Warriors

About how he will get a degree from UH, Tonga said:
“Coach said I don’t have to graduate early, that there’s five years to finish, and if I graduate early, (UH) would pay for my master’s degree.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “He noted that former Kahuku quarterback Inoke Funaki is taking that path. Like Funaki, Tonga expects to go on a Mormon mission. Tonga follows a growing line of Red Raiders now suiting up in green and black. He and linebacker Kamalani Alo join transfer Gary Nagy (BYU) and recent recruits Alema Tachibana and Paipai Falemalu, plus walk-on Richard Torres.”

About all the players on defense with the Warriors, Tonga said:
“You know what? We might just have a Red Raider defense for UH.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Tonga’s decision came down to two factors: staying home near family, and the complicated web of changes on the continent.”

About staying close to home, Tonga said:
“My mom liked Coach Mack when she met him. He said he’d take care of me. It’s a chance to play soon and stay close to home, play in front of everybody.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “His explosive senior season caught recruiters off guard. UCLA had no offers left and asked him to grayshirt. Washington, with new coach Steve Sarkisian, was interested but didn’t offer. Interest from Sarkisian was stronger while he was a defensive coordinator at USC. BYU entered the picture late, Tonga said, and never offered.”

About the importance of graduating from UH, Tonga said:
“If I graduate from Hawaii, people will remember me, not like people who go out there (to the mainland) and come back.” (HSB)

About how he’ll return kicks if UH wants, Tonga said:
“If they want me to, I’ll do it for the team.” (HSB)


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