Saint Louis School is still basking in the glory of capturing the football program’s first state championship since 2010.
But that was five months ago, and the team is back on the grind to defend the Koa Trophy.
With star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa already in Alabama, the next national football star ascending the slopes of Kalaepohaku is just a sophomore.
Faatui Tuitele, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound Crusader defensive tackle, won defensive line MVP honors at the recent Nike opening regional in Los Angeles.
“I looked at these guys and man, they were big. They were the same size as me, and I just had to have no fear in my mind,” Tuitele said. “That’s really what helped me, because my family and I, we had to pay a lot just to go out there. I didn’t want my money to go to waste. My mom and my dad, they worked so hard for me to go to all these camps to showcase and go somewhere, and that’s what really motivated me.”
Tuitele is ranked by 24/7 Sports as the ninth overall prospect in America for the class of 2019, but don’t expect that to go to his head.
“The ranking is nice and all, but I’m just going to keep working, keep my head down and stay humble, and if these guys rank me, you know that’s what they think of me, but I know I can get better,” he said.
Tuitele hopes to take a West Coast swing to tour some campuses of his double-digit scholarship offers, which include USC, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii among others.