By Stephen Tsai
The Rainbow Warriors are proving there is no offseason for recruiting.
A defensive end who was on a BCS roster this past spring has expressed strong interest in joining the Warriors. The player and his grandmother are scheduled to visit Hawaii next week.
The player had made a verbal commitment to a BCS school, changed his mind, and then accepted a scholarship offer from a second BCS school. He participated in this past spring ball. After that, he requested — and received — a release from his scholarship.
He would have to sit out this coming season if he were to transfer to an FBS school. After that, he would have four years to play four seasons.
* * * * *
When the phone did not ring, Kaniela Tuipulotu decided to get into the ring.
OK, make that the octagon.
Tuipulotu, a former UH defensive tackle, is set to make his MMA debut on an Aug. 17 card at the Lahaina Civic Center.
He was considered to be one of the Warriors' top NFL prospects entering the 2011 season. He played through that season despite a chronic shoulder injury that required post-season surgery. The operation limited him at UH's pro day and, likely, kept him from trying out with an NFL team. When no other football opportunities emerged, he decided to focus on the next step of his life.
He went on a strict training program that included jiu jitsu and wrestling.
He said he has lost 75 pounds since his last UH football game, and now weighs 245.
"I feel good," Tuipulotu told the Warrior Beat.
If you wish to buy one of his fight T-shirts, it's $20 (with an additional $2 for shipping). Sizes range from small to 3XL.
Send checks to: Kaniela Tuipulotu, 501 Ilikahi St., Lahaina 96761.
And don't forget to include your address with the order.