UH’s Tanuvasa embracing new position, while representing his home team
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the 2021 Rainbow Warriors football season continues, new players are starting to make key contributions to the team, players like Saint Louis alumni Eliki Tanuvasa.
Tanuvasa, a transfer junior, has been thrust into the starting right guard spot on the ‘Bows offensive line, helping UH get back-to-back wins against New Mexico State and previously ranked Fresno State.
The former Crusader’s natural position is center, but Tanuvasa says that being able to play at all spots on the o-line is paramount — especially for a walk-on.
“That’s one of the most important things you can do, really being versatile because if you just play one position, the coaches want can’t rely on you too much and if you can play everywhere, you can be relied on on five different opportunities, five different things.” Tanuvasa told reporters. “Me being a walk on still and all, I have to be ready at all times, the pressure is a little bit more, so I take a little bit more pride in trying to know exactly what everyone’s doing on every single play.”
The junior transferred to Manoa in 2019, after spending a season at Eastern Illinois, which was his only scholarship offer coming out of high school, but Tanuvasa knew that the opportunity to play for the home team was something he couldn’t pass up.
“Oh, man, it’s a pretty indescribable feeling, it’s just such a great feeling knowing that being born and raised here, growing up, you know, going through the Brennan era, Aloha stadium going crazy and now looking up to those guys and now being in their shoes, it’s like a dream come true, really.” Tanuvasa said. “You know, all the local boys, they always dream about representing Hawaii, no matter where we go and what’s better than actually having Hawaii written across your chest.”
Another reason Tanuvasa returned home was to take care of his father, who fell ill during his freshman campaign on the mainland.
After going through some tough days, Tanuvasa says his dad has made a full recovery and with the return of fans to UH football games just a week away, having his dad in the stands is going to be an indescribable feeling.
“That’ll definitely will be another dream come true.” Tanuvasa said. “My dad is on my everything, he taught me right from wrong, he was my first coach, my first role model, my friend and everything and basically that’s the reason why I came home to help support my family, to be able to give back and show him that all his hard work that he’s done for me is paying off.”
The ‘Bows are in Reno this week to face off with Nevada — kick off is set for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. HST.
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