Fanupo Peapealalo earns Hawaii football scholarship

After two years as a walk-on, trong-side defensive end Fanupo Peapealalo was awarded a football scholarship. / Photo by Stephen Tsai

To fringe fans, defensive end Fanupo Peapealalo‘s name is not one of the first to be answered in a UH game of word association.

He grew up in Riverside, Calif., went to NAIA Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, for two years, and then joined the Warriors in 2017.

Since then, he redshirted in 2017 and logged one game in 2018. But then at every practice, he was pounding away, either on the scout team or in the regular defensive rotation as the strong-side end.

The coaches, who video every play of every practice, took notice. They saw him put on the weight to be the hybrid who can set the edge and also side inside. So did teammates. And with a scholarship to give, head coach Nick Rolovich decided to offer one to Peapealalo.


  1. ai-eee-soos August 10, 2019 10:00 am


  2. ai-eee-soos August 10, 2019 10:15 am

    Congrats to Fanupo Peapealalo

    DE, 6’3″ 265 lbs

  3. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 10:27 am

    He’s up to 275 now.
    He said it’s not easy for him to gain weight. But, yet, he did.

  4. NotNasti August 10, 2019 10:45 am

    ST: I’ve mastered the art of gaining weight. Maybe I can give him some pointers.

  5. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 10:53 am

    You’re in fine playing shape, NotNasti.
    I still have to figure out a way to give away your helmet.
    Any thoughts?

  6. burro sabio August 10, 2019 11:14 am

    Mr. Tsai, blind auction. Choose a day, the largest donation to Tom Kitaguchi’s Foundation account on that day gets the helmet.

  7. burro sabio August 10, 2019 11:22 am

    On second thought, that might affect the donor’s tax deduction. Maybe Tom can pick a name out of the hat for donations on a given day or days.

  8. islandman August 10, 2019 11:24 am

    Arizona RB …J J Taylor, 5-6 ,185
    2018 Associated Press All-American (Third Team)
    2018 All-Pac-12 (First Team)

  9. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the update.

  10. islandman August 10, 2019 1:25 pm

    9. Stephen
    If we want to look to the Oregon St game, 4 weeks away:
    “2018 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year – Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State: Jefferson, a freshman from Harbor City, Calif., topped all FBS freshmen in rushing with 1,380 yards (5.8 yards/carry) and an average of 115.0 yards per game (7th overall in the FBS). His 12 rushing touchdowns were tied for second most in the Pac-12.
    Jefferson’s 1,380 rushing yards set an Oregon State true freshman rushing record and is the sixth-best single-season total. He twice rushed for 200 or more yards in a game, including a Pac-12 freshman single-game record 254 yards vs. Arizona State. Jefferson also picked up 25 receptions for 147 yards during the season. ”
    But overall OSU averaged more yards per game passing than running last season.

  11. A-House August 10, 2019 1:38 pm

    can Uh defense contain either RB? I hope so otherwise they will be long nites for us fans!!!

    BTW, hip hip hooray– hip hip at last — footo boru tickets arrived today!!!

  12. O.Ranks August 10, 2019 1:56 pm


    I knew he’d be good in college. I remember watching these St. Louis vs. Narbonne highlights a couple years ago and looking up who #1 for them was. Turns out it was him (Jermar Jefferson).

  13. islandman August 10, 2019 2:29 pm

    12. Good highlights.

  14. jm2375 August 10, 2019 2:44 pm

    Season tickets arrived today!
    2 weeks!

    Condolences to the Kahuanui ohana on Grandma Lily’s passing. She was a classy woman.

  15. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 3:29 pm

    I heard Oregon State “blue-shirted” seven players, which means this year’s team will look a lot different than last year’s.

  16. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 3:30 pm

    I’m alone in this, especially in the office, but I tell the fellas that I think Oregon State might be a tougher game than Arizona.

  17. H-Man August 10, 2019 3:39 pm

    First, football season tickets arrived today. Yahoo!
    Second. ST can you expand on why you feel Oregon St might be a tougher game than Arizona.

  18. Stephen Tsai August 10, 2019 5:17 pm

    I was told they’ve added some pretty good players. Plus, I think there’s a lot of prep time for the opener. It’ll be interesting to see what OSU comes up with this season.

  19. islandman August 10, 2019 5:53 pm

    18, Oregon St has to play Oklahoma St on Fri Aug 30, so maybe Dru Brown will bus’up them.

  20. H-Man August 11, 2019 7:52 am

    Hey ST, thanks. I really enjoy this. Your view of the Beavers made me delve a little deeper into their 2018 record. One of the things that popped up during my research of past records is Hawaii’s bumpy ride last season. I really forgot about that 4-game stretch where the Warrior’s defense gave up 49 pts, 50 pts, 50 pts and 56 pts in consecutive losses to BYU, Nevada, Fresno St and Utah St. And it was not just the defense. The offense was anemic in producing 23 pts, 20 pts, 17 pts and 17 pts. So what I came away with was not whether Arizona or Oregon St would be the stronger opponent, but really how much better will the Warriors be?

  21. NoNasti August 11, 2019 1:16 pm

    ST: give the helmet away the old fashioned way. Have your better half pick a name.

  22. Da Punchbowl Kid August 11, 2019 6:06 pm

    Congrats Fanupo! Go Warriors!!!

  23. Da Punchbowl Kid August 11, 2019 6:07 pm

    Love the posts above. I jes wanna see the ‘Cats and Warriors strap it on and get at it.

  24. tom-warriornation August 12, 2019 7:21 am

    burro sabio: thanks for your mention of my fund to help our football recruiting:

    I believe this fund is almost $20,000 now!

  25. tom-warriornation August 12, 2019 7:24 am

    Join us at UNLV and sit right behind the team bench 10-11 rows up(only have a few seats left) with the families of Cole McDonald, Derek Thomas, etc. If you use your player tickets, you will be close to the end zone and your kids can’t see you. Text me 415-324-0585

  26. tom-warriornation August 12, 2019 7:27 am

    Come join our Road Warrior group at games at UW, Reno and UNLV; and sit with other UH fans and families of our current players at the 50 yard line right behind our beloved Warriors!

    Our group is 400+ at UW and 500+ at UNLV; and come join our tailgates and meet your fellow diehard fans!

    Email me:

  27. winning August 12, 2019 10:36 am

    Ok, hope UH can surprise us cause every year its the same ol same ol. We’ll see if the offense has improved. If not, lucky to get 20k in the stadium.

  28. H-Man August 12, 2019 10:56 am

    It will be a surprise since practices have been closed and reporting has been sifted and filtered. Just hoping for the best. And hoping 25K shows up for 1st game. Make some noise !!!

  29. burro sabio August 12, 2019 11:58 am

    Josh Rojas called up to Arizona Diamondbacks. Cappie will be doing cartwheels all afternoon.

  30. Stephen Tsai August 12, 2019 12:12 pm

    New post:

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