Hawaii football: Isaiah Tufaga to transfer from Oregon State to UH

2017 August 12 SPT - Saint Louis's Isaiah Tufaga (2) and Baldwin's Male Plunkett (6) contest a thrown ball in the second quarter on Saturday at the Aloha Stadium. PHOTO BY JAY METZGER / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER

Linebacker Isaiah Tufaga, a former All-State football player from Saint Louis School, is poised to transfer from Oregon State to UH.

“I can’t wait,” Isaiah Tufaga told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning.

Tufaga, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore, said he finalized his decision on Tuesday, the final day of Oregon State’s training camp.

“It had nothing to do with football,” Tufaga said of his decision. “It had to do with things off the field. I figured coming back home is the best for me and my happiness. Playing in front of my family and friends is also another bonus. I figured it’s the best thing for me to do.”

He said he is in the process of submitting his application and transcripts to UH. UH’s fall semester begins on Monday. He said he expects to redshirt this year, in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, and then have three years to play three seasons.

After a standout career at Saint Louis, Tufaga was named to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s 2017 All-State team as a safety. As a true freshman in 2018, he played in nine games, starting five, as an OSU linebacker. He said he projects to compete at linebacker for the Warriors.


  1. burro sabio August 21, 2019 11:23 am

    Ekahi, Ichi, Uno, One, Foist.

    As I wrote on last blog post, take that, Oregon State.

  2. PONO August 21, 2019 11:32 am

    Good move for him. Get the hell out of Corvallis.

  3. Kapahulu August 21, 2019 11:42 am

    Welcome Home Isaiah:
    Great to see another member of The Brotherhood added to our Warrior Team!

  4. Boolakanaka August 21, 2019 11:54 am

    Nice catch for Rolo!

  5. seewhy August 21, 2019 12:11 pm

    Welcome home, Isaiah!

  6. Jeezy33 August 21, 2019 12:12 pm

    Huge pick up for the future.

  7. A-House August 21, 2019 12:40 pm

    guess we could say that UH is on the “re-load” train for 2019 and 2020

    a very positive addition to the LB core where several will be done in 2019.

    transfer effective ASAP with prospect to attend Spring ball in 2020!

    any more in the “transfer system” be they from Hawaii or beyond?

  8. kama krab August 21, 2019 12:57 pm

    Howzit Everybody,

    Long time.

    Big time get. Does this now open the floodgates for UH to get some of the big time players back and to get some of the 2020 kids flipped? Maybe?

  9. Da Punchbowl Kid August 21, 2019 1:09 pm

    Byootiful! Love to see these quality bouncebacks. Rolo and the crew gotta be doing something right!

    Warriors all! All warriors! GO WARRIORS!!!

  10. Boya_jr August 21, 2019 1:10 pm

    This makes me so happy. Defend Pride Rock. We can have one of the top 25 programs in the country, I really believe.

  11. Stephen Tsai August 21, 2019 1:28 pm

    I do like the idea of a guy having three seasons of eligibility remaining after redshirting.
    He gets to learn the system for a year.

  12. SailorBlue August 21, 2019 1:59 pm

    Aloha everybody ~ WAHOO! Only a couple of days until the first T-GATE of the year. Mrs SB & I have reserved ***CABANA A*** at Rainbow Bay Marina. The normal routine is early crew arrive/set-up ~9AM, grill crew fires-up ~10-10:30, eat ono grindz until clean-up around ***3:00PM***. Questions –email me at jboster(at)yahoo.com. Hope to see everybody there. Cheers, SailorBlue

  13. H-Man August 21, 2019 3:42 pm

    Wahoo !!! That’s four coming home: Michael Eletise (Arizona), Alema Kapoi (Navy), Eleki Tanuvasa (Eastern Illinois) and now Isaiah Tufaga (Oregon St). Wow ! Hopefully this trend may encourage more players to stay home.

  14. Boolakanaka August 21, 2019 3:52 pm

    Reminds of the early 80s when we had a host of then PAC 8 big time players, including Mark Tuinei, Anthony Edgar, Danny Lei, Alan Page, Bernard Quarles…etc Program is for sure on the upswing.

  15. Kawika August 21, 2019 4:19 pm

    University of Arizona
    Location: Tucson, Arizona
    Enrollment: 44,831

    Geez! That’s a lot of revenue from student fees!

  16. ai-eee-soos August 21, 2019 4:24 pm

    MAUI NO KA OI !!!

  17. DaBoyz808 August 21, 2019 4:50 pm

    So what will his brother who is currently at STL do?

    Didn’t he commit to Oregon State as well?

  18. CTS August 21, 2019 6:53 pm

    Mason is a junior this year. he has offers from Oregon ,ASU, South Carolina, USC, Utah And Hawaii

  19. Bill Vee August 21, 2019 8:27 pm

    Good luck to Isaiah. Even though the transfer had nothing to do with football, he was looking at a fight to stay in the two-deep at ILB at OSU.

  20. Kahuna August 21, 2019 8:36 pm

    Speaking of PAC 12 transfers, I happened to run into Tafiti Uso at Kahala Times. Still look to be in good shape. Must have been and maybe still is the only local kid who left Stanford to come back home. Hard to steal kids from Stanford in any sports.

  21. H-Man August 21, 2019 8:54 pm

    Speaking of student population, UCF has somewhere around 65,000 students. I think nationally they’re No. 1.

  22. wafan August 22, 2019 7:21 am

    What is going on with the SA? Can’t open the site.

  23. Boolakanaka August 22, 2019 9:30 am

    Not sure I would have transferred from Stanford to UH, especially when you are on a full ride. I know I had the same scratching of the head when Dan Hale declined an offer to play water polo at Stanford, and instead play basketball at home. I asked him bout this over a cold one, and his reply, just wanted to stay home and play basketball—the heart wants, what the heart wants.

  24. bg August 22, 2019 10:38 am

    I believe it goes to show that trashing the local boys who try the shiny lights off the Rock is NOT a good thing. The ones who come back are the ones we should cherish for they are affirming where their hearts are. Sweet!

    OMG. Going from a safety to a 225 lb lb in 2 years. Have to believe that he has good speed. And he was a standout coming out of St. Louis.

    Was it Uso who returned to Stanford after the football season to graduate from there? I have no negative feelings if he did. Very appreciative of his contributions to the program.

  25. burro sabio August 22, 2019 10:42 am

    Getting Tufaga now is like getting a JC transfer for next year with the opportunity to practice this year.

  26. burro sabio August 22, 2019 10:49 am

    If Tufaga were Joe Blow who went to high school in California or Utah and transferred in after being a part-time starter for Oregon State, people would view him differently and judge him on credentials and past play. He deserves the same consideration. We were all young and naive once, some are now old and naive.

  27. jeezy33 August 22, 2019 11:45 am

    25. Getting Tufaga now is like landing high school recruit with a year of college under his belt. JC kids have 2 years to play. Tufaga will have 4 years with the program which is like a HS recruit. This couldn’t have worked out any better considering we have Penei and Pritchard playing inside for us and Tufaga will be ready to step in immediately next year and have 2 full years as possibly the full time starter after that.

  28. Inyoface August 22, 2019 12:02 pm

    Hopefully we go for 3’s in the redzone on 4th.

  29. Kawika August 22, 2019 1:00 pm

    Hope the young man goes easy on the plate lunches now that he’s back home. That can be a pitfall of transferring back home with things being “too comfortable” here compared to on the continent. Talent level at UH has improved under Rolo considerably, so a starting position will need to be earned at Manoa and isn’t a given just because a player is from a P5 school. Lost count of such players who didn’t pan out under Chow.

    Still, no can beat Hawaii’s weather compared to Corvalis.

  30. burro sabio August 22, 2019 4:00 pm

    My bad Jeezy, he’s like a 4 to play 3 from JC. I know you aren’t into the star thing but it’s nice that higher-rated recruits like Tufaga and Eletise are coming home.

  31. Jeezy33 August 22, 2019 5:38 pm

    29. The Heineken green bottles are more dangerous

  32. Jeezy33 August 22, 2019 5:39 pm

    30. Regardless of star rating, both are good. Tufaga playing safety and converting to LB is a big advantage for him being able to run and make plays in space.

  33. Ipu Man August 22, 2019 6:34 pm

    Welcome home Isaiah. Got Oregon State’s Playbook?

  34. Stephen Tsai August 23, 2019 7:49 am

    If Eletise got the word, he’d be in the lineup right away.
    My guess he gets the word 5 minutes after the game ends.

  35. clyde August 23, 2019 8:03 am

    Stephen: Are they awaiting “word” from the NCAA or Arizona? If it’s UA, guess you can’t blame them but it might put a pox of their future recruiting in the islands.

  36. Jeezy33 August 23, 2019 8:23 am

    If Eletise gets the word, he has 2 years to play 2??

  37. Inyoface August 23, 2019 10:06 am

    I think we need Elitese more next year than this year IMO

  38. burro sabio August 23, 2019 10:10 am

    Eletise redshirted in 2016 and played in 2017 and 2018 according to AZ website. Hopefully he gets the waiver otherwise he loses this year.

  39. Inyoface August 23, 2019 10:40 am

    #39 Didn’t know that.

  40. burro sabio August 23, 2019 10:59 am

    #40 so he really wanted or needed to come home if he’s risking the loss of an entire season. Football can’t always be the priority in a player’s life, no matter how much the football fan wants it to be.

  41. jeezy33 August 23, 2019 11:26 am

    38. I don’t think its a rather this or next. It’s a 1 year left or 2 years left type of deal. So if you can get him this year, you take it because that means he should have 2 years left to play. He already redshirted at Arizona so if he can’t play this year, he only has 1 year left.

  42. Stephen Tsai August 23, 2019 11:41 am

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=50733

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