Moala transfers to Utah

Defensive tackle Viane Moala has transferred to Utah, the school announced today.

Moala, who is 6 feet 7 and 290 pounds, requested — and received — his release from UH last month. He also withdrew from classes this spring semester.

As part of the conditions of his release, according to people familiar with the situation, Moala was not allowed to sign with a team on UH’s schedule. That clause prevented Moala from transferring to another Mountain West school. The Mountain West also has a rule that requires a player to sit out two seasons when transferring between member schools. Utah is a member of the Pac-12.

Moala still would have to redshirt this coming season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. He also would have to be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for a football scholarship during his first year at Utah.

In two seasons, Moala played in 24 games, making eight starts at defensive tackle. He has blocked four kicks, including two this season.

Utah assistant coach Lewis Powell, a former UH defensive line coach, apparently was the point recruiter after Moala received his release.


  1. Cheyah! March 2, 2018 10:00 am


  2. suckkabooya March 2, 2018 10:04 am

    New offense. New defense. Rolo hitting the reset button with his new and improved staff. We need players who are all in as far as the re-processing of the program so some will leave. That’s fair enough. Good luck to Moala. He has potential but he hadn’t quite reached a breakout yet. I guess we just used up our year zero.

  3. mileHIwarrior March 2, 2018 10:10 am

    didn’t see this coming but not totally surprised. wonder if this was the “bad news”.

    definitely looking forward to seeing the boys up here in Ft. Collins. we ready!


  4. ai-eee-soos March 2, 2018 10:19 am

    Wasn’t he suspended from the game at WYO ?

    He could have made a difference.

  5. Music Man March 2, 2018 10:35 am

    Something is not right! Too many key players leaving UH Football. Somethings going on (Under Current) I’m very worried about the program.

  6. Inyoface March 2, 2018 10:37 am

    What is it with the defensive line during the off-season?

  7. A-House March 2, 2018 10:53 am

    hmmmmmm — hmmmmmmm — hmmmmmm!

    was looking forward to Moala being a significant contributor on the 2018 DLine.

    with so many “scholarship” players leaving — what happens to their scholarship? can be assigned to a “walk-=on”?

  8. haka March 2, 2018 10:53 am

    Lot’s of dirt swirling
    But when the dust settles down
    Warriors will rise

  9. Da Punchbowl Kid March 2, 2018 10:55 am

    This one hurts!

    Next Warrior up!

  10. haka March 2, 2018 11:03 am

    Naotala better
    The clear eyes of perspective
    Next Warrior up

  11. haka March 2, 2018 11:07 am

    Follow the leader
    A Warrior’s warrior
    Jahlani Tavai

  12. WWF March 2, 2018 11:13 am

    Powell poaching UH defensive players? Best wishes to Moala in Utah.

    Any Hawaii born players on Utah’s defensive line that may want to come home from freezing temperatures?

  13. kama krab March 2, 2018 11:59 am

    Howzit Everybody,

    After digesting this transfer, gotta say, this one hurts both depth wise and talent wise. Thought Viane could be the anchor of a solid D for the next two years. With him and Mermea gone, it may be a tough season in the defensive trenches for Hawaii. Hope Justus and Blessman can come up to speed quickly and make an early impact because if not it will be a long season for our run D.

  14. Willie March 2, 2018 12:07 pm

    Whoa, that’s a HUGE loss, most damaging yet! So it’s it poaching, did Powell recruit Moala?
    If not, anyone got a clue why so many abandoning ship???

  15. islandman March 2, 2018 12:14 pm

    Does Moala have to make up classes at Utah to be in good academic standing , since he withdrew from UH classes this semester ?

  16. Boolakanaka March 2, 2018 1:17 pm

    Distressing. Just sort of deflating. Will we get over it—most certainly. Are transfers part of the current gridiron game—yes, but this is problematic. For those who just say not biggie, that kids come and go, with all due respect to all out there, but it’s naive and pollyanish to not think that something is profoundly wrong.

    Like Kifi, I believe that solid teams are constructed down the middle…and we are losing many of the central pieces for that strategy. I have seen many folks come and go throughout the years, before my playing days, during, and after. But I have never seen so many starters leave in droves….never.

  17. SteveM March 2, 2018 1:20 pm

    Here’s some good news… Tsai-ko Karaoke Call

    First one in several years, albeit starting in the mid-afternoon. Club Genji on Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 2:30 pm to whenever.

    email me or RSVP here just so I have an approximate count (we max out at 35). No minimum, no cover, and food purchases optional. Great venue to meet everyone again…and Tsing.

    More info and RSVP list updates at:

    UHfan808 has a Facebook RSVP group, but if you are not on Facebook or your email addy has changed, please let me know. There is a Cattle Call lunch at 12:30 pm that day–contact UHfan808 to RSVP.

  18. Luki March 2, 2018 1:34 pm

    Ugh! In the trenches is where most of our problems come from on both sides of the ball. The current players, transfers, freshman, walk-on’s, newcomers someone has to emerge. Play lights out with a chip on your shoulder, constantly motoring.

  19. roygbivs March 2, 2018 2:38 pm

    No worries beef curry!!

    Sorry to see ya leave….

    New STARS will rise, why I love college athletics.

    It takes a village…. .

  20. H-Man March 2, 2018 2:41 pm

    Just my guess, but I attribute some of the transfers to the changes in the coaching staff. Didn’t Viane Moala came to Hawaii because of Legi Suiaunoa? His wife has strong connections in American Samoa and was able to influence Viane’s decision. So going to Utah makes sense since they have an equally strong Samoan community and connection. As a senior, Daniel Lewis Jr. probably left because he didn’t want to go through another DC coaching change. As for Brandon Kipper, he said he wanted to be in a position where he would improve his pro opportunities, so he chose the Pac-12. Nothing wrong with that. The departure of Chris Naeole may have pushed his decision. So I see the dust settling after this season.

  21. JustAfan March 2, 2018 3:50 pm

    Wait D-lew is out too?

  22. clyde March 2, 2018 4:37 pm

    20: I missed it. When was it reported that Daniel Lewis left or is leaving? IIRC, Stephen asked Lewis at a basketball game and he said he was staying.

  23. kev-1 March 2, 2018 4:49 pm

    #16 … I agree completely. Tomorrow, ST will post something about how transfers happen, give names of guys who transferred in the past, and downplay that anything is wrong.

  24. Akamai Okole March 2, 2018 4:55 pm

    Great Afternoon All!

    Must admit that when I saw the Blog Master’s twitter post it caused a potty word emission as I was walking out of my office…

    Oh well…


  25. Akamai Okole March 2, 2018 4:57 pm

    …more concerning was that I found out I no can make the Cattle Call or the Karaoke Kall. 😈

  26. Akamai Okole March 2, 2018 4:59 pm

    And we still ovah 6 months away from kickoff!


  27. Stephen Tsai March 2, 2018 6:24 pm

    Daniel Lewis has not left the team.

  28. clyde March 2, 2018 7:02 pm

    Thanks, Stephen. Now get back to work! 😉

  29. winning March 2, 2018 7:36 pm

    When a really big D guy who only started 8 of 24games leaves a team, No Biggey! Could have been many things not only related to skill sets. To me, he wasn’t that good. When I talk good I mean Noga brothers GOOD!

  30. Kahuna March 2, 2018 7:49 pm

    Kind of disappointed that Viane didn’t give himself a chance to be coached by Ricky Logo. Logo seems to have a solid resume. Coached at Troy, Vanderbilt, Houston and CSU. Logo has way more D1 level coaching than Legi. I think our defensive staff is very solid and predict a better defensive team next year

    There will be a lot of brain power on the D. Three of the coaches(Batoon, Banker, and Logo) all have been a Defensive Coordinator at one time in their careers so they, as a group, can bring something new to the D.

    I am just as excited about the D as I am about the return of the RnS. Defense wins Championships.

  31. Paniolo March 2, 2018 8:37 pm

    Its a tough loss for our 2018 Warrior defensive line. But I am confident the new coaches and other Warriors waiting in the wings to replace Moala will do just fine. I believe will have a much improved Warrior Defensive line this season. Although will miss Moala with his 6′ 7″ height blocking extra point and field gold.

  32. amela March 2, 2018 9:09 pm

    Legi didn’t go to Utah so why make it seem that Legi is the cause.

  33. Rodney March 2, 2018 10:24 pm

    Something is very different this year.
    It’s not good… guys leaving…
    We are in possibly a down situation..
    Don’t feel right…….We need good news,
    like studs wanting to transfer here!!!!

  34. Rodney March 2, 2018 10:26 pm

    We should of stayed with spread
    Pop passes…Run and shoot is yesteryear
    offense.Unless it’s run by JJ or RON Lee.

  35. What? March 2, 2018 10:32 pm

    Naeole quitting was a red flag. The idea of next man up does not always work. With the exodus of players, the only players left will be former walk on’s on scholarships and players with Hawaii being their only offer.

    I don’t think this is the last of the players leaving. With the HTA having trouble with their audit and spending habits, maybe it’s time to get rid of the HTA and give part of the $108 million per year to UH athletics instead. That would be better use of funds. If UH gets the funds, that might help. From the article in the paper, it sounds like the HTA is not being good stewards of public money.

  36. Inyoface March 3, 2018 6:48 am

    We need another sopoaga, laboy and Pisa.

  37. A-House March 3, 2018 8:33 am

    I believe Rolo’s R n S will be different from J Jones’

    more and better offensive schemes interlaced with the pure passing game — a hybrid RnS to distract from defenses attacking UH offense

    best I recall — WAC honored the 2007 WR with a special award because each had 1,000 + receiving yards with Jason Rivers going over 300+ yards against Arizona St — is my feeble memory correct?

    defense should be a whole lot better provided the new coaching staff can get players to buy into there strategy and schemes

  38. Lowtone123 March 3, 2018 8:48 am

    This one hurts Moala was a difference maker on special teams and more than a handful on defense on a line already thin of impact players.

  39. What? March 3, 2018 9:12 am

    36, Rolo’s RnS better than J Jones’s RnS?

    One person has been doing it all his life and has proved time and time again that he can take losing teams and make them winner’s and we have Rolo in his first head coaching stint with no prior HC experience.

    How is it that Rolo’s offensive schemes will be better than JJ’s? I just think Rolo is desperate. If he doesn’t produce wins, he’s gone. If he really believed in the RnS, he should have started it when he first got here.

  40. suckkabooya March 3, 2018 9:24 am

    Maybe in two years from now we may see that kind of talent (and production) from Taala (Sopoaga), Ritner (Laboy), and Paul Scott (Pisa). Last year I feel like Rolovich was “sandbagging” as much of his prized freshmen as he could. This year he may have to use a lot of them. Some may not be ready yet but some will be. There’s lots of talent at every position (except maybe kicker) so lets GO!

  41. suckkabooya March 3, 2018 9:44 am

    I think A-House is referring to a more versatile “Run and Shoot” than Coach Jones had in terms of being able to use different formations and do different things because of the personnel. He did learn some things at Nevada. His offense here under Coach Mac looked a little different than when he was under Coach Jones (not better but different) so maybe he has some new wrinkles he may want to add. Maybe we can be like Boise (Multi formational). I’m hoping so.

  42. Stephen Tsai March 3, 2018 9:47 am

    I think UH needs to expedite the hiring process.
    Because of the hiring requirements (job posting, interviews, vetting), the Warriors were without a defensive coordinator during the winter break while players were home with their families. Players don’t know their role with the next coordinator. And then there are the outside influences encouraging players to leave.

  43. Stephen Tsai March 3, 2018 9:49 am

    New post:

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