Warrior Beat: Former All-State lineman transfers to UH

Eliki Tanuvasa, who was named to the All-State first team as a Saint Louis School senior in 2017, is joining the Warriors. / Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell, Star-Advertiser

UH’s student body is gaining a big body when the spring semester begins tomorrow morning.

Eliki Tanuvasa, a former All-State center from Saint Louis School, has completed his transfer from Eastern Illinois and will be joining the Rainbow Warriors. Tanuvasa was named to the FCS’s 2018 All-Freshman third team as true first-year player this past season.

Tanuvasa, who is 6 feet 2 and 315 pounds, said he decided to transfer because 1) he wanted to help his father, who has been been hospitalized the past couple of months, and 2) he said it was a childhood wish to play for the Warriors.

Tanuvasa was a three-year starter at Saint Louis. His sophomore season was abbreviated because of an injury. But he was center for Tua Tagovaiola in 2016 and Chevan Cordeiro in 2017. One of his best friends is Arasi Mose, an offensive lineman who signed with the Warriors in December.

Tanuvasa’s father and former UH defensive lineman Ma‘a Tanuvasa are cousins.


  1. MU January 6, 2019 1:35 am

    Go Warriors!!

  2. ai-eee-soos January 6, 2019 1:35 am

    Welcome home, Eliki Tanuvasa.


  3. ai-eee-soos January 6, 2019 1:43 am


    6’2″, 315. Great addition to the 2020 class.

  4. Savich January 6, 2019 2:01 am

    Happy for him. Welcome aboard.

  5. Irse January 6, 2019 4:38 am

    Can he play in 2019? I know if someone transfer from a FBS to a FCS school, they don’t have to sit out but does the same apply if they are transferring from a FCS to a FBS school? Also, he could apply for a hardship since he has an ill family member who he is helping with.

  6. Chicken Grease January 6, 2019 5:44 am

    Not sure why he decided upon Eastern Instead of Hawai’i in thr first place.

    So prove yourself, Eliki.

  7. tom-warriornation January 6, 2019 5:47 am

    Welcome home, Eliki.
    Does that mean Levao can move back to RT; that would mean our entire OL will be 300 lbs+.


  8. cappie the dog January 6, 2019 6:15 am

    I remember Kurt Kafentzis. I hope everything works out for him. He played during an era when Hawaii sports was important to the local culture. Sadly, that is not the case anymore. It’s a niche thing now. This is why I am here. Everybody remembers the Kafentzis brothers.

    I waited for the topic to change.

    The problem with the women’s basketball team is that I can’t tell who the captain is. When you have revolving leading scorers, you don’t have that player willing to take over late in the game; someone who wants the ball when the contest is hanging in the balance.

    Hawaii lost. But I think Lauren Rewers could be that player. She no longer looks like a deer caught in the headlights. She went scoreless in her first seven games. She looks unafraid now. She is not afraid to shoot. She shot and missed late, when a made shot would have kept Hawaii in the contest, but that was because the other player, who had an open look, passed it up. She did give Hawaii it’s last lead at 60-59. She looks so confident now. It was a point blank shot, but earlier in the season, she missed those bunnies. She made a jump shot from the free-throw line. In the second quarter, she received a pass and banked in a shot from the baseline, all in one fluid motion. That was pretty amazing. Just like Megan Huff on that one play.

    The men’s basketball team beat Rhode Island and Colorado because they have leaders.

  9. Irse January 6, 2019 7:58 am

    #6. He was not offered a scholarship out of high school from UH. He did get one from EIU.

    Quote from

    Tanuvasa had an offer from Army and he was thinking of walking on at the University of Hawaii or finding a junior college to attend when EIU offensive line coach Keith Uperesa, who is a Hawaii native, gave him a call.

  10. islandman January 6, 2019 9:03 am

    8. Unbelievable shooting by Amy Atwell in yesterday’s game 82% FG PCT, 9 for 11, 4 for 5 on 3FG’s, 3 for 3 FT’s for 25 pts in only 16 minutes.
    The game before, unbelievable by Tago,11 for 16, 24 pts. or 69% (in 33 minutes).

  11. Stephen Tsai January 6, 2019 9:28 am

    Good point on the hardship. We’ll see what develops this spring.

  12. clyde January 6, 2019 9:28 am

    Off topic, but UH women’s basketball continues to be victimized by the opposition’s guard play. Fullerton’s guards were too quick and aggressive offensively, playing all but 3 minutes of the entire game and combining for 40 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Side note: Nice to see how Rewers is gaining confidence the last few games.

    Back to football: Tanuvasa sounds like a quality young man. Welcome home and healing thoughts to your dad.

  13. suckkabooya January 6, 2019 9:28 am

    Amazing pickup for the building of the offense past next season. 2020’s O line should be solid with the addition of this years young recruits. Awesome.

  14. Stephen Tsai January 6, 2019 9:29 am

    It’s also good to see that Keith Uperesa is back in the business.

  15. Stephen Tsai January 6, 2019 9:33 am

    Of course, we’re all sad that Paul Johnson won’t be coaching this year. The fallout is that his coaching staff also is impacted. Buzz Preston is now looking for work.

  16. A-House January 6, 2019 10:02 am

    prayers and best wishes for a full recovery to Kent K and his entire family!!!

    good to see Tanuvasa coming home — counts as a scholarship for 2019? can he play in 2019? if yes, how will this affect positions on the Oline?

    will incoming 2019 group produce one or more “true freshman” starters?

    hope offensive coaching staff develop new plays — it became “stale” with the same plays being run over and over again — perhaps making the offense predictable and easier to defend

    OC must develop better strategy/plays to off-set the 3 DL and 8 DB/LB strategy — UH got creamed by the effective La Tech front 3 who ran over the OL

  17. suckkabooya January 6, 2019 10:28 am

    As I watch Lamar Jackson run the Ravens version of the RPO I think Cole has some similarities (college proportional) in running ability. With the development and readiness of Corderio I think the staff should seize the opportunities to use McDonald as a runner much more often than they did this past season. No fear of holding him back. His running ability is amazing, a little better than his arm right now. He just needs a little more size (weight/muscle) to better absorb contact. They need to maximize the aspect of he gives the offense. Even if Chevan is named the starter Cole needs to be on the field (via specifically designed schemes) here and there every game. Plus he would be first backup. Uahinui should be ready as well so you can really get aggressive with Cole. I hope the Staff can figure it out. So much (maybe had too much) talent here at QB.

  18. H-Man January 6, 2019 11:05 am

    Back-to-back turnovers by our PG down the stretch hurt. She then followed that with a PF.

  19. ai-eee-soos January 6, 2019 11:33 am

    story on Eliki Tanuvasa in Eastern Illinois …

    go to google, and key in

    “Tanuvasa steps into starting role at center as freshman – The Daily ”

    DO NOT post the link here, because it is NOT SECURED.

  20. cappie the dog January 6, 2019 1:25 pm

    Islandman: I hope it’s not a fluke. I remember Lane O’Connor going nuts against TCU on the road with a 20+ points game, then reverted back to form. Now Amy Atwell is on other teams’ radars. Now she has a scouting report on her: “Hits 3s.” It was a somewhat encouraging loss. Missed shots are better than an epidemic of turnovers.

  21. Da Punchbowl Kid January 6, 2019 1:34 pm

    Prayers for Kafentzis and Tanauvasa. Welcome to the Warriors Eliki! Glad you’re home!

  22. winning January 6, 2019 4:18 pm

    “O” staff not gong to figure it out. Not enough experience until they prove they have the expertise. Going to the fourth year they should have forced some changes already before another predictable screwy season begins. Defense next year should improve tho w/1 yr under their belt.

  23. winning January 6, 2019 4:23 pm

    UH women’s hoops don’t have enough speed. End of story. Whatever happened to Meagan Huff as to why she left – I mean All-conference PAC-12?

  24. burro sabio January 6, 2019 5:13 pm

    So you have to prove expertise to have experience?

  25. islandman January 6, 2019 7:19 pm

    23. Easy choice, play for a Pac-12 school rather than a Big West one.
    More exposure for a possible pro career.
    UC Davis next for Wahine. They have 6-4 All-Conference player Morgan Bertsch. Her major: Biomedical Engineering.

  26. cappie the dog January 7, 2019 11:11 am

    Queen! Long live the Queen! What an upset!

    If UH upsets Arizona, they’ll beat Oregon State, too.

    Washington is a bridge too far.

    Eliki Tanuvasa hopefully will learn fast and help move this program in the right direction.

    They already are.

    I was wrong; Arizona is the most important non-conference game, not Oregon State. Arizona is the fire starter.

  27. Stephen Tsai January 7, 2019 11:21 am

    New post: http://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=47952

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