The Soldotna football program sent off another star Tuesday morning when senior linebacker Wendell Tuisaula signed a letter of intent to play football at Texas A&M Kingsville, a Division II school that competes in the Lone Star Conference.
“There’s an NFL-caliber talent on the field every Saturday in that conference,” said SoHi head coach Galen Brantley Jr.
Texas A&M Kingsville finished seventh last year with a 2-6 conference record, and 4-7 overall.
Luckily, the Javelina are getting a good one. Tuisaula is a two-time Division II Defensive Player of the Year in Alaska, and has helped guide the Soldotna program along its state-record win streak of 59 games. Tuisaula has been part of the previous 30 victories, and also has three state championship rings to show for it.
Brantley Jr. said Tuisaula received a break when Kingsville head coach Daren Wilkinson took the opportunity to see the SoHi stud scrimmage in person.
“He is as instinctual as a linebacker as I’ve coached,” Brantley Jr. said. “And you combine that with the fact that he’s 230 pounds and when he hits somebody, he brings it. He’s pretty special.
“What he’s brought to the table for us the last three years is he is just a force to be reckoned with, teams have a difficult time running between the tackles with him. He has a nose for the football. He has some intangible things you can’t coach.
Tuisaula also lucked out with the right team willing to sign him after his two-year Mormon mission is complete. Tuisaula will officially enroll at the school in fall 2020 as a freshman.
The recruitment is similar to the story of Stanford recruit Tanner McKee, a quarterback who committed to the Cardinal for 2020, like Tuisaula, after his mission is complete.
“The (Texas A&M) head coach has been on a mission himself,” Brantley Jr. said. “It was a perfect fit.”
Tuisaula was a three-year starter at SoHi, immediately taking up the job at linebacker after playing his freshman year at Wasilla.