HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's football community is in shock and disbelief over the death of Mosi Tatupu.
The former Punahou star and NFL fan favorite died Tuesday at a hospital near his home in Massachusetts.
Tatupu played for the Buffanblu in the early 1970s.
It was a common sight to see big number 44 bowling over opponents at old Honolulu Stadium.
After high school, Tatupu went to USC where he won a national championship with the Trojans. Then it was off to the NFL, where Tatupu became a Pro Bowl caliber special teams player for the New England Patriots.
In 14 NFL seasons, "The Moose" rushed for almost 2,500 yards and scored 18 career touchdowns.
Today, he's being remembered as the ultimate teammate.
"He had fun in the locker room," said former Patriots teammate and quarterback Steve Grogan. "He had fun on the field. When he took the field he always had a smile on his face. He just loved to play. And that's what made it fun to be around him. He was one of those guys who would do anything for the team."
"You know, I just can't believe he's gone," said childhood friend and Punahou teammate Neal Ane. "We just saw him not too long ago. We talked to him. Everything seemed to be fine. I guess of all the guys he looked in better shape than the rest of us, so I know it's a hard loss for everybody, especially the Punahou family."
Mosi Tatupu suddenly gone at age 54. The cause of his death has not yet been disclosed.
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