Hawaii’s Taaga Tuulima makes the most of his opportunities at 2021 Hula Bowl

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 6:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It is Bowl week in the islands as the 75th edition of the Hula Bowl is set to kick off Sunday in what all likelihood will be the last football game in Aloha Stadium.

The Hula Bowl was revived last year after a long hiatus, the game brings 100 of the nation’s best college football players to the 808 to compete in front of NFL scouts as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey headlines the roster of college seniors looking to make their mark this week, along with UH seniors Rico Bussey and Taaga Tuulima, who are looking to represent the “H” and the state as the only two Rainbow Warriors on the field.

“It means we’ve gotta show out, it means we’ve got to perform, it means for me personally, we’d like to represent Hawaii well.” Tuulima told Hawaii News Now. “It means the world to me, playing here representing Hawaii, now being in the Hula Bowl, I might be the only guy born and raised in Hawaii and that means everything to me. It shows that anyone can make it, even though here in Hawaii we don’t have all of the things the mainland people have, but you know we get down to work.”

A graduate of ‘Iolani Schools and a former walk-on at Manoa, Tuulima worked his way to the starting center spot for the last three seasons, knows that he can handle adversity.

Yeah you know it’s good, it’s always good, I love competing, going against guys we would never go against in the regular season and it just provides opportunities for everybody.” Tuulima said. “I’m looking forward to just competing, competing and getting better and showing the NFL teams that I can compete.”

The players will be coached by former NFL coaches Rex Ryan and Mike Singletary, along with a staff comprised of college and professional standouts and stars.

The 2021 Hula Bowl kicks off Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Hawaii time — no in-person fan attendance will be allow, so the game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

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