Taz Stevenson has been tabbed to start at safety for Hawaii. He will go up against the school he transferred from, Washington, in the Rainbow Warriors season-opener Saturday.
After Tuesday’s practice, we got five questions in with the former Mililani Trojan who has earned a bachelor’s in sociology from Washington and is working on a master’s in Pacific Island Studies at UH.
Q. How close did you come to committing to Hawaii out of high school at Mililani
A. It was definitely at the top of the list. Coach (Greg) McMackin was here. He recruited me with nothing but class. I took a lot of time to think about it. In the end it was about experiencing different things. I hadn’t been off this rock much to get out and experience other things, and including the Pac-12, that was something special.
Q. So there’s something about getting to play here in your heart, as a local kid born and raised?
Q. What about positions? I know coming out of high school you were considered an athlete who could play pretty much anywhere other than interior line. How did you settle in at safety?
A. Coming out of high school I was recruited as an athlete. It was one of those things wherever coach put me in I would play that position. I found myself on defense more and got that opportunity. Whenever I was asked where I wanted to play I said defense. But it’s not about me, it’s about whatever is best for the team, wherever I can help the team.
Q. When did you think about the possibility of coming to Hawaii for a fifth year?
A. It was more than just coming back for a fifth year of football, also the opportunity to follow a dream in pursuing grad school, to try for my masters. When I found out this was a possibility for me, to come back home, play the game I love and continue my education.
Q. So it was an academic decision first?
A. It was both.