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Tuioti Reagan Maui’a visits territory as a Free Agent

— with some advice for the youth
jeff@samoanews.com
Tuioti Reagan Maui’a of the National Football League (NFL), who is at this time a Free Agent, after playing most recently with the Arizona Cardinals from 2009-2011. Tuioti recently visited family members back home here in the territory, and was bestowed the chiefly title of Tuioti, from Falelima, Savaii. [photo: Jeff Hayner]

Samoans, by way of American Samoa, continue to be represented in the National Football League (NFL), with their humble attitude off the field and their hard hitting play on the field. One of those American Samoan players is Tuioti Reagan Maui’a, who recently returned to the territory to spend time with his family, who have bestowed the chiefly title of Tuioti upon him, from Falelima, Savaii.

The six foot, 250-pound ‘bruising’ Fullback, who was here during the Troy Polamalu Football Camp last year June, is at this time a Free Agent, after playing for the Arizona Cardinals from 2009-2011.

In an interview with Tuioti at Samoa News, last week Friday, he said he spent his first years in the territory, where he attended Pavaiai Elementary school, before his mother, Tagi’ifo Maui’a of Lepea and Faleniu, decided there were better educational opportunities for her children in the United States. The family moved to California, where he graduated from Tokay High School in 2002, excelling not just in football, but in track and field as well.

After high school, he played Junior College for two years before transferring to the University of Hawaii in 2005. In 2007, he was part of the NFL Draft, where he was drafted in round six by the Miami Dolphins, being the 181st overall pick.

After being released by the Dolphins, he then joined fellow American Samoan teammates Domata Peko and Jonathan Fanene, when he was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals. After one season, he then signed with the Arizona Cardinals where he played from 2009-2011, before becoming a Free Agent.

“I have to make the best out of being in the NFL. One day you are here in the NFL doing great and the next day you can be gone. That is the way it is in this league. God’s grace has brought me through a lot and I thank him for that. I also thank my parents so much for their prayers and sacrifice,” said Tuioti. “Our people are big on faith and I always knew I was going to play in the NFL. My parents always encouraged me, and my dad (Pili Maui’a of Faleniu) never missed a game,” he said.

Tuioti, who sports a ‘Mohawk’ when playing, comes from an athletic family of seven siblings, 5 boys and 2 girls, where he is number four in the lineup. His older sister is an amateur boxer, who is training at this time to turn professional.

To the young, talented football players in the territory, he wants to give this advice — “To all of the young uso’s here trying to pursue a future in football, I want to encourage you all to continue following your dreams... and put God first in your heart and lives,” he said.

“Stay away from all the kids that cause trouble. If you really want something in life, you have to go after it. Just being physical out on the field will not get you far in this game. You have to do the work in school and on the field. If this is something you want and live for, you will make sacrifices and do whatever it takes to get there”.

He went on to say, “Go after it — go for it. I did it and I know that you can do it. A lot of the uso’s that are playing right now, are going through what others from here went through that are playing in the NFL. It is never an easy road, but I always believe that with great sacrifices, comes great rewards. This is the time for all of you young football players who want to make it to the NFL, to start making the sacrifices and going through the struggles. That way when you are living your dream, you can look back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

“I know that a lot of us are not excited about school, but it is a necessity... you have to do whatever it takes. Fight for your dreams,” he concluded.

He also said that he would love to sign another contract with the Arizona Cardinals and that he has also started a business in Arizona— Kava Kreation-Island Tat. You can find more about his business venture at kavakreation.com.



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