Since eighth grade, William Tuitama has been coached by professionals to play the QB position. Mechanics, foot-work, speed, poise, all have been drilled into him over, repeatedly as they have tried to find the very best combination in this Stockton, California resident. Much of that tutilege has apparently paid off, even before his first full season has begun-the off-season combines giving everyone just an idea of what they can expect this season.
Tuitama attended an MSL combine where he was rated the top passer in the group, beating out the likes of Kevin Lopina and Kyle Reed. At the Nike Combine, again, William was considered by some to be at the head of the field and yes, against Lopina and Kyle Reed as well.
Don't think that this connection is solely a coincidence, because it is, but then it's not. You see, they all have the same QB coach. Roger Theder-a professional QB coach has been guiding young Tuitama's way for lo these many years and has been doing the same for both Lopina and Reed. And, when you consider all the attention that all of these three west coast prep all-everythings are getting, it's safe to say that this Theder is well schooled himself.
All the camps and the accolades aside however, Tuitama is just trying to become better than he was just a season ago.
That might be a tall task in concept in that though William shared time with a senior, his stats were still considerably gaudy. Completing over 70% of his throws, still managing over 1,300 yards and adding 11 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions, the stage is set, but alas, so is the pressure.
That's just fine with William though, because this is what he was meant to do. "I'm excited about this season." he said. "When you split time, you get an idea of what you are capable, but then you have to go out. I'm just really excited about the possibilities this year."
In an offense that Tuitama says will accentuate the passing game, the possibilities could be staggering for some and frightening a little to others-that of course being the competition. Outside of the possible ramifications for team success though, Tuitama looks at it all as just another opportunity to be better than he was before. "I still have a lot to work on." he said. "I think my poise is good, I have a strong arm and I am willing to take a hit to make a throw. But, I can always work on my feet, avoiding sacks and just all kinds of things that every quarterback needs to do."
"It doesn't matter how good you are, because you will never be perfect. So, everyday is another day to get better."
Whether that improvement will one day lead him behind cousin, Marcus Tuiasosopo to the NFL, that's a long ways into the future. The sure-bet is that William will be attending and vying for a possible early spot with one of many "major" D-1 programs around the country.
Thus far, the most attention has come from Nebraska, Arizona and Washington-all having offered along with Boise State. As for those that are showing a lot of interest, well, you can basically pick them from any list you have.
As for his own list, William is trying to keep an open mind. While he's certainly fond of all the schools that have offered him, with a year left to go yet, it's too early to start narrowing anything down. "I really haven't looked at a top whatever kind of list." he said. "I've still got some camps to go to and a chance to see a lot of things, so there's too much out there to really think about just a couple of schools."
Amongst the trips remaining over the summer for Tuiama is a one-day camp at Arizona, another "Elite 11" camp at Las Vegas along with planned unofficial visits to Arizona and one possibly to Cal.
All of this is just basically a way to learn something about some schools at the next level, but it's also a way to pass the time. Time that Tuitama is hoping passes by as his final season of prep-ball approaches.
It's a time that will be his time, his opportunity to show everyone what he has. Since eighth grade, William Tuitama has been groomed to excel at his position and finally his senior year will be his full chance to even see for himself just what he can do. You'd be excited to and you can bet that if schools like Washington, Nebraska and Arizona have offered a young man that had to split time last year, the list he has after he's played a few games this season is bound to get considerably longer.
That's fine with Tuitama, but don't take offense if he's not concentrating on what is expected to be his rapidly ballooning reputation. "The attention is great." he said. "But, you work all off-season and even since I started being a QB for a chance to start and do your best out there. When that time comes, that's all you really want to think about. That's all I can think about right now."
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619