Riley on Pa'aluhi, Hawaii connection

CORVALLIS -- Oregon State has enjoyed a lot of success in bringing prep football players from The Islands to Corvallis. Now it looks like one might go back. David Pa'aluhi, who left OSU earlier this year, reportedly to join the military, is now looking instead to enroll at Hawaii at finish his collegiate career as a Rainbow Warrior.

Instead of helping the Beavs win games, former middle linebacker Pa'aluhi might instead line up against Oregon State in the 2011 season finale.

"In order to do that he had to get a release from us, that's why we know about it. We were kind of surprised by that, but after talking to his father we agreed to allow him that release, that's basically it," said Mike Riley on Monday.

Pa'aluhi burst onto the scene in the latter part of 2008 as a redshirt freshman. He started all 13 games at middle linebacker last year as a sophomore and was named Pac-10 honorable mention. He was second on the Beavs in total tackles with 77, including eight for loss, and posted 96 career tackles at Oregon State.

His '09 numbers took on added significance when considering he often played a loaded backer-type role up close to the line, presumably to help shore up OSU's d-line. In so doing, Pa'aluhi often helped blow up a play, which in turn enabled other Beaver teammates to log the tackle in the box score.

He was expected by many in the Beaver Nation to be a post-season honors candidate this season and next and seen in Corvallis and to have NFL-type potential.

OSU issued a February statement saying per Riley that Pa'aluhi had withdrawn from school in order to join the United States Armed Forces. A report came out Sunday night, however, in the Honolulu Advertiser that Pa'aluhi, from Waianae, has contacted and was seeking to join Hawaii. After sitting out a season, Pa'aluhi would have two years to play one season but the Advertiser said Pa'aluhi was also seeking a hardship exemption that would give him a second season of eligibility.

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