PROVO — Running back Malosi Te'o is transferring from BYU to the University of Hawaii.
As part of the move, Te'o is giving up the scholarship he had with the Cougars to walk on with the Warriors. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Te'o won't be able to play for Hawaii until 2011.
Te'o, who prepped at Kahuku (Hawaii) High, and his wife, Lauren, who was raised in Laie, Hawaii, decided they wanted to return to their home state.
"I did like it up there (in Provo)," Te'o told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. "I had a good time. But I'm excited to be back home. This is where my wife and I originally wanted to be."
Te'o rushed for more than 1,000 yards at Kahuku High in 2005 before signing a letter of intent with UNLV. He left for a mission before enrolling at UNLV. While serving an LDS mission to New York City, he decided to attend BYU.
Te'o arrived in Provo in the winter of 2009 and participated in spring drills before redshirting last fall. During spring drills in March, Te'o was competing for playing time with Harvey Unga (who has since withdrawn from school and was taken in the NFL supplemental draft by the Chicago Bears), Bryan Kariya, J.J. DiLuigi and true freshman Joshua Quezada. Three more true freshmen are expected to join the program when fall camp opens Aug. 7 — Algernon Brown, A.J. Moore and Drew Phillips.
In the weeks after spring drills, running backs coach Lance Reynolds told the Deseret News that Te'o had been switched from running back to linebacker.
Te'o told the Star-Advertiser he wants to play running back for the Warriors. Starting in 2011, the 5-foot-10, 220-pounder will have three years of eligibility remaining.
BYU is scheduled to play Hawaii in 2012 and 2013.