It’s strange to use a headline like that, but it seems necessary at this point. A report surfaced on Wednesday following practice at the Polynesian Bowl regarding Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou three-star linebacker Marist Liufau and Notre Dame, the school he signed with on Dec. 19. Irish Illustrated and 247Sports wanted to clear things up a bit.
The chatter was regarding the fact that there is a chance the 6-3, 210-pounder won’t enroll with his fellow 2019 classmates this June and may need to wait until the winter months or even next summer to arrive on campus, which is essentially a gray shirt. If that takes place, he would essentially be free to look at other schools. USC is one school that would welcome him with open arms. The Trojans recruited him hard late in the process, but he chose Notre Dame even with the knowledge of a potential gray shirt. None of this is new news to the talented Hawaiian. 247Sports analyst Blair Angulo caught up with Liufau to set the record straight.
“I just know that I signed,” said Liufau, who made it clear that he’s not considering any other schools now and won’t be in the future. “I committed, signed and all I know is that I’m going to be there. I don’t know when though.”
As we’ve been saying for quite some time, which was essentially confirmed again by Liufau, there aren’t a ton of scholarships to give at this point. Notre Dame may need to add him to the 2020 class instead of 2019, which is something that the staff was more than upfront about during the recruiting process.
“They just said that scholarships are tight,” said Liufau, when asked about the situation and what he was told.
All that said, nothing is set on this front. There is still a possibility he arrives this summer, but may have to wait to enroll at a later date. In the end, no matter when the moment comes, he fully intends to enroll at Notre Dame as a student-athlete and begin his career with the Fighting Irish.
“It doesn’t really affect anything,” said Liufau. “I just them because I want to be there. If I do have to wait, I’m willing to.”
So, with offers to play right away from schools that want him to enroll this summer and potentially contribute as a freshman, why is he willing to wait for Notre Dame? For Liufau, the answer is simple.
“That program overall is great, no doubt, but honestly, I felt at home over there. My parents loved it too,” said Liufau.
***Interview conducted on-site by 247Sports’ Blair Angulo.