Kai Maiava, the second-year player from Wailuku, Hawaii, has asked for, and been granted a release from his scholarship at CU. He plans to transfer to another school, likely west of Colorado, due mostly for family and personal reasons.
"I need to help out my family," Maiva said Wednesday. "We're going through some financial things, and I want to be closer to them so it won't cost as much to come see me."
He said he's hoping to transfer to a Division I school in California, or to the University of Hawaii, sit out a transfer season as mandated by the NCAA, then play the following year. If that doesn't work out, Maiava said he may go the junior college route for a season, then go to a Division I school.
Maiava almost didn’t come to CU. He was offered a scholarship to Colorado the day before signing day in 2007. By August, though, he had impressed offensive line coach Jeff Grimes with his aggressive style of play.
A player that most considered a redshirt candidate started his first collegiate game in September against Oklahoma. He never relinquished the spot, and was named to Scout.com’s first-team Freshman All-American squad following the 2007 season.
But CU coaches thought he could help the Buffs better at fullback and approached Maiava about moving there during the offseason. Not wholeheartedly, Maiava went along with the position move. He dropped weight from his 295 pounds, but was third on the depth chart this spring.
Maiava said the position switch had "a little bit" to do with his decision to leave. But it was mostly about making things easier on his family.
"I'm all about my family," he said.
Maiava said he plans to play offensive line at his new school, whichever one that ends up being.
Colorado has been blending fullbacks and tight ends into a kind of H-back position of late. Maiava’s departure leaves the Buffs thin at a position where low numbers were already an issue. There are now just four fullback or tight ends on scholarship, and one of those, Riar Geer, is indefinitely suspended from the team. Three tight ends were signed this past February. A fourth signee, Paul Vigo, could also play fullback.