Rainbow Warriors Justus Tavai learning to split time as a new father and football player


October 5, 2020. HONOLULU, NCAA football practice at the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus.

The Rainbow Warriors, Justus Tavai, is playing for more than just the love of football, or any pro aspirations. The redshirt-junior is a new father after his son, Jebediah, was in late August.

“His name is Jebediah. I’m a religious man and also all my siblings names start with ‘J’, so I had to stick with a ‘J’ name. Me and his mom came up with the same name on the same day. Pretty crazy how that happened,” Tavai told reporters on Wednesday.

One of those siblings is a name UH fans know well. Older brother, Jahlani, was a start LB for Hawai’i from 2015-2018, getting drafted by the Lions in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft. His younger brother, Jonah, is a junior defensive lineman for San Diego State. The ‘Bows opponent in two weeks. Family is incredibly important to the Tavai’s. Justus is getting use to splitting his time with his new dad responsibilities.

“It’s hard but he’s with his mom right now. We’re on different islands. I’m hoping he can come down soon for Thanksgiving or something like that. I FaceTime him every day, a couple times a day to check in.”

More than anything he is thankful and can’t wait to introduce him to the rest of the family.

“It’s a big blessing. I wasn’t ready at first. It was just a big challenge, but I’m blessed to be here, play football, blessed to have a kid. Family means a lot to me and I can’t wait for him to meet my older brother, the rest of the siblings, my dad and the rest of the family. I’m taking it day-by-day, happy to have him. He’s my inspiration; him and my family. I just been given an opportunity and just taking it,” Justus Tavai said during media availability on Wednesday.

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