Rex Ryan wants the Chargers to pick Tagovailoa, weighs in on Mariota, Buckner

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Rex Ryan

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Former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is the head coach of Team Kai at for the return of the Hula Bowl on Sunday at Aloha Stadium. At Friday’s practice KHON2 caught up with the former ESPN analyst to get his thoughts on some of Hawaii’s most prominent football exports.

DeForest Buckner – Punahou graduate from Waianae heading to his first Super Bowl in a matter of days.

“A man that has so much athleticism,” said Ryan. “To me he’s like… that’s exactly how you want them to be. With that kind of size, that kind of athleticism and that kind of heart. He’s legit.”

Marcus Mariota – Saint Louis graduate; lost starting quarterback job this season, in last year of his contract with the Titans.

“I live in Nashville. And I know he’s had kind of an up and down career,” said Ryan. “But Marcus is definitely going to get another shot. There’s no reason this young man shouldn’t be playing in the NFL. I can promise you one thing, I wish I would have had him as a quarterback when I was a head coach. So I’m sure he’s going to get other opportunities. Where he goes? Who knows.”

Tua Tagovailoa – Saint Louis graduate projected as a top-10 draft pick; coming off major hip surgery.

“I hope he lands with the LA Chargers,” said Ryan. “And the reason I say that is because my son is a coach on that staff. He wants Tua. I want him there cuz my kid’s there. And I know if he’s there, they’re going to win.”

“I understand he’s an outstanding young man. So he’s got it. I know he’s had some injury issues and things but that’s just the way it goes. Every player is going to get injured at some point. He just happened to get injured now. Hopefully all that’s behind him and he goes on and has a 10-15 year career. That would be great. I know that’s what the state of Hawaii is looking for also.”

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