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Originally published July 16, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 16, 2007 at 2:02 AM

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Special summer school for stars

Tyler Tuiasosopo is well aware of all the high expectations that come with having a famous surname. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior-to-be...

Special to The Seattle Times

Tyler Tuiasosopo is well aware of all the high expectations that come with having a famous surname.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior-to-be at Mariner High School is doing all he can to surpass each and every one of those expectations.

Sunday, Tuiasosopo completed his fourth quarterback camp this summer, Air 7 Quarterback University at Husky Stadium.

Even with all the athletes in his family, Tuiasosopo said he picked up a lot of pointers in recent days when he was throwing with several of the top passers in the Northwest at the camp run by quarterback guru Steve Clarkson.

"It was a lot of fun, a lot of work and they really bring out the best in you," Tuiasosopo said. "What I really liked about this camp is that they are here solely to make you better. A lot of the other camps are there to evaluate your skills."

Tuiasosopo isn't tipping his hand where he might play college football.

"I'm keeping all my opportunities open, mainly the ones on the camp circuit," Tuiasosopo said. "I've been to Florida, Utah and Hawaii. Of course, UW is always in the mix."

Tuiasosopo's family includes brother Trenton (a fullback at UW), cousin Zach (former running back at UW), cousin Marques (quarterback at UW and the Oakland Raiders), cousin Matt (Class AA baseball) and uncle Manu, who played for the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

"Sometimes it can be a burden and sometimes it's just fun," Tuiasosopo said of the expectations of living up to the family name.

"Something my dad [Sina] always told us is that what Marques, Zach, Matt and the others have done is only good for so long. It's a motivator. We all keep tabs on each other and it gets kind of competitive between us."

Tuiasosopo impressed Clarkson at the camp, one of nine Clarkson will run around the nation this spring and summer.

"Tyler was exceptional," Clarkson said. "He's very athletic with a strong arm. He has all the skills to be a very good college quarterback. He was just a delightful kid to be around. His family ties are legendary and obviously that helps."


Another quarterback at the camp with high expectations is Calvin Schmidtke. Last season, Schmidtke was an all-state selection for Class 2B Life Christian Academy and has transferred to 3A Lakes High in Lakewood for his senior season.

"I definitely feel I made the right decision to transfer and am looking forward to a great senior year," Schmidtke said. "I don't really want to come out and say it and brag, but our goal is definitely to win state. We won't be happy with anything less."

Schmidtke attended the camp with highly recruited Lakes wide receivers Jermaine Kearse and Kavario Middleton, a trio known at camp as the "three-headed monster" for its prowess to make big plays.

"It puts a lot of pressure on us, you can't lie about that, but we have a lot of talent," Schmidtke said. "It's important for us not to get too confident."

The two-day camp, which cost $500 for quarterbacks and $200 for wide receivers, drew 82 participants, who ranged in age from third grade through seniors in high school.

"We'll do this from here on out," Clarkson said. "Next year, this camp will be in the spring and there will be anywhere from 150 to 200 kids. We felt very good with the turnout this year having never been in this area before. We were also pleased that we got so many of the top quarterbacks in the area."

Tuiasosopo can't wait to utilize all the skills he has learned at the camps and play some football.

"This is my last day of camp and now I'm looking forward to getting back with my teammates at Mariner and putting the team first," Tuiasosopo said. "We're bringing back 21 of 22 starters and there are about 10 of us who are third-year seniors, so we're very optimistic."

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