He accepted a football scholarship from Michigan State University. He was named a starter at fullback as a sophomore, registering 126 carries for 715 yards (second on the team and third in the conference), a 5.7-yard average and 10 touchdowns. At the end of the season he was limited with injuries, but still was able to become the first player of Samoan ancestry to be named All-American. He required offseason knee surgery.
On November 19, 1966, he was a part of the contest played against the University of Notre Dame called "The Game of the Century", which ended in a 10–10 tie. It was also the first ever live television sports broadcast in Hawaii. He had 140 rushing yads and one touchdown against the University of Michigan. He suffered a knee injury in the seventh game against Northwestern University and missed most of the remaining contests. He posted 86 carries for 445 yards (5.2-yard avg.) and 9 touchdowns.
As a senior, he struggled recovering from offseason knee surgery. He tallied only 50 carries for 183 yards during the season. Besides being a notable blocker, he finished his college career as the school's All-time leading rushing fullback with 1,343 yards. He was a part of 2 national championship teams (1965 and 1966).