BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots Hall of Famers Steve Nelson and Roland James honored the late Mosi Tatupu Monday morning, handing out $10,000 in scholarships in his name.
Nelson and James presented two $5,000 scholarships at the Hall at Patriot Place to Joseph Berkowitz of Stoughton and William Greene of North Easton. The Mosi Tatupu Memorial Scholarship is given to young athletes with learning challenges who exemplify outstanding qualities that characterize the heart and soul of Tatupu.
“Not only was playing football a big responsibility, but keeping my grades up and making sure I did all my work. Because I wasn’t going to play football if I didn’t do well in school,” said Berkowitz, who made the honor role in every term of his high school career at Stoughton High.
Berkowitz worked three jobs, but still found time to succeed on the field and in the class room.
“It was a big thing in my life; managing both things. Winning this award is something I’m proud of,” said Berkowitz, who ranked in the top 20 percent of his class while being a four year member of both the football and track teams.
“It’s about working hard on and off the field,” said Greene, who was named senior captain and league All-Star at Oliver Ames High School. “Doing whatever it takes on the field and working it into school too.”
Berkowitz will continue his education in the fall at Bridgewater State College, with Greene heading to Westfield State.
Originally there was only going to be one scholarship handed out, but Nelson and James could not decide between the two candidates.
“Me and Steve were talking about the amount of work they put in. We just couldn’t choose one,” said James. “Both young men, without a doubt, were outstanding student athletes.”
Tatupu was drafted by the Patriots in the eighth round in 1978 and spent 13 of his 14 NFL seasons with the Patriots. He played fullback, rushing for 18 career touchdowns, but was a star on special teams.
Tatupu passed away in February at the age of 54. After he passed, Nelson and James held the Mosi Tatupu Comedy Benefit to raise money for the scholarship. The second annual Comedy Show will be held on August 23 at the Fidelity Investment Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium, featuring Steve Sweeney, Lenny Clark, Paul D’Angelo and more.
More information and tickets to the event can be found at http://www.patriots.com/team/alumni/.