Welcome to Utah, Mason Tufaga.
The Utes landed the commitment of Tufaga, a four-star linebacker out of St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii on Monday morning.
Although Tufaga was long considered a Utah-lean, securing his commitment is still a huge step in the right direction for the Utes. He gives the team a headliner on the defensive side of the ball, somebody who matches up as good as four-star quarterback Peter Costelli on the offensive side of the ball.
Tufaga's commitment comes at the perfect time considering the Utes were looking a little lean on the defensive side of the ball
The offense currently has three SI All-American nominees; Costelli, running back Ricky Parks and wide receiver Deamikkio Nathan.
But now with the offense starting to thrive, the Utes turned their attention to the other side of the ball. With three-star linebacker Trey Reynolds, another SI All-American nominee, already on board, the Utes were looking to add to its linebacker depth and pari Reynolds with another game-changer on the outside.
And that's exaclty what Tufaga is.
This is a kid who comes from a great high school in producing elite college-level talent, including former Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota of Oregon. While not the biggest of players right now, Tufaga tests off the charts athletically and is seen as someone who will easily put on good weight at the next level.
He's a game-changer in the middle of the defense and plays physical with a nasty chip on his shoulder. He's more of a downhill type of player, although he does have some coverage skills in the passing. Pairing him with Reynolds gives the Utes a sensation nucleus in the middle of the defense for years to come.
The Utes only signed one ILB recruit from the 2020 class in 3-star Sione Fotu — and with expected 2020 starters Devin Lloyd and Sione Lund draft eligible following the upcoming season, there is room for playing time.
Utah currently sits with nine verbal commits of the 2021 class, headlined by Costelli and now Tufaga. They currently sit at No. 10 in the Pac-12 and No. 74 overall in the nation.
Joining Costelli, Parks and Nathan on offense is 3-star guard Koli Faaiu. Joining Tufaga and Reynolds on defense are 3-star defensive tackle Tevita Fotu, and three-star defensive ends/outside linebackers Viliami Pouha and Jonah Eliss.
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