Defensive Tackle Ready To Hit Somebody

It has been a longer road to Arizona football than Carl Tuitavuki would have liked. The JC defensive lineman originally planned on enrolling at the spring semester in an effort to participate in spring practice. Due to some problems with his core classes, the talented defensive lineman had to finish some work at Ricks College to enroll. Tuitavuki got the necessary work done and has joined the team a few months later than planned.

The 6-4, 320 pound lineman is expected to come in right away and give the inexperience defensive line a much-needed boost. The junior college standout was seen as a key component to the Wildcats' recruiting class. Not bad for a player who only played a year of high school football and was lightly recruited as a senior.

Although the wait was longer than originally expected, both the staff and Tuitavuki are thrilled that he's a part of the team.

"Man, I'm way excited," Tuitavuki said. "It's about time I get to hit someone."

Carl was a ball of energy around the football office. He was introducing himself to players and the media alike. He also made sure that he sought out the coaches. "He's going around saying, 'Hey, it is great to see you'," coach John Mackovic said. "He came up to me twice and said, 'It's great to see you again.'" A Mormon who went on a mission, Tuitavuki is 24 years old, the oldest player on the roster. Although he has maturity the other players in the class lack, he doesn't see himself as a leader.

"I think I'm equal with everybody," Tuitavuki said. "I may be a little more mature, but that doesn't automatically make me the leader."

Having played his junior college ball in Idaho, Tuitavuki knows that in addition to getting used to his new teammates and coaches, getting used to the weather may be most difficult for him.

"I'm going to have to get used to the heat, it could take a little while. It way cooler up in Idaho."

Although he should be in the midst of a fight for a starting job, playing time is not the only goal for the mammoth defensive tackle.

"We've been struggling the last few years," Tuitavuki said. "Winning is the main goal. When I first visited here the coaches talked about getting to the Rose Bowl. Our goal has to be getting to one."

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