Wisconsin DT could boost Army's D-line

The Army defensive line has been a sore spot for the Black Knights over the past two seasons. Too often Army's smallish defensive line was man handled by opposing offensive lines. The Black Knight's nation received some good news on National Signing Day when several promising defensive linemen signed with Army. One of them was a young man named Tiano Pupungatoa from River Falls, Wisconsin.

The Army defensive line has been a sore spot for the Black Knights over the past two seasons. Too often Army's smallish defensive line was man handled by opposing offensive lines. The Black Knight's nation received some good news on National Signing Day when several promising defensive linemen signed with Army. One of them was a young man named Tiano Pupungatoa from River Falls, Wisconsin.

Tiano Pupungatoa committed to Army shortly before signing day and then signed with the Black Knights on February 6th. Pupungatoa found West Point to have a family like atmosphere which appealed to him.

"I liked the overall atmosphere, just the players and how they worked through the Army," said Pupungatoa. "That corps, it's just like a big family there. I come from a big family of eight, going to a college that far away having some other connections there is important to me. It's a family style atmosphere there."

Army's heaviest starting defensive lineman for the Navy game was Richard Glover at 6-foot, 247 pounds. The next biggest starter was Robert Kough at 6-foot-3, 239 pounds. Too often during the 2012 season Army's D-line was pushed around by opposing offensive lines including in losses to several MAC programs. The addition of Pupungatoa could help Army's defenses of the future win the battles in the trenches that often decide the winner of football games. You see, Pupungatoa is 6-foot-5 and weighs 255 pounds. He has the frame to support up to 290 pounds. He also has the strength and speed needed to be a successful defensive lineman.

Pupungatoa talked about the things that attracted the Army staff to him.

"My size along with my speed and strength and explosiveness that I get from shot put," said Pupungatoa, who has squatted 455 pounds and thrown a shot put 55 feet, 5 ½ inches.

Pupungatoa had an early FBS offer but interest likely dropped off after he missed three games due to a knee injury. Despite that injury Pupungatoa still earned All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State (honorable mention).

"Last year as a junior I received a full ride offer from Central Michigan but that offer was filled in prior to this summer when I got to one of the camps, so they had to drop their offer. South Dakota State offered me a full ride for the defensive line and I just chose Army over them," said Pupungatoa. "The weekend before I went to Army and the weekend right after I went to South Dakota State and I knew right away that Army was for me."

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