“It’s really huge,” said Kaufusi, who has offers from no other Power 5 schools, but does have offers from Virginia Union and Weber State. “It kind of came as a surprise. I know that they have a good education program, but I don’t know too much about their defense. I hope to get to know more.”
Getting that first Power 5 offense was a major milestone for Kaufusi, who’s older brother Isaiah Kaufusi is currently on his LDS mission, and when he returns, will play defensive back for BYU.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Kaufusi said. “It feels great. Hard work, I guess, pays off.”
Distantly related to former Cal defensive tackle Keni Kaufusi (“I remember growing up with him, and watching him play high school football,” he said), and former USC guard John Martinez, Kaufusi played both linebacker and cornerback last season for Salt Lake City Brighton (“because we were short a couple people,” he said), and at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, is a speedy pass rusher off the edge.
“This was the first time we’ve talked on the phone, and he seemed like a cool guy,” Kaufusi said. “We talked about the offer, and he wanted to know more about my family, and trying to build relationship. It was pretty good.”
Kaufusi’s family tree has plenty of college football players hanging out in the branches, including the aforementioned Martinez and Keni Kaufusi, older brother Isaiah and cousin Percy Taumoelau, who played offensive line at Utah. He also has two more cousins at BYU.
Being LDS, Kaufusi – who has a 3.4 GPA -- wants to take his mission right after high school, just like his brother.
“I want to go on my mission, and I talked to coach about it,” Kaufusi said of his conversation with Chachere. “He said that it would be a good thing, if I did, and that it would all work out.”
Kaufusi plans to take some unofficial visits during his spring break, and will be sure to hit Berkeley during spring football.
“I think me and my dad are going to drive out during my spring break, and go to all the schools in California,” he said. “My spring break starts April 8, so around there.”