DEMAREE: Polynesian connection a correction?

Last season, the UK staff brought in a couple of Samoans to bolster an offensive line that was in much need of help. The line had been depleted by probation and the UK team found itself lacking going against SEC competition. Former assistant coach Ron McBride recruited juco linemen 6-foot-2 (generous), 290-pounds Fatu Turituri and 6-foot-5, 335-pounds Sefo Mailau Blaylock to help.

Blaylock, born in Tonga located next to Hawaii, moved to California as an infant and later moved to Utah and signed with UK out high school there. Where did the last name Blaylock derive from? "I was adpoted," he said. Blaylock, who was red shirted last season said he missed coach McBride because he was such a nice man but he has adjusted well in his stay at UK. The youngster has been battling weight in an attempt to stay under 350-pounds every since he's been at the university. His target weight is 325-pounds, He struggled all last season to make his gasser times but reportedly is doing much better this summer.

Fatu Turituri hails from American Samoa and later attended a school in California. He said he didn't like it at Los Angeles Harbor College and later enrolled in a junior college in Utah. He to also expressed admiration for McBride, who recruited him to UK. Western Samoans and American Samoans distinguish themselves by a tattoo on the left shoulder. Turituri said that is their form of circumcision. His father was from Western Samoa.

Turituri made a big splash last spring at left guard and was a piece of an O-line that had a lot of cohesion at that time, despite its shortcomings Then came the exodus of Aaron Miller, which left a void at left tackle. "When I returned last fall, I was shocked when told I would be moving to left tackle," Turituri lamented. "I took one for the team." This meant that he knew he would be shooting a short stick size wise but he's a team player, he said. The young man is on pins and needles with that fear hanging over his head this season. You see, Miller is in summer school with his eligibility hanging in the balance.

"Coaches told me after the spring semester that I might have to play tackle again. I told them please don't mess up my season."

Technique-wise and leadership-wise, Turituri was head and shoulders above during 2005 spring practice. Being technically sound is one of the factors that helped him survive last season. He said Florida defensive end Jeremy Mincey and Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil gave him the most trouble during the season. Dumervil was tough because he was so short and quick. "I gave up a sack to him due to the fact it was so hard to get under his pads.

Turituri suffered a season ending knee injury last year and has rehabbed it well. He has been medically released for full scale duty in August. He said going against U of L's line is different than the SEC lines. Their d-lines are not as big but very quick and the same across the whole team.


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