By Andrew Gorringe
Kurtis Taufa ended being one of the more unique recruitments for the 2016 Utah recruiting class, but it was also a very similar recruitment to that of 2015 signee Cory Butler-Byrd. From Snow College, and Lone Peak High School, Taufa made an early commitment to the Utes back in the spring of 2015, but later flipped to Kansas in the early summer. It was thought at the time that there were personal issues that were making Taufa want to leave the state, but that that didn’t deter the Utah coaching staff, as they made sure to continue their relationship with Taufa. That eventually paid off, as Taufa wound up flipping back to the Utes later that year. In addition to Kansas and Utah, Taufa had offers from Washington State, Missouri and Utah State.
The first thing that jumps off Taufa’s film is his closing speed and aggressiveness. This a guy that packs a mean punch when he hits the ball carrier, and almost always seems to be around the football. Taufa has good size at 6’2-230lbs, and has the speed to plug up holes in the line of scrimmage in a hurry. Taufa is quick in his decisions and takes good angles to get to the ball carrier. He has all the tools to be a dominant run stopper in the front seven of a defense.
Taufa is another junior college linebacker that is very likely to step in to at least a co-starting role on the Utes defense, but won’t join the Utes until the summer, much like his juco linebacker counterpart David Luafatasaga. Taufa is very familiar with the Utah football program, as well as the overall defensive scheme, as the defense he played in down at Snow College is very similar to the Utes’. It shouldn’t take much time for Taufa to get acclimated to the speed and style of the Utes’ defense, so look for him to make an early impact on the 2016 season. According to some, Taufa is the most likely player to start at linebacker for the Utes this coming fall.