By Andrew Gorringe
The most bizarre recruitment of the 2016 Utah signees easily goes to Murray High School defensive athlete Maxs Tupai, as he dragged his recruitment out past national signing day before eventually committing to the hometown Utes. Tupai is the highest rated high school recruit that Utah landed in 2016, and the Utes beat out some of the nations’ best programs to land him, as Tupai held offers from UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Washington and many others. Early on in the process it appeared that Tupai was destined to head out of the state, as many speculated that his family was pushing him to leave Utah. Over time though, several schools began cooling on Tupai due to academic concerns. Utah kept on him however, and were always there from the beginning. USC, UCLA and Oklahoma also were there in the end, as Tupai took post-signing day official visits to all three of those schools, but none of them made him feel as comfortable as he felt whenever he visited the Utah program.
It’s hard to single out just one trait of Tupai’s that makes him special, as he has many to choose from, but the first thing that jumps off his film is his nastiness on the field. Tupai packs a wallop with every hit he dishes out, and he has a non stop motor that makes him a pain in the rear for opposing offense. Versatility is the next thing that stands out about him, as Tupai played five different positions on the field, playing both offense and defense, and looked like an elite level talent at each position. Our latest indications have Tupai pegged at 6’2-250lbs, but he has the frame to easily add another 25lbs. When you consider his size, it’s scary to watch him run away from defenders when he carried the ball in high school, and also chase down wide receivers in the open field. Scary for the opposing team that is. Tupai also finished his senior season as a finalist for the National Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best high school defensive player.
96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE Though Utah has landed high school players in the past with a higher national level ranking than Tupai, many believe that he is the most talented high school player Utah has ever landed. Tupai is a quiet, well mannered kid that doesn’t like the spotlight and doesn’t like to do interviews, which led to him being undervalued by almost every recruiting website available. He has reportedly kicked his academic concerns to the curb, and barring any setbacks, will be set to enroll at Utah in the summer. His future at Utah is as a defensive end, and he has all the tools to be an All-American caliber player. He has the speed, size, quickness, motor, and above all, nastiness to dominate from his defensive end spot sooner rather than later. Despite the depth Utah has on the defensive line, look for Tupai to contribute early and often in the 2016 season .