Coach Review: Siosifa Tufunga

A player not many people seem to know much about is Long Beach (Ca.) Jordan OL Siosifa Tufunga. One man who does is Panthers head coach Eric Scott and he spoke with recently about what makes his top player so good and what he has to work on once he arrives in Seattle this summer...

"I couldn't be happier for Washington or for (Tufunga)," Scott told "I mean, he's got Johnny Timu and (Princeton Fuimaono) already up there and that's the reason I gave Washington the first shot at him.

"No one had heard of him before, because Jordan doesn't have a lot of big-time kids coming out of it, so since no one had heard him before I just made a call to Washington back in May or June and they saw his tape and were pretty happy with it.

"They offered him and he just decided that was all he needed."

Scott said he got overtures from other schools to possibly get into the mix and start recruiting his top player, but were turned away by Tufunga who doesn't really relish the spotlight.

"He's not a guy who cares about attention or accolades," Scott said. "He just wants to play football and get after people. That's what he does best and because Johnny and 'Bobo' are already up there, he felt that was the best place to go so he'd know some guys already on the team."

Scott said Tufunga played left tackle for the Panthers this past season, but he expects him to move inside, able to use his size, quickness and mind to defeat opponents.

"He's one of the smartest kids, especially linemen, that I've seen," Scott said. "Offensive linemen have to be smart and we felt so confident in his intelligence that he was making our line calls from left tackle last year, so that should tell you something.

"He's got a great frame and he's already pretty strong, but he'll get a lot stronger once he gets up there and starts eating right and lifting the right way.

"He's someone I could see coming in there and contributing right away. He isn't going to come in there and sit around. He's going to push guys to get better in front of him or he'll just pass them and start playing.

"He's not the kind of guy who just shows up and is in the depth. I think he's got a great future and a really bright future ahead of him."

Scott said he expects Tufunga to get his first look at one of the guard spots along Washington's offensive line, but also noted he's an adept snapper and could be a very good center.

"He can pass set or run block, he's good at both," Scott said. "I think the biggest transition for him will be the speed of the game at that level. It's so much faster, so I expect he'll need a little time to adjust to that, but when he does, there's no reason to think he can't be an outstanding player once he gets his chance to play."

Worth noting as well is the fact that Scott said two juniors -- Fiamatai Togiaso and Puaolele Leota -- are linemen who could make waves next spring for him and wide receiver Isaiah Hicks, a standout on the football field as well as the basketball court, is his third 2012 player with D-1 abilities.

Two sophomores -- John Ross and Hudson Romain -- are two more players to keep an eye on.

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