Incoming Player Projections: Lowell Lotulelei

What to expect from incoming defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei for the 2014 season

The most underpublicized signing of the 2014 recruiting class was that of defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei, as the South Jordan, Utah native re-affirmed his commitment to Utah, after originally being a part of the 2013 recruiting class. Lotulelei never signed in NLI as a part of the 2013 recruiting class, as he decided to serve a LDS mission, and delay his enrollment. Those plans of serving of mission quickly fell through, and Lowell ended up moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, to live and train with big brother, and former Ute All-American, Star Lotulelei.

It can't be easy being the little brother of an All American, and then attend the same school as said brother, as it's often hard to live up to the expectations that fans create. Many people thought Lowell was destined for another university for that particular reason, but the family ties to the Utah were too strong for any other program to overcome. Lowell originally committed to the Utes in January of 2013 and the re-affirmed that commitment this past February by signing an official NLI. He chose the Utes over BYU, Oregon State, UCLA, Cal, Boise State and Utah State.

Although I'm sure Lowell would like to avoid a lot of comparisons to his older brother, you can't help but see the similarities in their style of play while watching Lowell's game tape. Lowell is so strong at the point of attack and is rarely moved by opposing offensive lineman, even while facing a double team. Does that sound familiar to any of you, because I'm pretty sure that was Star's best quality as well. Lowell is also deceptively quick when rushing the passer and it was near impossible for lineman to block him with that combination of power and quickness. I say again, does that sound familiar?

Lowell was dominant in high school, as he played varsity football from the time he was a freshman till his senior year, and tallied 148 tackles, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and even had two interceptions, throughout his four year career. As good as those numbers are, if the past performances of his older brother are any indication of what we can expect from Lowell, the best is definitely yet to come. It's impossible to predict the future and say that Lowell is going to be as successful as Star was while at Utah, but if his performance in high school is any indication, he could wind up being as good as Star was, heck, he even has the potential to be better.

Prediction: Utah is well known for their tendency to rotate as many as ten defensive lineman through a season, so it's pretty hard to imagine that Lowell won't be a part of that rotation. There will be a learning curve for him, as he's been away from football for a full year, but he is the type of talent that you just can't keep on the bench. Expect to see Lowell playing as a true freshman.

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