There aren't too many last names that have more football prominence in the state of Utah than Kaufusi. Every year or two there is another Kaufusi that emerges as a D1 football prospect. Jackson Kaufusi, a 2016 prospect from Brighton High School is on his way to joining the Kaufusi fraternity, but recently another Kaufusi emerged on the D1 radar. Enter: Loa Kaufusi.
Loa plays football at East High School, in Salt Lake City, Utah. His coaches rave about his upside and after watching him in action at the Utah State camp, it's easy to see why. At 15 years old, Kaufusi is already 6'4 205-pounds and is an incredibly fluid athlete. He dominated drills and it all looked so effortless.
"Football runs in my family," Kaufusi explained. "I was born and raised around the game and I have loved it ever since I can remember. My dad (Rich) played at BYU, but I've had tons of family play at both schools (BYU & Utah). I grew up a fan of both schools, and recently I've watched some Utah State football too. My uncle, Joe Tukuafu just committed there this year."
Kaufusi's upside has already drawn the attention of the in-state schools. There's a good chance he could end up a national prospect by the end of his junior year.
"I picked up my first offer last week," Kaufusi claimed. "The Utah Utes offered me during the spring evaluation. That is a great program and I have followed them since I was a kid. They have some great coaches and people within the program. Coach Tuiaki and Sitake are the two recruiting me from the U. I like both coaches a lot and would love to play for them."
"I actually just picked up my second offer from Coach Wells and the Aggies. He told me he loved how I preformed at the camp and he thinks Joe and I could be special for them. I have liked USU the past few years, they are getting better every season. I am pretty excited about this whole recruiting process. It's a blessing to have these opportunities."
Kaufusi is a good basketball players and his skill on the hardwood carries over to the football field. He has good speed, length, and athleticism to play multiple positions at the next level. Tight end and defensive end are the most likely positions, but outside linebacker and defensive tackle are both possibilities. Kaufusi prefers playing tight end, and after watching him run around, it's hard to argue with him.
"I think basketball definitely helps me be a better football player," Kaufusi said. "Grabbing a rebound is a lot like catching a jump ball at tight end. I also think the footwork used on the basketball court helps me on the football field. I've actually put on 20 lbs since the end of the basketball season. I think that should really help me play on both sides of the ball. Football is a physical game, and hitting the weights has been a focus for me this offseason."
There have been some great football players from the Kaufusi family, but some of them are touting Loa as one of the best. Those are some big expectations, but the upside of the East HS product is undeniable. You can bet BYU, Utah, and Utah State are going to have their hands full battling each other and schools from all over the West Coast to keep Kaufusi home.