USF Football USF Football Recruiting USF Football Recruiting Class of 2020

#20Strong USF Adds JUCO DT to 2020 Recruiting Class

So you thought UCF was the only college football team landing talent from Hawaii? Think again! Let's welcome the latest addition to the #20Strong class Sione Tuitupou!
#20Strong DT Sione 'JT' Tuitupou USF Fooball Recruiting Class of 2020 Coverage and Analysis by Mike Cusimano
#20Strong DT Sione ‘JT’ Tuitupou – head shot courtesy of USF Athletics

We’re back to give you guys an update on the recent addition to the #20Strong class. Without further ado, let’s get after it!

DT Sione Tuitupou Commits to the Bulls

With the 18th commit to the Bulls 2020 class, the coaching staff landed DT Sione “JT” Tuitupou (@johntuitupou) out of East Los Angeles College (JUCO). Tuitupou announced his commitment on November 1st via Twitter, giving the Bulls another piece at the DT position including current #20Strong commit Gentle Hunt. Let’s discuss USF’s newest #20Strong DT with a look at his tape and my thoughts on his future on the Bulls roster.

The Scoop

Currently unranked by 247Sports, Tuitupou has been an under the radar recruit so far, holding offers from USF, Maryland, and Western Kentucky to date. According to Will Turner from 247Sports, Tuitupou played his high school ball in Kailua, HI before enrolling at Garden City Community College in Kansas, later transferring to East Los Angeles College (ELAC) where he plays now. Let’s take a look at the Hudl tape and see what USF will be getting with Tuitupou at the DT position in the coming years.

The Tape

Looking at the tape, Tuitupou is an absolute unit at the DT position, lining up at either nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme or defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. Starting with a great first step after the snap, Tuitupou is active with his hands, using either a swim or rip move to get past the OL in front of him. Standing at 6-4, 290 LBs according to 247Sports, what I was most impressed with from Tuitupou’s tape is his speed and quickness at his size, often chasing down a RB on outside run plays. Not only does this showcase his pursuit to the ball, but also highlights his high motor on the field, something that you love to see from your big guys up front. When asked to assist in run support, Tuitupou did a good job of standing his ground and shredding blocks to get to the ball carrier. The last thing that I’ll mention about Tuitupou’s game is the physicality that he brings on the line. Combine that with the high motor that Tuitupou plays with, JT will be a nightmare for offensive lineman to go up against at the next level for years to come.

The Verdict

Based on how frequently Defensive Line Coach Paul Spicer shuffles guys in and out during the game at both DE and DT, I expect Tuitupou to come in a be a factor right away as another guy to add in to the rotation in 2020. This by no means is knocking the talent that is already at the position right now, but simply going off of how many guys have played meaningful snaps at DT this season. What will be interesting to see is if Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Brian Jean-Mary will attempt to run more 3-4 fronts given that Tuitupou could line up at either NT or DE in that scheme. Giving that the defense will have the depth at linebacker to run a 3-4 scheme, this might be something to look for come spring with defensive ends such as Greg Reaves, Kirk Livingstone, and Darius Slade set to graduate after this season.

Leave your thoughts and comments below and be sure to tune in later next week when I update Bulls fans on all things USF Football recruiting!

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