If you were to take a trip out to Ephraim, Utah, and take in a game of Snow College Football, you’d get a chance to see one of the top junior college offensive line prospects in the nation this year in Taitusi Lutui.
And while you may have trouble pronouncing his name (Loo-TOO-ee), you certainly won’t have a hard time picking him out on the field of play. Snow coach Jeff Kilts said Lutui – called “Deuce” by those who know him – is listed at 6-foot-5, 350 pounds.
But that’s only because the Snow scales tip off at that mark. In actuality Lutui weighs in between 370 and 380 pounds.
The big man is projected to play offensive tackle when he joins a Division I roster next fall, although Kilts believes Lutui may see time as a guard instead, depending on the wishes of his new team.
“From an athletic standpoint he’s the kind of guy who could play in the NFL, but I’m not sure he could be a tackle there because he’s not really tall enough,” Kilts said.
Lutui attended Mesa High School in Arizona before he made the move to Snow.
He wasn’t placed by any school following his prep days, although he did originally sign with Utah before failing to qualify academically.
“I think he was one of the higher recruited offensive linemen coming out of high school,” Kilts said.
While Kilts said Lutui will tell you he runs a 5.1 in the 40-yard dash, his coach confesses that Deuce is closer to 5.5. But it’s in his quickness and agility that the big man excels.
“From a quickness standpoint, his agility times ranked him in the middle of our linebackers,” Kilts said of Lutui, who also possesses the strength to bench 225 pounds 24 consecutive times.
Deuce will enter the playing field of Division I ball with three years to play two, and he’s on track to graduate from Snow in July.
“He will graduate,” Kilts said.
“He’s a solid student, in the high twos and close to three. He’s going to be five credits short when we get to May, but he’ll finish in the summer. I don’t see him as a risk. The only thing that hurts his stock is he won’t be a December graduate.”
Kilts said his big man has already received written offers from Arizona State, BYU and Utah, to go with verbal offers from South Carolina and Nebraska.
“It’s hard to get a take on him and where he wants to go. I’ve tried,” Kilts said. “I’m going to call Hawaii because he asked me to. I think they’d have the inside track if they got on him.”
The irony of it all is that the Snow College star really wants to get away from the snow.
“I think he wants to get to a more temperate climate being from Arizona and having experienced one Utah winter,” Kilts said.
Only time will tell where Lutui ends up. Stay tuned, and in honor of Deuce, stay warm.