Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 22, 2005.
Panthes trade pick to Seattle...Seahawks select, Lofa Tatupu, LB, Southern California
Lofa Tatupu, MLB+SS, Southern California
Height: 5:11.3 Weight: 226
Overview: Tatupu was an All-State and All-League Defensive MVP at King Phillip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.) High School, where he played for his father, former NFL special teams great, Mosi Tatupu. He recorded 100 tackles as a linebacker and threw for 800 yards with ten touchdowns and gained 450 yards with five scores as a quarterback in his senior year. Tatupu then enrolled at the University of Maine, where he forced his way into the starting lineup at linebacker later in his freshman year. Tatupu finished second on the team with 67 tackles (40 solos), including 3.5 sacks, 13 stops for losses, three interceptions and returned four kickoffs for 59 yards. He transferred to Southern California in the fall of 2002, sitting out the season under NCAA transfer rules and also to recover from arthroscopic right knee surgery. Tatupu took over middle linebacker duties for the Trojans, starting twelve games in 2003. Despite missing the Arizona State game with a right ankle sprain suffered the previous week vs. California, he still led the team with 98 tackles (54 solos), earning All-Pac 10 Conference honorable mention. He added three sacks, 11.5 stops for losses, a fumble recovery, four interceptions and ten pass deflections, as he garnered John McKay Award honors, given annually to the underclassman with the most competitive spirit. In 2004, Tatupu garnered numerous honors. He was an All-American first-team choice by Sports Illustrated, All-Pac 10 Conference first-team pick, recipient of USC's co-Most Inspirational Player Award, Co-Lifter Award and Bob Chandler Award. He started every game in the middle and again led the team with 104 tackles (57 solos), including six sacks, 13.5 stops for losses, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, three interceptions and eight pass deflections. In two years at Southern California, he started 25 games. Tatupu finished his Trojans career with 202 tackles (111 solos), nine sacks for minus-53 yards, 25 stops for losses of 84 yards, seven interceptions for 164 yards in returns and a touch-down, three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and 18 pass deflections. For his collegiate career, he posted 269 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 38 stops behind the line of scrimmage, ten interceptions, 20 pass deflections, three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles.
Analysis: Positives...If they could measure heart, desire and determination, Tatupu would stand tall among the linebackers in this year's draft, but when actually measured. ... He is an athlete that plays bigger than his size. Tatupu has a great combination of speed, quickness and strength. He is a well-proportioned athlete with above average sideline-to-sideline agility and range. His quickness and instincts are his best assets. ... While undersized, he plays big. Tatupu shows a nose for the ball and attacks the offense with good determination. He is a solid run defender who despite a lack of size, plays strong with good hand usage. But, he is even more effective when avoiding and slipping blocks to make the plays. ...You will not see him blocked for long, as he is quick to redirect and is the type that will play until the whistle. ... Tatupu plays with a low pad level and generates the speed and strength to gain leverage on blockers and the ball. He is a fast, athletic mover who is able to sift through traffic, showing good range in pursuit and an explosive burst to close. He is an effective blitzer who takes proper angles to apply pressure. ... He has good pass coverage skills, dropping back smoothly and quickly. Tatupu has quick feet and flexible hips to break coming out of his backpedal and plays either the man or zone coverage with equal effectiveness. He sticks tight to the tight ends and backs, using his hands effectively to jam and reroute. Tatupu eyes the receivers through their routes and shows good discipline, as he is not the type that will bite on fakes or play action. ... Tatupu has natural hands for the interception and utilizes his good leaping ability to time his jumps to get to the ball at its high point. He catches with hands extended from the frame and keeps his head on a swivel, quickly reacting to the thrown ball. He is also a secure tackler who strikes, faces up, snaps his hips and wraps securely to drive the ball carrier back. ... Because of his pass coverage skills, I feel he can make a successful switch to strong safety in the pros, much like former Pac-10 stars Darren Woodson (Arizona State), Coy Wire (Stanford) and Adam Archuleta (Arizona State) have done. If left at middle linebacker, size will always be an issue, but his ability to face up or slip blocks makes me feel that he can be effective in a cover two system. ... Big things come in small packages. Just ask Dallas'' Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen or former Carolina Panther great, Sam Mills. He will probably not be drafted where his grade indicates, but in a few years, someone will have unearthed a talent, whether at linebacker, safety or on special teams.
Negatives...Height and size will become an issue on draft day. Slower offensive linemen seldom get a good shot at him, but when they do, he will get washed out of the play because of his safety-like frame.
Agility tests: CAMPUS: 4.63 in the 40-yard dash...385-pound bench press...545-pound squat...333-pound power clean...33-inch vertical jump...32 3/8-inch arm length...9 -inch hands.
High school: Attended King Philip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.) High School, playing football for his father, Mosi Tatupu...Recorded 110 tackles at linebacker and threw for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns as a quarterback while also rushing for 450 yards and 5 scores as a senior... All-State pick as a senior and two-time (1999-2000) Sun Chronicle All-Star and All-League linebacker (earning All-League Defensive MVP honors as a senior).
Personal: Sociology major...Father, Mosi Tatupu, was a former Southern California fullback (1974-77), who was a member of Troy's 1974 national championship team (he ran for 1,277 yards on 223 carries in his Trojan career and was USC's Offensive Player of the Year and Most Inspirational Player in 1977) and then played fourteen years in the NFL with the New England Patriots (1978-90) and Los Angeles Rams (1991) before entering the coaching ranks (he currently is an assistant at NCAA Division III Curry College)...Born 11/15/82... Resides in Wrentham, Massachusetts.
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there are some serious reaches goin down... this is one of em...