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Utah football: Filipo Mokofisi following in dad’s footsteps
Utah football » The defensive tackle’s dad was star LB for Utes.


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Mokofisi is half a bill lighter than some of the offensive linemen he’s facing, "and yet he’s stunning them at the line of scrimmage," Sitake says. "You’d imagine him adding more weight, it’s only going to help him."

Currently, Mokofisi is listed as a starter at defensive tackle alongside junior Viliseni Fauonuku, but senior Sese Ianu and sophomore Stevie Tu’ikolovatu are expected to compete for those jobs in the fall.

At a glance

Like father, like son (As players at the U.)

Mokofisi Sr. Mokofosi Jr.

High school East Woods Cross

Position Linebacker Defensive tackle

Height 6’1 6’3

Weight 232 265

Number 46 45

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If he remains in the conversation, that will be largely due to his outstanding technique, which he has honed — with his dad’s help — from a young age.

"He’s got really natural hands," said Utah defensive line coach Ilaisa Tuiaki. "In the weight room he’s not as strong as you’d like, but his leverage and his understanding of body positioning — he’s got a natural knack for it."

Mokofisi Jr. knows he’s slight for a defensive tackle, but he enjoys run stopping and prides himself on being balanced. His height gives him an advantage, keeping offensive linemen at a distance and off balance, "and then finally shedding the block," he says.

Dad says he’s already proud.

He doesn’t think his own achievements should result in any added pressure on his son, and if Mokofisi Jr. wanted to do something else, he’d support him.

"I’ve just told him since he was little: ‘You play the game because you love the game. You don’t do it for anything else.’"

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper


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