Another dominant performance by Utah's defensive line has earned the Utes another Pac-12 weekly award.
Senior tackle Leki Fotu was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week on Monday, after recording a 13-yard sack and assisting on another tackle for loss in the Utes’ 35-0 defeat of California on Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Fotu’s nomination was strengthened by the performances of Utah’s other lineman and the defense overall. The No. 9 Utes held Cal to 83 total yards, a figure coach Kyle Whittingham described as being “like first-quarter yards, not the entire game.” The Bears crossed midfield only on their first possession of the game and ended up punting. Five of Cal’s nine possessions resulted in fewer than 10 yards gained.
Fotu, from Herriman High School, followed end Bradlee Anae as a conference award winner. Anae was honored as both the top lineman and the best overall defensive player last week, after a 21-3 win over Arizona State.
Fotu and Anae are among Utah’s four players who deferred their NFL careers for a year, along with safety Julian Blackmon and Zack Moss, in hopes of enjoying big senior years for themselves and the team. The four have “all positioned themselves better” for the 2020 NFL draft, Whittingham said.