The Arizona Wildcats secured a commitment from junior college defensive tackle Sione Taufahema out of College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, CA) while on his official visit this weekend.
Taufahema checks in at 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, and will be enrolling at Arizona in January, joining the team for spring practice. This is a pick I had in my Crystal Ball as soon as I finished speaking with him about his offer.
The defensive tackle is just coming off an official visit to New Mexico and held offers to Hawaii, UMass, and Montana State. He felt that Arizona State was very close to offering as well.
The defensive line has suffered in recruiting over the last few years. With some recruits not reaching their full potential, and junior college options not sticking, the staff has had to rely on under-recruited guys, including walk-ons.
Now, defensive line coach Vince Amey will be getting a huge addition that will likely contribute immediately. Taufahema will have three years to play two at Arizona.
“Coach Amey let me know from the jump that he thinks that I can be a guy to come in and play right away and anchor down the d-line,” Tafahema said about the opportunity at Arizona.
Scheme fit also played a role in his decision.
“It's kind of the same defense we run here at College of the Canyons, so it wouldn't be a really hard transition,” he explained. “And with me playing at the nose I just cause disruptions in the backfield. I can also play at the 3 technique.”
Arizona now has five defensive line prospects committed in the 2017 class, including Bryce Brand, Kurtis Brown, Austin Faoliu, and Matt Leo. Jalen Harris also has the flexibility of playing outside linebacker or defensive end.
Taufahema was the second-leading tackler among defensive linemen at Canyons, registering 24 tackles (2.5 for loss) and a sack. College of the Canyons finished the season with a record of 5-6.
His sophomore year highlights are below.