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High school football: East’s Tangaloa Kaufusi commits to Stanford

SHARE High school football: East’s Tangaloa Kaufusi commits to Stanford

Less than two months removed from helping East end its two-decade state title drought, East’s Tongaloa Kaufusi finalized a big decision this weekend that could lead to more championships in his future.

The linebacker/defensive end officially committed to Stanford on Monday according to East coach Brandon Matich.

Kaufusi tentatively committed to Stanford assistant coach Lance Anderson during a home visit back in December, but it was contingent upon his being accepted academically — which became official over the weekend.

East’s student body president also had offers from Utah, BYU, Oregon State and Utah State.

Kaufusi had a very strong season for the 4A champion Leopards as he recorded 51 tackles and six sacks from his defensive end position. He also played tight end, and was a key blocker in East’s dominant run offense.

He was named a Deseret News first team all-stater.

“He was our difference in the season. He bought in morally to what we stand for in the program, and his own values and moral fiber guided this year. His leadership, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Matich.

Kaufusi becomes the latest Utah high school athlete to commit to Stanford, joining Brighton’s Simi Fehoko (Class of 2016) and Sione Lund (Class of 2017).

"Loa understands the importance of a great education — which he values first and foremost — but he also loves football. This opportunity gives him a chance to play for a great program in a great conference and allows him to achieve a second-to-none education," said Matich. "I couldn't be more proud of his decision to be a Cardinal. They're getting a heck of a young man."

Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: jedward@deseretnews.com