Utah defensive tackle Junior Tafuna, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, is looking forward to the season opener at Florida.

The Utes take on the Gators at The Swamp in Gainesville. And he has a special connection to the Sunshine State.

Utes on the air


No. 7 Utah (0-0)


at Florida (0-0)


Saturday, 5 p.m. MDT


Gainesville, Florida


TV: ESPN


Radio: ESPN 700


Tafuna has been to Orlando three times to visit Disney World

“I go there every year with my wife,” he said. “It’s a little tradition we do to get away from football and clear the mind. It helps. … It’s exciting. I love Florida because of Disney World. I’ve been down there and I can’t wait to play. The southern breezes — it’s amazing.”

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Tafuna loves the song “Southern Nights,” which he says describes the lifestyle in Florida. 

“You know that song ‘Southern Nights’? That’s what it really is,” he said. “I’m just excited to go out there and play under those lights and play our hats off and to win.”

Tafuna said he’ll be ready for the intense humidity of Florida. 

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “That’s what I hope, man. I listen to that ‘Southern Nights’ song. It explains how good it is. I’m excited.”

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