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How some top Utah high school recruits fared in the first week of the state playoffs

East takes on Orem during a high school football game at Orem High School in Orem on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.
East’s Voi Tunuufi (52) tries to track down Orem quarterback Micah Fe’a during a high school football game at Orem High School in Orem on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. In the Panthers’ 69-20 playoff-opening win over Clearfield last week, Tunuufi had four tackles, 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss to lead the East defensive effort.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

With the state football playoffs kicking off last week, time is running out for high school seniors in Utah to get one last bit of film out there for colleges. Whether it’s trying to get that dream school to offer a scholarship or simply to get one offer on the table, these athletes are facing the last few snaps of their high school careers.

Not long after that will come signing day — whether they sign in December or February — then college. How did some of the state’s top players perform in the first week of the high school playoffs?

The top seven recruits in the state according to the 247 Sports rankings were on byes during the first week of the postseason. Three defensive line recruits from the state’s top 10, though, were in action, with two currently committed to Pac-12 schools making plays for their respective teams.

Voi Tunuufi, East DT

★★★ | Washington commit

Tunuufi led the Leopards with four tackles and proved disruptive with 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss as East rolled past Clearfield 69-20 in the 6A first round. It’s the fourth straight week that Tunuufi has registered a sack — he had 2.5 sacks in the the Leopards’ previous two games and now has 12 sacks on the year.

Michael Mokofisi, Woods Cross DT

★★★ | Uncommitted

Mokofisi had a relatively quiet game in an opening-round 22-8 loss to Box Elder in the 5A playoffs, finishing with one tackle. Mokofisi — who has offers from Utah, BYU, USC, Arizona and Nebraska, according to 247 Sports — finished the season with 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Viliami Po’uha, Bingham DE

★★★ | Utah commit

Po’uha, who committed to Kyle Whittingham’s program over the summer, was one of five Bingham defenders with four or more tackles, as he had four tackles and a sack in the Miners’ 33-6 win over Granger on the 6A level. Bingham held the Lancers offense scoreless after it had scored on the opening kickoff. Over the past five games, Po’uha has five sacks.

Other recruits who stood out

Parker Buchanan, Box Elder ATH

★★ | Utah State commit

Buchanan, who plays quarterback and free safety, accounted for all three Box Elder touchdowns in helping the Bees oust Woods Cross. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Tallin Chappell late in the third quarter broke an 8-8 tie, and Buchanan ran for scores of 12 and 5 yards, the latter of which gave Box Elder a two-score lead with three minutes to play.

Isaiah Glasker, Bingham ATH

★★★ | Uncommitted

Glasker, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver and free safety with offers from BYU and Weber State, according to 247 Sports, made plays on both sides of the ball in the Miners’ win. He caught a 21-yard touchdown — his sixth score of the year — in the second quarter, and added two tackles and an interception on defense.

Spanish Fork wide receiver Jona Turagavou smiles as he hauls in a long pass aa Highland’s Josh Mayeda tackles him at the one-yard line setting up the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter of their 5A first round football playoff game at Highland at Highland High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.
Spanish Fork wide receiver Jona Turagavou smiles as he hauls in a long pass as Highland’s Josh Mayeda tackles him at the 1-yard line setting up the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter of their 5A first round football playoff game at Highland at Highland High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Jona Turagavou, Spanish Fork TE

★★★ | Uncommitted

Turagavou, who holds a lone offer from UNLV, according to 247 Sports, made a pair of big plays in the Dons’ 33-28 win over Highland in 5A action. Turagavou, who finished with four catches for 58 yards, had a 10-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter to put Spanish Fork ahead 17-7. He then caught a long pass down to the 1-yard line to set up the game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes.

Daniel Taumoepeau, Westlake OLB

★★★ | Eastern Washington commit

Taumoepeau had a monster game in the Thunder’s 35-23 win over Hunter, finishing with a team-high 16 tackles and recording a sack, his third straight game with a sack. He now has 89 tackles and five sacks on the year.

Jaylen Sargent, Logan WR

★★★ | Uncommitted

Sargent, who holds scholarship offers from several FCS programs as well as Utah State, Air Force and Wyoming, according to 247 Sports, had five catches for 83 yards in the Grizzlies’ 43-22 win over Hurricane in the 4A first round. That includes an 8-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter, then a 54-yard score a little over a quarter later.

Who the top recruits play this week

Here’s a look at this week’s games that involve players on 247 Sports’ top 10 recruits list from the state of Utah (all games will be played on Friday):

6A playoffs

No. 17 Westlake at No. 1 Corner Canyon, 4 p.m.

  • (No. 2) Jackson Light, Corner Canyon C/DT | ★★★★ | Oregon commit
  • (No. 4) Jaxson Dart, Corner Canyon QB | ★★★ | Uncommitted

No. 9 Bingham at No. 8 Pleasant Grove, 4 p.m.

  • (No. 6) Isaac Vaha, Pleasant Grove TE | ★★★ | Utah commit
  • (No. 10) Viliami Pouha, Bingham DE | ★★★ | Utah commit

No. 12 East at No. 5 Kearns, 6 p.m.

  • (No. 7) Jeffrey Bassa, Kearns S | ★★★ | Oregon commit
  • (No. 8) Voi Tunuufi, East DT | ★★★ | Washington commit

5A playoffs

No. 9 Timpview at No. 8 Olympus, 4 p.m.

  • (No. 3) Logan Fano, Timpview DE | ★★★★ | Uncommitted
  • (No. 5) Raider Damuni, Timpview ATH | ★★★ | BYU commit

No. 18 Provo at No. 2 Orem, 6 p.m.

  • (No. 1) Kingsley Suamataia, Orem OT | ★★★★ | Oregon commit