Archive for the ‘Peter Tuitupou’ Category

Big Win, Even if You Didn’t See it

January 30, 2009


Would have been nice to see this one on TV wouldn’t it? But even if it was only the Bud Nameck show, a win is a win is a win. And wow, what a win! Any time you go on the road and beat the 14th-ranked team in their house, when you so desperately needed a win, well, things like this can change an entire direction of a season. So you see, the season IS NOT OVER.

And while ASU had their super-frosh last year in James Harden, well, Klay-Klay Thompson “made it rain” last night. Eight of 10 from three-point land? 28 points in the most crucial game of the year? Wow. And it sounded like ASU stayed in their zone D the whole game, which is hoops 101 – how do you beat a zone? Good ball movement, and oh yeah, shoot over the top of it. Even I know that. But as Klay told it to Grippi:

“They were playing a zone, so it is easier to get open looks from 3 instead of against man-to-man. … We would have played tighter on me, but they’re a zone team and they play it well, so they didn’t change what’s working for them.”

One more great thing about this game, and you could hear Nameck last night talk about it from time to time, but the defense of DeAngelo Casto was excellent. Grippi has some good stuff in his game story how the whole thing went down. But to put Casto, technically your power forward of tomorrow (or today?), off the bench to guard the high-flying 6-4 Harden? And it actually worked? I did some triple-takes listening to Nameck say Casto was on Harden. It didn’t seem possible. But there you have it. Serious onions by the staff, no doubt about it.

Meanwhile, some comings….and goings….in football.

About that JC All-American tight end out of Utah who showed up in January, already enrolled and ready to go? Never mind. Peter Tuitupou has decided to leave Pullman and head for his church mission. Can’t blame the kid, I mean you have to follow your heart and soul in things like that, but it is what it is. Note that the story is a premium one on Cougfan, but the headline says it all.

The Cougs landed a big kid out of the Bay Area last night in linebacker Sekope Kaufusi. Check out the Youtube goodness.

Just a one-star rating by Scout.com and no other schools are even listed in the schools of choice area, so this is a way-under-the-radar deal. He’s big (6-4, 230) and runs a reported 4.7 40. Wonder why the number-11 rated prospect in the Bay Area with size and 4.7 speed as a middle linebacker wasn’t highly recruited? Me too. The San Mateo Journal sure liked him, naming him as co-player of the year for 2008. An interesting, tough backstory to Kaufusi as well. Check it out here, as well as some comments here:

While the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Kaufusi was effective in all phases of the game, he made his biggest — check that, loudest — impact on defense. One of the hardest hitters to come out of San Mateo County in several years, Kaufusi often resembled a heat-seeking missile — and whoever had the ball was his target.

A player’s offensive value can be quantified with statistics, but it’s harder to make a judgment on a defensive player’s impact. But Kaufusi was the rare defensive talent who could do just that, often recording several jarring hits a game. Often times the players on the receiving end of his hits had to be helped off the field. It was only human to see opposing players suddenly get gun shy to go over the middle, knowing they could be the next one to get popped.

“Big hits bring a lot of intimidation, but they also bring a lot of encouragement to your teammates,” Kaufusi said. “Trying to deliver that big hit is always on my mind. They can be a momentum-changer, and I go into every game to be that difference-maker.”

Sounds like a middle linebacker to me.

Oh yeah, UW is committing MORE secondary recruiting violations. We won’t spill any more ink on these guys. We’ve said enough as it is. But are secondary violations a big deal? Not if it just happens once. Start racking them up? That’s another story. Seems like it’s just sloppiness combined with some overzealousness on behalf of the coaches to get UW back to where many want to see it. But whatever. They can downplay it all they want, UW fans, but the rules are there for a reason.

Finally, Grippi has a really good look at the recruiting class right now. While he doesn’t have anything on Kaufusi at the moment, he does break down the numbers game and that it is likely this class will be in the low-20’s in terms of sheer volume. Partially because of scholies to walk-ons from last year who earned their spot (Myron Beck), and partially because of grayshirts who committed last year but are in school now, like DT Josh Luapo.

THAT is it for a WONDERFUL FRIDAY! ENJOY IT, and GO COUGS!

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About That Commitment….

December 26, 2008

So UW has been trying to play catch-up in the recruiting world. Obviously Sarkisian (pictured above) has a lot of ground to make up in a very short time. He’s pretty much in the two-minute drill for trying to cobble together a class for the 2008 season. I’m sure Paul Wulff could relate, given that Wulff had to do the same thing when took the job a year ago!

But while Sarkisian was hoping to make a huge initial splash with some big-name verbals, well, it hasn’t exactly happened yet. Granted it is a quiet period right now, and things will heat up in January. Sarkisian is busy prepping his current team for the Rose Bowl. But they will fill their class, and they might even steal a few commits from Wulff. Remember, WSU took a UW commit last year in Cory Mackay. That’s just the way it goes. We as Coug fans know this is likely, so we’ll see what happens.

But UW made a few headlines this week in regards to the ever-confusing verbal commitment department. Basically a recruit who committed to UW post-Ty Willie but pre-Sarkisian, Grant Cisneros of Sumner, has been told to “explore other options”. In other words, he might have committed to UW, but UW is no longer committed to him. As Jim Michalczik said, they are starting over from the ground up in their recruiting efforts, and it appears Cisneros isn’t part of the equation.

Is this all that unusual? Not exactly. First of all, kids commit and de-commit all the time. We know that. It’s the thing Doba hated most about recruiting, and it goes on at every major program in America. And, unfortunately it’s a two-way street in this non-binding verbal world we live in. Schools can in fact change their minds too.

Remember the Michael Bumpus deal? USC had Dwayne Jarrett fall from the sky, backing out on a commitment to Ohio State in favor of the Trojans the last week of recruiting. However, USC was basically full at the time, and needed to find a spot in the class for Jarrett. They took a look at their WR situation, and decided at the last moment to pull the immediate offer to Bumpus and asked him to instead greyshirt, which means enrolling the following January and count against the next year’s class. We know how that worked out.

<img style="width: 189px; height: 153px;" src="http://i42.tinypic.com/qx3qx3.gif" alt="Image and video hosting by

GO BUMP!

Anyway, this sort of thing has happened before at other schools, and it will happen again. It is always tricky with coaching changes, and while one staff might see the kid as a perfect fit? The new staff might not. Sometimes it’s scheme-oriented, like trying to get a read-option QB to fit into a USC-style, west-coast offense. Or maybe it is an offensive line scheme, where one staff believes in huge, 350-lb uglies up front, where another staff likes the lean, athletic, 300-lb types who are in great shape and have some mobility.

Now we can be all high-n-mighty and say “Wulff NEVER did that to his recruits!“….until you consider that Wulff only had three commits to begin with when he took the job last year (Jared Karstetter, Tim Hodgdon, and Dan Spitz). What if he had a greater number, like eight or nine? What if there were some serious character risks in those commitments? Remember Calvin Schmidtke? What if there was a real square peg-round hole situation? Would Wulff had said “pass”?

I think the thing that could sting UW a little in all this is the manner in how this is going down. In the case of Grant Cisneros, he was told via a letter from none other than Scott Woodward himself that his commitment WOULD BE HONORED. Check it out:

Cisneros committed in mid-November during the time after former coach Tyrone Willingham had announced he wouldn’t be returning and before Sarkisian was hired.

Cisneros said he was motivated to do so after receiving a letter from UW athletic director Scott Woodward that all offers would be honored.

Ouch. A letter from the AD saying that the offer would be honored, but now that they have Sarkisian in the fold, uh, never mind?? That, my friends, SUCKS. The article states that he’s just hoping for a scholarship now, whether it’s Portland State, Idaho, wherever. Good luck to Cisneros, wherever he ends up.

Enough of the UW talk. WSU is filling up, now with 16 known commits after three new verbals came in from JC tight end Peter Tuitupou, guard Sebastian Valenzuela, and Jordan Pu’u-Robinson, a tight-end/defensive end hybrid from Hawaii (thanks to Cougfan for the links). All the talk before is that we would likely see around 18 with this class, so things are tightening up. It should be an interesting sprint to the finish!

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND, and as always, GO COUGS!