Archive for the ‘Sekope Kaufusi’ Category

Rookie Watch – Checking in on Morning Practice

August 13, 2009


Hello Cougar Nation,

Longball here to give you an update on what I saw at today’s AM practice. As you may know coach Wulff has split the squads into two sessions each day, rookies in the morning and veterans in the afternoon. It’s all about reps, according to coach Wulff, and it’s a good chance to get as much work as possible for everyone. This morning I got a good glimpse of the future and my first impression…two words:

Jeff Tuel

If anyone watched Tuel’s highlight reel you know the kid shows a great arm to go with some live feet. Check it out here, by the way…

The highlights pretty much alternate between 60 yard TD runs and 60 yard TD passes. I can tell you that in person, he looks great, comfortable and in command leading the rookie offense up and down the field against the rookie D. He showed an easy throwing motion, strong arm and good accuracy, but also a great instinct for when to tuck and go. I was really excited by what I saw. He still looks very young and has a lot of filling out to do on his 6’3″ frame, so lets drop any talk of him playing this year right now. But the future looks very bright for this young man.

On defense I was really excited to see Darren Markle, the highly touted middle linebacker and serious power-lifter(400 bench, 600+ squat!?!), but it was another linebacker who really stood out to me.

Sekope Kaufusi

Good luck pronouncing his name. But however you choose to say it, Sekope stands out on the field not only because of the rock star mane of hair flowing out the back of his helmet, but also because of his size. He lines up at middle linebacker, but has defensive end size. This kid looks like he could be a lot to handle in years to come.

For the most part the O line seemed to have the upper hand, giving Tuel decent time and opening nice holes for the running backs, but whenever a running back found a nice seam up the middle they were met with a pretty loud pop in the defensive backfield followed a lot of cries of “Nice hit Jamal!” That Jamal I speak of? Safety Jamal Atofau, already making a name for himself out there.

Add Jamal to the list of young Cougs you can be very excited about for the future.

Other notes – It was interesting to see former wideout Anthony Houston running with the defense this morning as a cornerback, albeit a very large cornerback. It will be interesting to see if he can develop into a serviceable corner. With his size it would definitely help the defense match up against big receivers. Anyone who was at the Okie State game last year knows what I’m talking about?!

I had a brief chat with Co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears this morning and he succinctly reiterated what we’ve been hearing a lot about this team… bigger, faster, stronger and tougher. Sure sounds good!

That’s it for this morning folks. I will be at the afternoon session too get my first impressions of the guys we will be counting on to make a return to being competitive year. Check in later to see if there is any truth to this talk about gettin’ tough. Until then…

GO COUGS!

Advertisements

And So it Begins…

February 4, 2009

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!