60 IN 60

60 in 60: #11 Utah’s Junior Tafuna (Defensive Tackle)

Aug 19, 2022, 1:40 PM | Updated: Aug 21, 2022, 12:37 pm

Utah Utes - Washington State Cougars...

Junior Tafuna #58 of the Utah Utes celebrates sacking Jarrett Guarantano #18 of the Washington State Cougars during their game September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The countdown for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 is on. Coming in at #11 is Utah’s Junior Tafuna (DT).

Throughout the summer Hans & Scotty are counting down the top 60 college football players in the state of Utah as voted on by the media (and a fan ballot).

“Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said of his defensive tackle. “Tremendous ability. Recruited him as a linebacker coming out of high school. He’s gotten bigger and stronger every year he’s been in the program. He’s settled into that defensive tackle spot. He’s the anchor for that defensive line.”

Utah’s Junior Tafuna

Tafuna is a sophomore from Taylorsville, Utah. Before joining the Utes, Tafuna was a standout at Bingham High School as a three-star prospect. He helped the Miners win state titles in 2016 and 2017. As a junior in 2017, Tafuna recorded 74 tackles, one sack, and an interception. During his senior season, Tafuna racked up 64 tackles, one sack, and an interception in 2018.

Tafuna was invited to the 2019 Polynesian Bowl and was named second-team all-state his senior year.

The Taylorsville, Utah native didn’t see any action during the 2020 season. In 2021, Tafuna saw action in 13 games, including starts in the last 11 games. He compiled 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and a pass breakup. Tafuna was named Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

This fall, the Utes will open their 2022 schedule on the road against the Florida Gators. The Utes and Gators will play on September 3. Utah’s first home game is against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on September 10.

About the 60 in 60

Every summer Hans and Scotty reveal the best college football players in the state of Utah in their annual 60 in 60 as voted on by the media.

In 2022, for the first time ever, the 60 in 60 included one vote based on a fan ballot.

Click here for the complete 60 in 60 rankings countdown.

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60 in 60: #11 Utah’s Junior Tafuna (Defensive Tackle)