Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Taimi Tutogi eager to show versatility at Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game

Taimi Tutogi

Taimi Tutogi practices Monday for the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game. Photo by V. Valdez Photography

Taimi Tutogi was described many ways in his four years with the Arizona Wildcats — fullback, H-back, tight end, tailback, defensive end.

Mostly, he was a blocker.

Tutogi, at 6-1, 260, has the kind of powerfully-built body found among lead blockers in the NFL. What the scouts want to find out about Tutogi in the next couple of weeks is what he else he can do in the offense.

“I think they know I can block,” he said after practice for the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game, to be held Friday night at Kino Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.

“A lot of scouts have talked about me coming out of the backfield, being versatile.”

Tutogi carried the ball only once, for a loss of 1 yard, as a senior in coach Rich Rodriguez’s read-option attack. Tutogi caught 10 passes this season and 11 as a junior in the final year of the Mike Stoops era.

“I tried to play within the system, whatever Coach Rod, Coach Stoops wanted me to do,” Tutogi said.

“I felt like I could have done more, but we had guys like Ka’Deem (Carey). I just did what they told me. Hopefully, with what they had me do, I produced enough to where these scouts think I can play at the next level.”

Tutogi is rated the ninth-best fullback for the 2013 draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com, which rates him as a seventh-round/free agent prospect.

He will also have more practices next week to show what he can do. He accepted an invite to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will be held Jan. 19 in Los Angeles.

Tutogi is hoping he will get a chance to get at least a few plays on defense at the Casino Del Sol game after appearing as a third-down pass-rusher for Arizona this season. He had five tackles, including 1.5 for loss and one sack.

He said he “kicked back and relaxed” for a bit after Arizona’s win in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15, but it’s now all business.

“It hits you that college is done. I won’t ever play in Arizona Stadium again,” he said.

“Now, you’re hitting the big world and you’re facing reality. But it’s good that this game is in Tucson. I feel like I’m back home.”

Search site | Terms of service