We reach the end of the 70s in our countdown to the beginning of the season with no. 70, offensive lineman Hunter Lotulelei.
The 6-foot-3 and 325 pound freshman out of West Valley City has yet to see any game time, signing back in the 2018 class and getting back into football shape in the 2020 season after his LDS church mission. He is the cousin of former Utah defensive linemen Star and Lowell Lotulelei, who both made a name for themselves while suiting up in the Crimson and White. Although there is one difference, Hunter is choosing to make his mark on the other side of the ball.
While Lotulelei has yet to see field time, he comes with a solid prep background. Hunter was a 2017 first-team all-region and second-team All-USA Utah Football team, as well as a first-team all-state performer and a 2018 Polynesian Bowl invitee that winter. He also played rugby growing up, so there is a layer of athleticism within his large frame.
Much like his cousins before him, Hunter knows how to play with power, but on the offensive side of the line. He has a strong lower body, giving him great power when firing his hips at the line of scrimmage. Good interior offensive linemen need to be aggressive and impose their will, and Lotulelei fits the bill. However, he will need to continue to develop his pass blocking skills to push for playing time.
Will Lotulelei lives up to the family name as a player that will move the line of scrimmage and play downhill? In high school, he played with a chip on his shoulder and finished blocks at the second level. Getting low and playing with solid pad level is no problem for him, and like some of the other young linemen discussed previously, he could make the depth chart a fascinating battle to follow in fall camp.
That being said, he’s like one more year away from consistent playing time.
Alex remembers Lotulelei’s recruitment
It seems like forever ago that Hunter Lotulelei was offered a scholarship to attend the University of Utah, during the All-Poly, and practically committed on the spot. I wish there was something more intriguing about his recruitment, but he was a longtime commitment as the 2018 4-star offensive guard committed back in June of 2016.