MURRAY — Utah football topped off its 2016 recruiting class nicely on Wednesday, securing the late signing of Murray four-star defensive end prospect Maxs Tupai.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Tupai finished his standout Spartan career with 81 tackles and eight sacks in 2015, helping Murray reach the 4A state quarterfinals.
Tupai comes in at No. 270 on the ESPN 300 rankings of the top talent in the 2016 recruiting class and is rated the top player from the state of Utah.
According to family members, Tupai also strongly considered offers from USC, UCLA and Oklahoma before deciding on Utah. The specific reasons as to why he chose Utah is anyone's guess.
Tupai declined to give interviews to the media following his announcement in front of hundreds of fellow students, coaches and family. It was a move consistent with how he's dealt with inquiring reporters throughout the recruiting process.
But reporters weren't alone from being shut out of Tupai's recruiting process, far from it.
According to his parents, Iona Tana and Anna Tupai, neither were sure where their son would sign and found out when everyone else did Wednesday.
"It's been a long and stressful process for all of us," Anna Tupai said. "We'd ask him what he was thinking and he'd tell us that he really didn't know. We came here today not knowing where he'd sign, so we're as surprised as anyone."
Both parents thought Maxs was leaning to signing with an out-of-state program but are happy he'll stay close to home.
"It's his decision and we'll support him no matter what," Anna said. "It is a surprise to me he chose Utah, but I'm very glad he'll be just up the street and that we'll get to see him play most of his games."
Tupai's commitment adds to an already sterling class for the Utes. Scout.com rated Utah's recruiting class No. 41 nationally before Tupai's commitment, and now it's jumped eight spots to No. 33. He gives Utah two four-star commits in the 2016 class to go along with a five-star commit, offensive lineman Garett Bolles of Lehi who played the past two seasons at Snow College.
Email: [email protected]