Formerly a member of the University of Utah football program, USC transfer nose tackle Stevie Tu’ikolovatu is going to play in the NFL. The former Trojan and graduate of East High was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 223rd overall pick in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft on Saturday in Philadelphia.
After graduating from Utah after the 2015 season, Tu’ikolovatu transferred to Pac-12 South foe USC and had a solid season. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors after making 53 tackles, including two for a loss.
His uncle, Sione Pouha, also a former Ute, played defensive tackle for the New York Jets for seven seasons.
Projecting Tu’ikolovatu as a fourth- or fifth-rounder, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote, “Left Utah to earn more playing time at USC and it seemed to pay dividends. With a jarring punch that sets him up for success, he is able to get rid of blockers for quick wins and is a productive tackler once he's free.”