Chip Kelly loves the big recruits and he added one more to the 2019 recruiting class when Sitiveni Kaufusi from Punahou High School in Honolulu signed with the UCLA Bruins on Friday.
“It was all a dream”... ✍ pic.twitter.com/dnWs3HwuKZ— SK4 (@SitiveniKaufusi) February 15, 2019
It’s official. ✍️— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) February 15, 2019
Welcome to Westwood, Sitiveni Kaufusi!#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/h6OEmqvVeI
The Bruins offered Kaufusi after the National Signing Day and Sitiveni shared UCLA’s offer via Twitter:
Blessed, thank you @CoachKaufusi @coachdhills and the rest of the @UCLAFootball staff for the offer!#GoBruins #4sUp pic.twitter.com/xbKO2N6a38— SK4 (@SitiveniKaufusi) February 8, 2019
Kaufusi was the nation’s No. 1-rated fullback in the 2019 class and No. 15 overall prospect in the state of Hawai’i, according to 247Sports composite rankings. According to 247Sports’ Blair Angulo, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound prospect had also been committed to Navy before eventually signing with the Army Black Knights on National Signing Day. However, UCLA entered the picture late with an offer and after returning home from a late official visit to Westwood, a UCLA offer was too much to pass up.
2019 UCLA commit and high school teammate, Duke Clemens seems to be one of the reasons that Kaufusi ended up signing with the Bruins. Kaufusi spoke with 247 Sports’ Blair Anguloe about this influence and his trip to UCLA:
Since the day I got my offer, my teammate Duke Clemens has been by my ear the whole time telling me how great of a school UCLA is and he really wants me to go there with him.
It also didn’t hurt that UCLA’s Dalton Hilliard attended Punahou High as well before attending UCLA from 2009-2012 playing safety and linebacker.
Kaufusi seems to definitely fill a need for the Bruins, as UCLA lacked a true power back in this class of 2019. Kaufusi averaged four yards per carry during his senior year and scored four touchdowns in 10 games.
The game film shows what you might expect it to show; it’s pretty hard to tackle a 6-3, 240 pound back running between the tackles. The game film also shows that Dorian Thompson-Robinson might enjoy having him in the backfield picking up linebacker blitzes as well.
Welcome to Westwood, Sitiveni!