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Tafua Named To Final 2021 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List

Nov 29, 2021

CHICAGO – Utah defensive end Mika Tafua has been named to the final version of the 2021 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List, announced today by the Ted Hendricks Foundation.

The Ted Hendricks Award honors the top defensive end in college football each year. Tafua is one of 30 players, including being one of two from the Pac-12, that will be voted on by the selection committee with a winner being announced on Dec. 9.

Tafua, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, has played in 42 career games for the Utes with 36 starts. He is currently tied for the most career tackles for loss among active Pac-12 defensive linemen with 32.0.

The Laie, Hawaii, native had recorded 46 total tackles this season, which leads all defensive linemen on the Utah team, adding 13.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. His 9.5 sacks leads the Pac-12 this season, also ranking 17th in the FBS.

Tafua has averaged 4.4 tackles per game in Utah's last five contests, including tying his season-high tackles (6) in two of those games. He has had at least one tackle for loss in six straight games, including a season-high 2.0 against Oregon State.

He has recorded at least half a sack in nine of Utah's 12 games this season, including 1.0 in four straight. He notched a season high 2.0 sacks against USC with four tackles in Utah's win over the Trojans.

Tafua and the Utes return to action on Friday, Dec. 3 when they travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Pac-12 Championship game. The Utes and the Ducks will kick off at 6 p.m. MT on ABC.