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Kaufusi Puts Together Gutsy Performance In Final Game With BYU

Nov 26, 2018, 10:19 AM | Updated: Nov 28, 2018, 10:11 am
Utah Utes quarterback Jason Shelley (15) falls to the ground as Brigham Young Cougars defensive lin...
Utah Utes quarterback Jason Shelley (15) falls to the ground as Brigham Young Cougars defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi (90) and linebacker Sione Takitaki (16) rush in as BYU and Utah play at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — He was supposed to be done. Corbin Kaufusi missed BYU’s final home game against New Mexico State after tearing ligaments in his ankle – his third injury which would require season ending surgery, including a torn triceps, and a pinky finger with torn ligaments.

But Saturday night, Kaufusi suited up for his final game against Utah. Playing through the pain, Kaufusi totaled seven tackles on the night, the second most of any Cougar.

“They wanted me to get surgery last week, but I was told that if I could tolerate the pain, I could do it,” said Kaufusi. “I just wanted to give back to this team – I love these guys.”

“That’s what playing football is all about – the love of the team, the love of the game, and I knew I had more to give,” he added.

After the game, Kaufusi was noticeably emotional, fighting through tears as he talked about his final game as a Cougar and what it meant to go to battle with his brothers one last time.

“It’s weird, because it hurts, but I’m just so happy that I got to play, last week I thought I was done,” said Kaufusi. “To be able to come out and play with these guys that I love so much. I’m just so happy.”

“Just to hold them one more time and say, ‘Thanks for riding with me till the end.’ I just wanted to go until the wheels fall off and that’s all I care about.”

It marks the end of a storied career across multiple sports. Kaufusi spent three seasons as a member of the BYU Basketball team in addition to three seasons anchoring the defensive line on the football team.

On the court, he sealed a win against No. 1 Gonzaga with a putback dunk in the final seconds in 2017, and was key in a 73-70 win over the Bulldogs in 2015.

On the gridiron, he totaled 19.5 tackles-for-loss and 17 sacks which is the fifth most in program history since 2000.

It has become a common occurrence for high-profile athletes to concentrate on rehabbing and preparing for the pro level after suffering an injury, but Kaufusi decided to leave it all on the turf, “Till the wheels fall off.”

 

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Till the wheels fall off 😈✊🏽

A post shared by Corbin Kaufusi (@corbin_jk) on

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