Devin Kaufusi: ‘It Will Be Super Weird’ Now Being A Ute Playing At BYU
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The big game is finally here with Utah traveling down to Provo to take on BYU in a sold out LaVell Edwards Stadium. The energy will be electric as the Utes enter the stadium as a ranked team and BYU announced they are moving up to the Big 12 in a few years.
One particular player will have an even different set of emotions and that will be current Utah and former BYU defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi. Kaufusi started his career at BYU before joining the Ute program for the 2019 season. It is not just changing one school to another, because that Kaufusi name carries a lot of weight at BYU and in Provo.
The mayor of Provo is Michelle Kaufusi which is Devin’s mom, his dad Steve is a coach at BYU – previously he was at Utah from 1994-2001 – and his cousin Jackson plays linebacker for the Cougars. Plus, Devin’s older brothers Bronson and Corbin were key players for the BYU football program.
With the younger Kaufusi now wearing red, it will be a surreal thing he will experience when he walks onto the field he once played for but not wearing blue but rather Ute red and wanting to stop the BYU offense on Saturday night.
Devin joins KSL Unrivaled each Tuesday for the Players Club and this week was quite different as he has the rare experience of being on both sides of the rivalry. When he was growing up his dad Steve was a coach for the Utes so his first exposure was on the Utah side but when they moved to Provo when his dad took a coaching job at BYU it was all blue all the time.
When he enters the stadium this Saturday night the feelings will be all over the place for Devin as he enters a familiar atmosphere but with an unfamiliar feeling.
“I think it will be super, super weird. I am able to visualize it and put myself through it,” Devin said. “It will be weird staying at the hotel I have stayed at, pulling up in red buses, pulling up to the visitor’s side, getting dressed in the visitor’s locker room, warming up on the other side, and then standing on the opposite sideline.”
That feeling has to be a bit eery but it likely will end once the ball is kicked off and even more so once Devin takes the field with his Ute teammates.
The mayor of Provo is Devin’s mother so the obvious question is who will she be rooting for when her son takes the field in a University of Utah uniform? It would be a bit awkward for her to show up in a No. 90 red Utah jersey as the mayor of the town where BYU resides. Plus, she is married to Steve Kaufusi a BYU coach, so there is a lot of blue in this family with a little bit of red this weekend.
Of course, Devin’s mom will be cheering for him to win and he joked that she should wear red when watching the game in a box at BYU.
As for his dad, it is very unique but anyone would be fooled to believe that he would give away BYU football trade secrets or tips to the enemy, even though it is his own son.
“He likes talking about technique and a big technician. He is a stoic old wizard of the defensive line,” Devin said.
Any parent would be excited and support their son regardless if there is a rivalry or not involved.
However, there are his brothers Corbin and Bronson who are in the NFL but they have never defeated Utah during their times at BYU. Having your younger brother go to not only the rival school but the one that his older brothers never tasted victory against. They really can be less neutral and want BYU to just crush the Utes in a fun and brotherly way.
“My brothers are my heroes and super close and super excited for me,” Devin said. “BYU was really good to them, good to me and they love BYU, but they are super excited for me.”
Not many will go through this experience and Devin expressed a lot when talking about this game how it will just be different and weird not wearing the BYU colors he played for and cheered for when growing up.