Utah DE Mika Tafua Declares For 2022 NFL Draft

Dec 20, 2021, 9:16 PM
Mika Tafua - Utah Utes vs. Oregon - Pac-12 Title Game...
Defensive end Mika Tafua #42 of the Utah Utes celebrates the team's 38-10 victory over the Oregon Ducks to win the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football star defensive end Mika Tafua announced that he will forego his senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mika Tafua announced that he will play with the Utes in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State on January 1, 2022 before making the jump to the NFL.

The Laie, Hawai’i native posted his decision on his Instagram page on Monday night.

“The last few years have been some of the best of my life,” Tafua wrote. “I am grateful for my constant support of my family, and all of the relationships I’ve built while at Utah. My teammates and coaches will be family forever. I am looking forward to playing in front of the best fans in the country one last time on New Year’s Day. Afterward, I will be training and preparing for my next chapter as I declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Tafua originally signed with BYU out of high school as a four-star recruit. After serving a two-year church mission, he decided to join the Utes in 2017. As a redshirt junior in 2021, Tafua has 48 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble, three quarterback hits and three pass breakups.

Tafua leads the Pac-12 in sacks and the Utah defensive line in tackles. He is the fifth Utah player that will skip his senior year and declare for the NFL Draft, joining Devin Lloyd, T.J. Pledger, Cole Fotheringham and Nephi Sewell.

Nick Ford, Brant Kuithe, Dalton Kincaid and Tavion Thomas are notable names that are still deciding their future.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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