UTAH UTES

Junior Tafuna, Karene Reid Ready To Wreck Havoc On Big 12 Offenses

Jul 9, 2024, 3:26 PM

Utah Utes Football Big 12 Conference Media Days Karene Reid Junior Tafuna Defense...

(Photo courtesy of KSL Sports)

(Photo courtesy of KSL Sports)

LAS VEGAS – Both Junior Tafuna and Karene Reid are ready to show Big 12 offenses what the Utah Utes defense is all about.

The defensive tackle and linebacker joined the KSL Sports Zone from the Big 12 Media Days to talk about the state of the defense and the Utes’ new chapter.

The Utah Defense Standard

The Utah Football team prides itself on its physicality and aggressive defense.

Reid said that there is a standard for Utes defenders but it only ends up making everyone better.

“There’s a standard there,” Reid said. “There is a little bit of pressure. But, that’s alright. That’s what pushes us to be great. Since the day I got there. It’s been really high linebacker play and all I try to do is maximize that.”

At the same time, Utah has lived up to those expectations in recent years.

Tafuna said that there is a bunch of talent in the locker room and everyone is fighting both for themselves and the team.

“We’re ridiculously blessed,” Tafuna said. “(There’s a) whole lot of competition there. That’s what pushes us to be great. We’re always competing against each other in anything we do. It’s a healthy competition too because we all love each other and do our best for each other. ”

Looking Forward To First Year In Big 12

Even with the big expectations looming over Utah in its first year as a member of the Big 12, the Utes couldn’t be more excited to get started.

“Every day I ask Siri how many days until August 29th,” Tafuna said. “That’s how anxious I am. Not even anxious, just to go and give it our last shot.”

Plus, there are some extra motivators going into 2024.

Reid spoke on the Utah-BYU rivalry and what that game means for everyone involved.

“Just being from Utah, (the BYU game) already means so much,” Reid said. “With it being in conference play and affecting your record, it definitely means more. That game will always have its own juice.”

RELATED: Big 12 Commish Sees BYU-Utah Among ‘Critical’ League Rivalries

About 2024 Big 12 Media Days

For the first time, the Big 12 is making its way to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, is hosting the two-day event on Tuesday, July 9, and Wednesday, July 10.

The BYU Cougars will be attending their second Media Day as a member of the Big 12 after joining the conference in 2023. Last year, the Media Days were held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Utah is one of four newcomers to the Big 12 in 2024. The Utes will have a sense of familiarity at Allegiant Stadium though, having attended the 2023 Pac-12 Media Day at Resorts World in Las Vegas.

Chandler Holt is a co-host of the Jazz Notes podcast, a Locals In The NFL Insider, and Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Jaren Kump - Utah Utes Football...

KSL Sports

60 in 60: #35 Utah’s Jaren Kump (Offensive Line)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Coming in at No. 35 is Utah's Jaren Kump.

1 hour ago

How To Watch Utah Football...

Brian Preece

60 In 60: No. 36 Utah’s Landen King (Tight End)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Landing at No. 36 is Utah tight end Landen King.

1 day ago

Big 12 Media Days 2024 In Allegiant Stadium...

Matt Baiamonte

Notable BYU, Utah Questions Answered From Big 12 Media Days

BYU is embracing the underdog role. They like where they were picked in the conference standings despite being towards the bottom.

2 days ago

BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, Big 12 Media Day...

Michelle Bodkin

BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitake Excited For Utah D.C. Morgan Scalley’s Future

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake had some kind words and fond memories working with Utah "head coach in waiting" Morgan Scalley.

2 days ago

Nate Ritchie Utah Utes Football Nate Ritchie 60 in 60...

KSL Sports

60 in 60: #37 Utah’s Nate Ritchie (Safety)

The countdown is on for Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 for the 2024 college football season. Coming in at No. 37 is Utah safety Nate Ritchie.

2 days ago

Arizona Wildcats, Big 12 Tournament, Kansas City...

Michelle Bodkin

Big 12 Rolls Out First-Ever Alumni Council Featuring Representatives From Every Member

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark announced the addition of an "Alumni Council" in an effort to marry the "old school" with the "new school".

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Junior Tafuna, Karene Reid Ready To Wreck Havoc On Big 12 Offenses