01/03/2019 8:26 AM -
By Mick Moninghoff
The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester has signed linebacker David Luafatasaga for the 2019 season. Luafatasaga played two seasons at Utah helping the Utes to a record of 18 and 9 and two consecutive bowl victories.
In 2017 he received Pac-12 honorable mention honors at linebacker when he led the team with 82 tackles (3.5 for a loss). He added 1.5 sacks, had an interception, forced a fumble and broke up four passes. As a junior he played in 13 games, started eight times and tallied 52 stops along with five tackles for a loss while forcing a fumble and breaking up three passes.
After not being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, Luafatasaga was invited to mini camps with the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. Now he hopes to make his mark with the Pirates.
“I’m a real physical player. I like to hit. That’s what I can bring to this team. At 6’4” I could be a defensive end with my size. I can move pretty well as a linebacker from sideline to sideline in coverage. I’ll be working more on my pass coverages and breaking out fast in my drops. Since there is a lot of passing, I’ll try to secure most of the damage by making open field tackles when the receivers make a catch.” He said.
Before enrolling at Utah, Luafatasaga played junior college ball at Arizona Western where he was an all-conference player and rated as a four-star recruit. Pirates President Jawad Yatim likes what Luafatasaga brings to the table.
"David is a signing I'm excited about as he comes off an impressive two-year stint at the University of Utah in which he appeared in all 26 games for the Utes, starting 21 of them. As a senior he led a defensive unit which is typically one of the best in the nation in total tackles. He's had impressive performances against the likes of Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon, and Indiana among others. He's a long, fluid, well-coordinated athlete who’s natural in coverage and stout enough to where he was playing at the line of scrimmage in certain defensive fronts. He's instinctual, versatile, and enthusiastic about the opportunity which is important because he's looking forward to coming in and working hard and that's the type of attitude that is consistent with the culture we have been creating here. He'll be a big piece of the puzzle this upcoming season, glad to have him," Yatim said.
For Luafatasaga, this will be his introduction to arena football. Given his size he could play many roles but he would he happiest at linebacker.
“I would rather play as a middle linebacker. At Utah they moved me around a lot. I played middle, outside and defensive end, but I would rather play in the middle linebacker. I like reading, coming down, hitting the hole and filling the gaps,” he said.
When asked what players influenced his career, he referenced a pair of Polynesian players.
“I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. Troy Polamalu was a role model who I watched growing up. I just loved how he moved around on the field and how he made incredible plays. He could read the whole field and make a play. I also liked watching Rey Maualuga who played with the Bengals.” he added.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $199.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.