The Vols need some versatile linebackers in their 2019 class, and they reached out to offer one of the top linebackers in the 2019 recruiting cycle on Monday night.
Maninoa Tufano is a four-star linebacker from Honolulu, Hawaii, and he tweeted out that he was “fired up” and “excited” to add an offer from the Vols to his huge offer list.
— MT5 (@maninoa_tufono) February 27, 2018
The talented Hawaiian linebacker is listed as the No. 91 overall player and No. 3 inside linebacker in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The regular 247Sports rankings have him as the No. 38 player in the class. He currently holds offers from over two dozen schools, and that includes offers from Oregon, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Washington, Florida, LSU, Texas, Notre Dame, and others.
Tufano is a rangy linebacker who has great pursuit and very good instincts. He can wrap up a running back with ease and isn’t easily fooled by misdirection. His film doesn’t show much pass coverage, but the few times it does, Tufano is more than capable as a zone defender.
As a junior, Tufano totaled 88 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and forced three fumbles.
Jeremy Pruitt has stressed before that he wants and needs versatile linebackers to fit in his 3-4 defensive scheme. And Tufano fits that mold. The athletic linebacker also plays basketball for Punahou High School, and he’s been used on both sides of the ball in football.
Tennessee has a bigger need at inside linebacker than outside linebacker in the 2019 class, but they need to add players at both positions. Expect Tufano to be a big target for the Vols in this cycle.