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94 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Titus Tuiasosopo

In which BracketCat counts down the 94th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State nose guard Titus Tuiasosopo.

#11 Marques Tuiasosopo
Remember Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo (11), who K-State outlasted 24-20 with a 10-minute, clock-chewing touchdown drive near the end of the 1999 Holiday Bowl? Now his cousin, Titus, is a walk-on nose guard at Kansas State.
Photo by Todd Warshaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#94 Titus Tuiasosopo

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-0 | 322 lbs. | Manhattan, Kansas
Titus Tuiasosopo
Titus Tuiasosopo
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Nose Guard
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Scout Team
  • Status: Preferred Walk-On

Titus Tuiasosopo (b. Nov. 29, 2001) is a preferred walk-on defensive tackle from Manhattan who is majoring in secondary education and learning from his father as his position coach.

Tuiasosopo, who redshirted in 2021 and did not see any game action in 2022, prepped under head coach Weston Moody at Wamego High School, where he earned all-state honors from The Topeka Capital-Journal as both a junior and senior.

Tuiasosopo also competed in track and field for the Red Raiders.

Here’s what Joe Klanderman had to say about his increased reps last spring due to injuries:

It’s a two-man rotation in there at nose, and that’s not a fun time. Getting triple-teamed and double-teamed and slobberknocker after slobberknocker. I really appreciate Titus Tuiasosopo, and I really appreciate Trevor Stange for taking that every day, and those guys are getting better because of it. When it’s not necessarily fair, the amount of reps they’re having to take but at the end of the day, it’s going to make them better players.

Van Malone also commented on Tuiasosopo’s development during 2022 spring practices:

Of course, there’s a guy who can’t be out there and man there’s a lot of those guys, too many to even name but there’s another guy who is getting the opportunity to be out there. Titus Tuiasosopo is getting many opportunities to be out there, and as a young player that’s what you look for in the spring. You want to do everything you can to develop the younger players. You like to put your starters out there because they look really cute as they run the defense and it looks good because they understand the schemes and they understand the checks. But really, what you want to do is have an opportunity to develop your team. As coaches, we always consider that a challenge, and it is, but there’s light at the end of the rainbow. Ultimately, it is developing your younger players. So, as we get all 56 of these guys who are on the injury report, as we get those guys healed up, it’s giving many of us, especially on the defensive line has given many of our younger players an opportunity to get reps. Many more reps than they would have ever anticipated. It’s helping our team at the end of the day.

Tuiasosopo, who walked on at K-State over scholarship offers from Northern Colorado and numerous community colleges, comes from a football-rich family tradition.

His father, Mike, currently serves as the defensive tackles coach for the Wildcats; his sister, Lanea, was a rower at UCLA; and his cousin, Marques Tuiasosopo, played quarterback at Washington, was drafted by the Raiders and is the current offensive coordinator at Rice.

Here’s what Mike had to say about coaching his son so far as part of the K-State team:

It’s been interesting, I’m learning a lot, to be very honest with you. I would say that he has gotten himself better with all the opportunities he’s had here in the spring. There’s always a fine line between teaching your son and players, but I think in our room, what’s been really pleasing for me personally, is just how the older guys are looking over all our younger guys and developing and continuing our culture in our room. ... Sometimes there are things that I coach that have to come from a player. It’s going to mean something different coming from a player than it will from a coach. But no doubt about it, it’s different. I’m learning every day, but I’m glad he’s here.

Mike’s uncle, Bob Apisa, was a two-time All-American fullback at Michigan State and was drafted by Green Bay in 1968.

A cousin of Titus’ father, Manu Tuiasosopo, was a two-time All-American defensive lineman at UCLA, was the No. 18 overall pick by Seattle in the 1979 NFL Draft and started for the Super Bowl XIX champion (1984 season) San Francisco 49ers. Manu’s son, Matt, played Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves.

One of Tuiasosopo’s younger uncles, Navy, lettered at Utah State from 1983 to 1986 and played for both the Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Cardinals. Another late uncle, his namesake Titus, played for USC from 1988 to 1991.

Two more of Mike Tuiasosopo’s cousins played collegiately and in the NFL — John Tautolo (offensive line, UCLA/New York Giants, New England) and Terry Tautolo (linebacker, UCLA/ Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, Miami).