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Star Lotulelei Drafted by Carolina with 14th pick

Star Lotulelei was selected in the first round with the 14th overall pick by Carolina.

Star Lotulelei was selected in the first round with the 14th overall pick by Carolina.

April 25, 2013

NEW YORK CITY--


Utah All-America defensive tackle Star Lotulelei became the seventh first-round draft pick in Utah football history when he was chosen by the Carolina Panthers with the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Lotulelei (pronounced lo-too-leh-lay) will be teammates with former Utes Jordan Gross, a first-round draft pick by Carolina in 2003, and Steve Smith, a third-round Carolina pick in 2001. Gross, an offensive tackle, and Smith, a receiver, have both played in multiple Pro Bowls. Including Lotulelei, there are now 23 Utes on current NFL rosters.

Lotuelei is Utah's fourth-highest overall draft choice behind Alex Smith (No. 1 in 2005, San Francisco), Gross (No. 8 in 2003, Carolina) and Lee Grosscup (No. 10 in 1959, New York Giants).

He made six All-America teams as a senior and was named first-team all-Pac-12 Conference in 2011 and 2012. He won the 2011 Morris Trophy, which is awarded to the Pac-12's best defensive lineman by vote of the league's starting offensive linemen.

At 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, Lotulelei was double and even triple teamed on virtually every play, yet his 42 tackles in 2012 included a team-high 11 tackles for loss and five sacks. He also had four pass breakups, three forced fumbles and led the conference with four fumble recoveries.

The 23-year-old South Jordan, Utah, native attended Bingham High School and Snow College before signing with Utah. He could graduate from the U. as early as this summer with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He is married (Fuiva) with two daughters.

 

 

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