Is USC Football DL Tuli Tuipulotu playing at an All-American level?

Tuli Tuipulotu, USC Football, USC Trojans
Tuli Tuipulotu, USC Football, USC Trojans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tuli Tuipulotu was a monster for USC Football on Saturday against Washington State. SC got the win 30-14, and Tuipulotu was easily the best player on defense (despite many players stepping up) and perhaps the best player on the entire team. He picked up five tackles on the day, and most notably racked up FOUR tackles for loss and three(!) sacks during the Week 6 outing.

Interestingly, this wasn't even surprising. Tuipulotu is up to seven sacks on the year and 12.5 tackles for loss. That's absurd, and especially absurd for a guy who takes tons of snaps inside, and not just as the D-End.

It's getting to the point where Tuipulotu may need to be talked about as someone in the All-American conversation. His sack total is No. 1 in the country, and his tackle for loss number makes for the No. 2 mark in the country.

Tuipulotu was already a really good player coming into the season of course, but has elevated his game to the type of level where it's fair to ask if he's in All-American convo. Realistically, it's too early to tell if he will or should be crowned as an All-American yet, but Tuipulotu's numbers absolutely make it worthwhile to discuss.

No Power 5 player has more than 10 tackles for loss this season, and Tuli Tuipulotu has 12.5.

And sure, USC Football hasn't had their bye week yet, which could potentially skew the numbers in favor of Tuli Tuipulotu. That being said, the next-closest Power 5 player is 2.5 tackles for loss shorter, which makes Tuipulotu's lead look too significant to be a fluke. And again, this is the statistic Tuipulotu is second nationally in. Don't forget that he leads the nation in sacks.

Tuipulotu would probably like to have more than his 21 tackles, as he had 48 last year and 22 in the shortened six-game 2020 season, but considering he typically does get more tackles, who's to say he won't progress to the mean in that category?

Next. Game-by-game predictions for USC in 2022. dark

While it's too early to figure out where everyone stands in terms of All-American nods, Tuipulotu has at least rightfully entered the conversation. Leading the country in sacks, and leading the Power 5 comfortably in tackles for loss, it remains a perplexing blunder that he was only rated as a three-star recruit out of Lawndale.