Marlon Tuipulotu is the big winner of Senior Bowl practices so far

USC football defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu.
USC football defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu. / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Tuipulotu took his game to another level for USC football in 2020. Now he's making waves at the Senior Bowl.

The 305-pound defensive lineman went to Mobile, Alabama this week with the chance to raise his NFL Draft profile. The opportunity isn't going to waste.

Tuipulotu received rave reviews for his performance during Tuesday's practice, the first of the week.

USC football star Marlon Tuipulotu is gaining fans at the Senior Bowl

USC fans know all about Tuipulotu's quality. As a senior, he led the way on the Trojans' revamped defensive line.

His stat sheet included 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. However, the numbers hardly do his performance in six games justice. He set the tone in the trenches, opening up windows for others around him to shine.

Since he lacks the flashy talent of Jay Tufele, Tuipulotu isn't expected to be a Day 1 draft prospect. That means one NFL team will get some serious Day 2 value. What Tuipulotu may lack in ceiling, he makes up for in maturity and technical skill.

From the day he stepped onto USC's campus, Tuipulotu had a reputation for being a pro. He flipped from Washington to the Trojans in the class of 2017 and worked his way in to the starting lineup by the second week of the season. Unfortunately, injuries ended his season prematurely.

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He returned healthy and took over the starting nose tackle job, which he retained through 2020.

Even though he served as a reliable presence in 2018 and 2019, it wasn't until 2020 that Tuipulotu really came into his own. He was voted to the All-Pac-12 First Team.

While USC needs to figure out how to cope without Tuipulotu, he just needs to keep showing his stuff in front of NFL scouts. The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to begin on April 29. He's got until then.

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