It’s the same knee (left) he had injured in high school that forced him to miss his senior season at Corona (Calif.) High School. As a true freshman at CU last fall, he played in three games, including one start, before suffered an ACL tear in his right knee during practice, causing him to miss the rest of the season. Paperwork has been filed for him to receive the year of eligibility back, but now he won’t be able to participate in spring drills which he was expected to do later this month.
The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Tuioti-Mariner played 165 snaps from scrimmage and had his best game in his start against West Virginia, when he graded out to 78 percent. He had one touchdown block and allowed just one quarterback sack while not being called for a penalty during his time on the field in the three games.
“It’s a tough blow, he had to go through this with the other (knee) and now this one again,” CU head coach Dan Hawkins said. “Eric McCarty (team physician) examined him tonight, and told us surgery will be in the neat future once the swelling goes down. But his teammates are loving him up, we’re loving him up, and he’s generally a very positive person to begin with. We’re encouraged that we will be able to get him back for the season.”
Spring practice begins March 31 for the Buffs, with the annual spring game set for Folsom Field on April 25 at 1 p.m.