A couple weeks into their NFL careers, former standout Utah football players Lowell Lotulelei and Filipo Mokofisi are hanging up their cleats.
After Lotulelei signed with the Denver Broncos and Mokofisi with the Green Bay Packers as undrafted free agents, both recently announced their decision to move on and to pursue a coaching career instead.
After being one of eight players to sign with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent, Utah nose tackle Lowell Lotulelei joined several of his former teammates who have signed with the Broncos over the past few years.
However, Lotulelei’s NFL career ended sooner than most thought as he informed the Broncos of his intention to retire from playing football. Instead, Lotulelei intends to pursue a coaching career.
Lotulelei returned the $15,000 he received as a signing bonus to the Broncos after informing them of his decision to walk away from the game.
Lowell Lotulelei, the younger brother of Star Lotulelei, the former Panther and current Bills defensive tackle. Lowell, played four seasons at Utah where he recorded 103 tackles (53 solo), 21 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and two forced fumbles. He was considered a physical and decently athletic space-eater, but some NFL decision-makers questioned his commitment to the game and his overall work ethic.
“He was slow and sloppy this season and his quickness suffered badly because of it,” his NFL.com scouting report read. “Teams looking to draft him will have to be leaning on his 2015 or 2016 tape because he was a reject in 2017. If he doesn’t commit himself to the work it takes to be a pro, he will have a hard time sticking around.”
This past week, the Green Bay Packers placed Filipo Mokofisi on the reverse/retired list.
Mokofisi, a Utah native, signed as a rookie free agent with the Packers on May 4. During his time at Utah, the three-year starter at defensive tackle and who was twice named All-Pac-12 honorable mention. Mokofisi appeared in 48 games, 35 of which were starts, and finished with 110 career tackles.
His father, Filipo Mokofisi Sr., was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the eighth round of the 1986 NFL Draft.
Mokofisi had a tough task as the defensive line is arguably one of Green Bay’s deepest position group with Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry combining to start 40 games last season. The Packers added former Jets star Muhammad Wilkerson in free agency and have Montravius Adams back. Adama, was a third-round pick last year whose rookie season was ruined by a training camp foot injury.