Kalani Sitake Identifies And Develops NFL Talent Better Than His Peers


Courtesy of BYU Photo


Kalani Sitake Identifies And Develops NFL Talent Along The Defensive Front Better Than His Peers…


Note: some of the players listed below played other positions in the NFL or even in college, but they were all defensive linemen under Sitake at one point or another. Some also transferred away to other schools. We’ve also included the first NFL team they signed with, not where they currently are. We did not count minicamp invites as “making the NFL”.


Even if the 26  players listed didn’t initially commit to Kalani Sitake out of high school, each of the players listed below were identified, recruited, developed and eventually coached by Kalani Sitake.



Koa Misi (Miami) — 2nd round

Trevor Reilly (NY Jets)

Derrick Shelby (Miami)

Christan Cox (New England)

Joe Kruger (Philadelphia) — 7th round

David Rolf (San Diego) moved to tight end

Dave Kruger (Cleveland)

LT Tuipulotu (New England)

Star Lotulelei (Carolina) — 1st round

Sealver Siliga (San Francisco)

Nate Orchard (Cleveland — 2nd round

Tevita Finau (Arizona)

James Aiono (Indianpolis)

Hunter Dimick (Jacksonville)

VJ Fehoko – Transferred to Texas Tech (Cleveland)

Tenny Palepoi (San Diego)

LT Filiaga – transferred to Utah State (Philadelphia)

Jason Fanaika (San Francisco)

McKay Murphy-transferred to Weber (LA Rams)

Stevie Tuikolovatu – transferred to USC (Tampa Bay) — 7th round

Sam Tevi (LA Charger) moved to OL — 6th round

Kylie Fitts (Chicago) — 6th round


Oregon State

Kyle Peko (Denver)



Harvey Langi (New England)

Sae Tautu (New Orleans)

Tomasi Laulile (Indianapolis)


If there are others that I missed, please comment below with their information.


(The BYU Athletic Communications office helped in the research and accumulation of data for this article)

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  • Ben Criddle hails from Glendale, Arizona. After playing junior college football he served a Spanish speaking mission for his church in Spokane, Washington. In 2005, he "walked-on" to the BYU football team, later earning a scholarship and becoming a two year starter at cornerback. Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008 and moved on to become the current owner and founder of OrthoPros of Utah, (a distributor of DJO Global orthopedic devices and other medical equipment). August 3rd 2011, marked his official launch into the sports radio world as the co-host of CougarSports, the first successful BYU dedicated sports radio show. Ben has been supplying cougar nation with candid, unfiltered cougar sports analysis with a dose of attempted humor everyday since that summer morn. Put on your blue goggles and join him from 3-7pm as he breaks down all things BYU throughout the year.

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