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3-Star JUCO LB TJ Kautai signs with Maryland football

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The Terps secured four commitments from Independence Community College ahead of the early signing period. Now three have officially signed.

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Editor’s note: This story was initially published after Kautai’s commitment Dec. 8. It has been updated to reflect his signing.

After committing to Maryland football on Dec. 8, JUCO linebacker TJ Kautai officially signed with the program Wednesday morning.

“I’ve been THROUGH it,” Kautai said in his commitment tweet. “Never folded! I’m excited for what the future holds for me. And I’m excited to announce my commitment to The University of Maryland!”

Kautai is rated as a three-star (0.8111) prospect, the No. 6 junior college linebacker and a top 150 junior college prospect in 2020.

Standing at 6’1, 240 pounds, Kautai is a very smart linebacker who does well to read plays and make a difference. With his frame, Kautai has extreme closing speed and can also lay some big hits at the line of scrimmage or in coverage.

In 2019, Kautai played in eight games at the junior college level and came up with 13 tackles, 19 assists, 1.5 sacks and a pass breakup.

Kautai becomes the third signed prospect from Independence Community College, which was featured by Netflix on its series Last Chance U. Offensive guard Johari Branch and defensive tackle Ami Finau both signed Wednesday morning.

Kautai will have three years to play two seasons, according to 247Sports, meaning he would be able to redshirt one time under the new four-game policy for one season in College Park.