Admittedly Auzoyah Alufohai, was not a name I recognized. As of recently the Stars have done a great job of bringing in rather large name players with NFL ties. This helps to turn heads but it’s had some mixed results in terms of providing help with attendance. That being said, Auzoyah Alufohai may not be a household name, but he should peak curiosity in some Houston Texans fans. While adding depth, and size to the Philadelphia Stars defensive line.
Who is Auzoyah Alufohai?
Auzoyah Alufohai attended Kennesaw State and West Georgia University for college. Between the two schools he collected 78 tackles, 7 for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 tipped passes, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery playing on the defensive line. Pretty impressive for a man who had only played one year of high school football.
I guess when you graduate high school at 6’3 310 pounds it opens doors because despite just one season of high school football, he found college interest. He would join Kennesaw as a redshirt freshman before playing in 8 games with 3 starts the following season.
He would stick with Kennesaw until the 2019 season when he moved on to West Georgia as a graduate student. This was a smart decision on his part as he wound up having a career year. Following the 2019 season Auzoyah Alufohai declared for the NFL draft.
At 6 foot for 318 pounds he would participate in the 2020 pro day for West Georgia. He would measure with 34 1/8 inch arms, as well as an 82 1/4 inch wingspan. He ran a 5.32 40- yard dash, leapt 29 inches in the vertical, and put up 20 reps in the bench press.
Signed by his hometown Texans as an un-drafted free agent in 2020, he made enough of an impression in training camp to earn a practice squad spot. This practice squad spot was huge during the Covid-marred 2020 campaign as more practice squad players than ever before in a single season saw playing time. Auzoyah Alufohai was one of those players. He didn’t receive his first elevation until week 15, but four days later he was promoted to the active roster.
He stuck with Houston that offseason, and nearly found himself back on the practice squad as a member of final cuts. About a week after being released by Houston the Bears brought him in for the first time. This stint lasted just one week, but his second stint nearly 4 months later lasted 9 months. Working under current Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai.
With stints with four different NFL teams Auzoyah Alufohai found himself on the outside looking in for the 2022 season after being released by the Jaguars. Now Auzoyah Alufohai finds himself with another opportunity to play in the 2024 USFL season, IF another NFL team doesn’t come calling first. Could Auzoyah Alufohai find a way back onto a Desai -led defense by playing for the other football team to represent Philadelphia?
How Does He Fit with the Philadelphia Stars?
The Philadelphia Stars struggled on defense last season. Under defensive coordinator Brad Miller in year one, the Stars had 25 sacks in 10 regular season games. Heading into the 2023 season the Philadelphia stars presumably loaded up on defense ends. Signing Carson Taylor, Ali Fayad, and Darius Hodge.
It looked on the surface like they were adding “luxury” pieces to spice up what became a championship roster in 2022. I for one drank the kool aid and believed as a Stars fan that I was in for a second straight championship appearance, and at the midway point of the season the Philadelphia Stars were in first place with 3 games remaining in the regular season.
By seasons end, they were in fourth place having lost three straight missing the four-team USFL playoffs. Adam Rodriguez again led the team in sacks adding to the 9 he had in year one but the rest of the team was fairly quiet. Behind Rodriguez only Carson Taylor, and the now Carolina Panther LaBryan Ray had more than 1 sack, with 3 a piece matching Rodriguez’s output of 6. The team as a whole finished with 17, 8 less than the year before.
In 2022 the Philadelphia Stars allowed 322 carries for 1,512 yards and 12 touchdowns including an 88 yard run. In 2023 they allowed less yards, with 1,259 yards, but more touchdowns with 14, and nearly a half yard per carry more than 2022. With this in mind it was a pretty well known fact that the Stars would likely be making moves on their defensive line.
Having lost LaBryan Ray for the time being, and released Chris Nelson, bringing in a true nose tackle like 6’4 320 pound Auzoyah Alufohai is a move steeped in logic and common sense. While it may appear that this move is more about the run defense than the pass rush you might be surprised to find out that he actually rated higher as a pass rusher during his preseason snaps than he did in the run game in each season.
Considering the 26 year old is still very green when it comes to overall development the Philadelphia Stars could be getting a long term asset. As of right now on paper the Stars defensive line:
Philadelphia Stars Projected Depth Chart
DE: Adam Rodriguez, Carson Taylor
NT: Jordon Scott, Auzoyah Alufohai
DT: Cedrick Lattimore, Tyler Clark, Ralph Holley,
DE: Ali Fayad, Carson Taylor
While selfishly I would like to see LaBryan Ray return, if this is our day one defensive line rotation it could certainly be worse. One thing I’m happy to see is a bit more size at the nose tackle spot. Something tells me the team isn’t done addressing this position group yet.
Quote from the Coach
“excited to add his frame at 6’4 325, he gives us size inside. He has been with the Bears, Texans, Packers, and Jags. Brings professional experience and he is hungry to get back to that level just needs some more game reps. Can’t sleep on the value Coach Noble adds for us having two sets of eyes on the DL and helping fine tune the fundamentals. Auzoyah has a lot to gain from the league but we have a lot to gain from his ability and character as a defense. Win-win.” -Brandon Maquire Defensive Line Coach
Former Stars and their Preseason Performances
Check out my personal YouTube Channel/Spotify Page where I have interviewed several current Philadelphia Stars including: Adam Rodriguez, Cody Brown, Case Cookus, Samuel Akem, Dexter Williams, as well as some of the coaches: Brandon Maguire, or Brad Miller.