The San Francisco 49ers announced they have signed DT Will Tukuafu to a two-year contract extension through the 2013 season.
"Will is a fine example of how hard work and perseverance can pay off," said 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke. "His strong work ethic has allowed him to make significant strides since signing as an undrafted rookie. We look forward to Will's future development."
Tukuafu (6-4, 293) originally joined the 49ers as a free agent on 8/12/10. He spent the majority of his rookie season on the team's practice squad before being added to the active roster for the final two games of the year. Tukuafu made his NFL debut against Seattle (9/11/11) and recorded a fumble recovery on his very first career play from scrimmage. He went on to appear in five games before suffering an injury against the Philadelphia Eagles (10/2/11) that placed him on the Injured Reserve List two days later.
Tukuafu was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Seattle Seahawks on 6/8/10, only to be later released on June 22. Tukuafu was the co-recipient of the team's Thomas Herrion Memorial Award in 2010, presented to the 49ers rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion.
A 27-year old native of Salt Lake City, UT, Tukuafu totaled 131 tackles, 14.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles over the final three years of his collegiate career at the University of Oregon. He earned the team's Gonyea Award, given to the team's most inspirational player, as well as the Schaffeld Award given to the team's most outstanding defensive lineman, as a senior.