Ravens defensive end Bronson Kaufusi couldn't remember how many signs he sledgehammered into the ground with his mom's slogan:
"Michelle Kaufusi for Provo Mayor"
"Oh man, I put up a lot of signs," he said. "Probably hundreds."
The NFL offseason is shorter than one may think. Most players get away to some beautiful location for a little rest and relaxation. Kaufusi, however …
That does not look restful or relaxing …
After getting in a morning workout, Kaufusi knocked on doors to talk up his mom hand out pamphlets. He rode with her during Provo's big parade, tossing Frisbees and mini footballs with his mom's name emblazoned on them. He sat in on some strategy meetings.
"I have a lot of respect for my mom. It's not easy to do something like this," Kaufusi said before cracking a joke. "I'm a tough one to raise, and she did that, so she can easily be mayor!"
The Kaufusis are a well-known family in Provo, a small city about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, where Bronson played football for Brigham Young University. Michelle has served on the Provo School Board for six years, including as president for part of that time. Bronson is the oldest of her five children.
If Michelle wins the race, she will become the first female mayor of Provo. Things are looking good, as she recently took the lead in preliminaries, per the Daily Harald.
Just like his mother is rising up the polls, her son is gaining fans at the Under Armour Performance Center and around Baltimore.
The 2016 third-round pick out of BYU missed his entire rookie season after fracturing his ankle during the second week of last year's training camp. He's returned a better player than before, more physically matured and knowledgeable.
And then there's that work ethic …
"He's put an amazing amount of work in, in the weight room, in conditioning -- the whole thing," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I've never seen a guy work harder. He's an A-plus-plus worker, and it showed up in the way he walks around and carries himself, his strength."
"He has a great motor; we knew that when we drafted him," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees added. "That was the one thing that just stood out on film was that he just played hard all the time. You see it now, and I think the more he gets comfortable, the more he is going to put pressure on other people to play."
Kaufusi still has things to work on, but the potential is there for him to push for a starting job or at least play a role in the Ravens defense alongside Brent Urban.
The pair of giants (Kaufusi is 6-foot-6, 285 pounds and Urban is 6-foot-7, 300 pounds), make for an intimidating duo as they try to replace departed gritty defensive end Lawrence Guy, who is now a New England Patriot.
Both Urban and Kaufusi dominated in the Ravens' preseason opener against the Washington Redskins last Thursday. Urban had four tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. Playing in his first NFL game, Kaufusi logged two tackles and a sack.
"It's one step, one game," Kaufusi said. "I think about how blessed I am to come out and play every day. Man, it's hard to contain it sometimes; I try to hide it. I'm just so happy every day."