Player Capsule: Das Tautalatasi
Weight: 195 pounds
2015 season quick review: As a redshirt freshman Tautalatasi played in a very limited capacity including on special teams and had five tackles on the the season.
SunDevilSource.com analysis (08/2016): In the spring it looked as though Tautalatasi might emerge as a candidate to play at Spur because he has some style similarity to senior Laiu Moeakiola and he took a lot of second-team reps at the position. For a majority of camp though Tautalatasi has been in a green non-contact jersey and not a participant during portions of practice observed by reporters.
A Bandit/Spur type player, Tautalatasi is hard-charging and physical making plays in run support and that's his strength. He can get a bit uncontrolled at times when attacking and not break down properly to make tackles, but he relishes opportunities to bring his shoulders down and make an impact through force. In that regard he's a bit like former ASU safety Jordan Simone.
Even though he initially practiced at field safety upon arriving in Tempe out of football-famous De La Salle High in Concord, California, Tautalatasi is better suited to play into the boundary or tighter to the line of scrimmage as an in the box type safety. He's not in his best element when asked to check wide receivers in man coverage situations, but could play as a Cover 2 safety in more conservative schemes that are less athletically demand of its players at the position.
As a Spur at ASU, which is much like a strong safety in the 4-2-5/3-3-5 looks, Tautalatasi appears reasonably well suited because of how he is willing to take on blocks and work to hold ground and destabilize run plays working to the wide side of the field. If he becomes consumed with being a student of the game, it's a role he could ultimately do reasonably well at.
Projected depth chart status: If he can get back to fully functional on the practice field and coaches work him at Spur, there's a reasonable chance Tautalatasi could push up for playing time or at least be in the two-deep at a position that looks reasonably unsettled so long as coaches stick to the plan of playing Moeakiola on the back level of the defense. Tautalatasi would figure to be in a pile with sophomore Tyler Whiley, junior Marcus Ball and perhaps redshirt freshman Coltin Gerhart as the Sun Devils explore options to replace Moeakiola following his position switch. Even Bandit is a position that shouldn't be ruled out, particularly if there's a decision to slide Moeakiola back to Spur at some point.