Unleash the beast

There was a lot of talent at the All-Poly Camp last week, especially linemen on both sides of the ball. One participant that was evaluated throughout the All-Poly camp activities was East High School defensive tackle Merrell "Meti" Taliauli, who currently has one offer from Utah State.

Meti Taliauli received quite a bit of coaching at last week's All-Poly Camp, the nation's number one non-institutional football camp.

"The All-Poly Camp was great and there were a few things that I learned there," Taliauli said. "The coaches all do a great job and a few things that I learned there I took to heart. It's always a great experience being over there."

Coming in at about 6 feet 2 inches and 305 pounds, Taliauli is a true defensive tackle prospect. He was a load in the one-on-one drills and often demanded a double-team in the scrimmage portion of the All-Poly Camp.

"Some of the things the coaches talked to me about was using my hands more," Taliauli said. "They wanted me to be more active in using my hands to become a better player, so that's what I did. I took that to heart and actually did what they said and I became better. I started using my hands more and it really paid off for me throughout the camp."

An intangible quality Taliauli demonstrated last week was his on-field leadership. He was very vocal out on the field in an effort to get those around him to step up their game.

"One thing I tried to do was get some of the guys on my team motivated and push harder," Taliauli said. "I tried to be a leader out there and be vocal with some of the guys on my team."

At this point in time, Utah State is the only college that has offered the East High School product.

"They really like me and watched my film and said I could become a great player over there. I really took that to heart."

Although Taliauli has just one offer, after evaluating him at the All-Poly Camp, that shouldn't be the case. He's a good athlete for being a big man, showed very good leadership and was very coachable. It's surprising that no other colleges have offered him a scholarship.

Nevertheless, he likes the Aggies.

"Utah State is a great school," Taliauli said. "I went down there for Junior Day and was really impressed. I ended up taking a tour of the campus and it was really fun."

Since last year, Taliauli had also been on BYU's radar. He plans on heading to BYU on Tuesday and spending a day or so visiting the campus.

"I really like the coaching staff a lot because I'm comfortable talking to them, especially Steve Kaufusi," he said. "He grew up with my dad and our family knows him and his family really well.

"I'll be heading down there this week but I'm just going to head down there for a morning session. They want me to come down and unleash the beast. I went down there last year but this year they told me they wanted me to get stronger, so tomorrow I just want to go down there and unleash the beast."

Taliauli took the information he received from the coaches of BYU last year to heart. Since then he has grown in the weight room.

"Yeah, I took the coaching and the information they gave me last year and just tried to run with it," Taliauli said. "They want to see if I've gotten stronger, and I have. I bench press 355 pounds and squat 405 pounds. Now I want to unleash the beast."

Taliauli feels he would be a good fit for BYU.

"I've spoken to a lot of players that go there about BYU and I got a lot of good feedback from them," said Taliauli. "I'm LDS and have a 3.9 GPA, so BYU is a school that I really like. It's a college that has great academics and that's what I'm looking for. That's one of the top reasons why BYU is one of my top schools, is because of the academics."

Many prospects will be visiting BYU the next couple of weeks. Taliauli hopes that the unleashing of his inner beast will warrant a scholarship offer.

"That's what I'm hoping for," he said. "I guess we'll see what happens."

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