During the camp scrimmages, Tanielu dominated his opponents while playing next to BYU commit Graham Rowley, whom he is close friends with. Tanielu lists BYU, Utah and Cal as his top college choices, but there is one school that tops the list due to personal reasons.
"I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," said Tanielu. "I plan on serving a mission and in coming back I know BYU will support me no matter what when I decide to go and when I come back."
Like most LDS athletes, Tanielu is looking for a college environment and football program where his beliefs and religious lifestyle won't come into conflict with the pressures associated with extracurricular activities off the field.
"I'm looking for a college where everybody believes in the same thing and where I won't be tempted to do bad things," said Tanielu. "I want to be at a place where people are just like me and where we can all get along together, and not be at a place where people might pressure you to do things you don't want to do."
Tanielu may very well end up at BYU due to a close family member of his.
"I have an older sister who is currently going to BYU," said Tanielu. "I know BYU has really good academics. She goes to BYU but in Hawaii right now, but she plans on transferring to BYU on the mainland. When she transfers to BYU on the mainland, I want to go there too."
Tanielu was undoubtedly one of the top prospects at the All-Poly Camp. Total Blue Sports evaluated him as the best junior-to-be prospect at the defensive tackle position.
"I'm a very aggressive player," Tanielu said. "I'm violent with my hands and I just keep moving my feet no matter what. If I lose, I'm going to get back up and I'm going to try and run him over next time."
"He's a really good player," said Rowley. "He's going to be one of the best out here, if he isn't already, by the time he graduates from Waianae."
Graham Rowley is correct in his assessment. Tanielu was selected by the coaches at the All-Poly Camp as one of the top defensive line performers and could have a shoebox full of scholarship offers in the near future.