Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa – a 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive tackle/end out of Ewa Beach Hawaii – led Kapolei High School to the semifinals of the 2016 First Hawaiian Bank/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Football State Championships.
Tagovailoa-Amosa played dominant football as a senior, recording 34 tackles for loss and 18 sacks, which earned him first-team all-state honors. He went on to participate in the inaugural 2016 Polynesian Bowl.
Position: Defensive tackle/end
National Ranking: Scout – No. 127 defensive end; 247Sports.com – No. 18 strongside defensive end; ESPN.com – No. 45 defensive tackle; Rivals.com – No. 39 defensive end.
Irish Illustrated Rank: No. 11 consensus pick with a high ranking of 6th and a low of 19th.
Likelihood of Freshman Red-shirt: Low
2017 PATH TO PLAYING TIME
A fairly unencumbered path to the field as a freshman in 2017 with a three-technique position there for the taking. Red-shirt junior Jonathan Bonner emerged from the spring as the top candidate, but the position remains open if not wide open. Elijah Taylor, who was expected to compete for the job this spring, suffered a significant foot injury that could keep him from full participation in August.
There was some question as to whether Tagovailoa-Amosa would be positioned at end or tackle. But with the need so acute right out of the gate, Tagovailoa-Amosa’s present and future appear to be at tackle with a chance to play right away and the physical tools to excel long-term.
In terms of body type, there’s no direct comparison to a interior defensive line recruit from the Brian Kelly era, unless you refer to three-star defensive end Micah Dew-Treadway, who was the No. 34 defensive end coming out of high school in 2015. Tagovailoa-Amosa’s upside is considerably higher than Dew-Treadway’s. The only real reason Tagovailoa-Amosa was not a four-star prospect is geographical.
He may not ever play to the level of Melvin Dansby (1993-97) -- a highly-touted, productive defensive end in a three-man front for the Irish -- but he has similar physical attributes, making him an exciting tackle prospect with end length and athleticism.
“Myron is a long defensive end. An aggressive, tough, gritty football player that’s very intelligent and a quick learner. He plays with a passion and love for the game. He has that physicality and that length, but an athleticism that will immediately add some pass rush ability. He checks a lot of boxes for us. He’s going to be fun to coach.” -- DL coach Mike Elston
“Energetic. Intense. Very good feet and change of direction. He might be one of the more athletic interior defensive linemen in the country this year. He’s self-motivated with a great disposition. He’s very bright and a hard-working guy.” -- West Coast recruiter Brian Polian