Taniela Pututau has not had an ideal senior year of football. The three-star athlete tore his ACL over the summer which has forced him to miss his entire senior year. Most athletes would find it hard to miss their last season of high school football, but it’s been additionally more difficult due to the fact that Taniela plans on going on his mission after graduating from high school. Despite it looking like it could be at least three years in between games for him, college coaches have not shied away in recruiting Pututau.
“I still stay in touch with all of the programs that make up my top-5 (Utah, BYU, Colorado, Oregon State & Navy). I actually hear from Coach McGiven the most from OSU.” In regards to what they talk about, Taniela said, “He’s told me to keep staying positive and continue to rehab hard so that I can come back and be better than before.”
It’s fitting that Coach McGiven, the offensive coordinator, is Oregon State’s lead recruiter for Pututau as the Beavers are recruiting the 6-foot-2, 175 pounder as a tight end. The staff has been looking to make the tight end position a bigger part of the offensive attack and who better to convey that message to recruits than the guy calling the plays. Recently the two discussed setting up an official visit to Corvallis for sometime in December, which fits nicely into Pututau’s plans for making a decision.
“Oregon State will be my first official visit. Then I plan on setting up my visits to BYU, Utah and Navy. I’m saving my last visit in case an additional program becomes involved. I plan on waiting until January to make my decision, as I believe through my family and my faith it will lead me to making the best decision for me.”
While Oregon State is receiving Pututau’s first official visit and maintaining fairly constant contact, Utah could be hard to beat out for his signature come February.
“Utah has been in contact the most with me and that’s probably due to the fact that I have two older brothers that go there," he said. "They’re always telling me to keep it in the family and stuff. But honestly, I’m open to all of the schools that are recruiting me.”
Despite not being able to help his teammates on the field this season, Taniela is still trying to help out his teammates as much as possible.
“I’m just trying to stay positive with everything and help out my team as much as possible. Whether that be helping out on the sidelines or watching film with them, I ‘m still there with them, doing what I can to help.”
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