As has become something of a common occurrence in years past, Oregon is digging deep near the end of the recruiting cycle and has ramped up their efforts with two-star defensive tackle Tiano Tialavea. On Friday, the 6-foot-4, 325-pound prospect out of O’Dea High School in Seattle, Wash., tweeted that Oregon defensive line coach Ron Aiken had stopped by to see him.
Tialavea later spoke with OregonLive.com and said he was one of four prospects Aiken is recruiting down the stretch to fill voids at the position.
Tialevea told eDuck that he’s been in contact with Aiken since the summer. Then-defensive coordinator Don Pellum discovered him first at a football camp, gave him his card and told him to call. It seems his offer is conditional based on how visits with other prospects go.
“(Aiken) was telling me there’s an opportunity to get an offer late next week or the week after throughout this recruiting process,” he said. “It just depends on the guys they’re looking at right now. He’s taking visits throughout this week.”
Armed with a Division-II offer from Central Washington, Tialevea missed a crucial chunk of his senior season when he broke his foot, which cost him an opportunity to build on his stock for bigger programs.
“I played this year at about 85 percent maybe,” he said. “I broke the fifth metatarsal on my right foot and it’s a really bad place to break your foot. The healing isn’t too good.”
But now he’s back to 100 percent and he remains and remains supremely confident in his game. He recently had an impressive showing at the Blue/Gray All-American Game in Dallas, Tex. last month and is now in the best shape of his young life.
“When Coach Pellum first saw me I was 355 pounds,” he said. “360 almost. He saw me and said ‘We need to have you cut some weight.’ The week I broke my foot I weighed in at 325 pounds. It was the smallest I’ve ever been.”
Since then he's stayed at that weight and remains in training. But for now he plays the waiting game. Tialavea mentioned that he has a strong affinity for Coach Aiken and that if the offer does arrive, it’ll result in good news for Oregon.
“If they offered me that’s a very positive yes,” he said. “I think I’d probably commit.”