Tamba Hali Update

Tamba Hali is a talented DE to whom Penn State and 50 other schools have offered a scholarship. He's had the Nittany Lions high on his list for a while. Is Penn State still at the top of his list?

Name: Tamba Hali
Position: DE / OT
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 250 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.8
School: Teaneck High, Teaneck, New Jersey

Tamba is still recovering from his team's loss this past Saturday.

"We just lost in the first round of the playoffs to Emerson," Tamba said.  "It was a real intense game.  They had us down 22-7 in the first half, but we came back to tie it at 22, to go into overtime.  In overtime, they scored on the first pass, but they didn't make the extra point.  We got the ball, driving it down their throats, to the 13.  Then, the coach called a passing play.  We threw the ball, but it got intercepted."

Teaneck's regular season record was 6-2.  They have only the Thanksgiving game remaining.

Tamba can now get back to the process of taking his official visits..

"I went to one already, Southern Cal, and I know I'm going to Penn State and Syracuse.  USC was on September 29.  Penn State will be December 7, or, it could be sooner since we lost.  I have to talk to my coach.

"We didn't schedule [a visit to Syracuse], but I know I'm going to take it. They said I could visit anytime after December 1, which was when our championship game was supposed to be.  Since things didn't work out like we planned, my coach and I are going to talk about it and see if I can go earlier.

The remaining visits will go to "Maryland, and most likely Tennessee".

"It'll probably be either Florida or Tennessee for my last visit."

Penn State is still one of Tamba's top teams.

"Penn State and Syracuse.  Those schools are great.  When I went to camp at Syracuse, I liked their facilities, they had the major I wanted and also the players were nice.  I talked with a couple of them.  I talked with Dwight Freeney (DE).  He told me a lot about the school. I also talked to one of their linemen, their starting right tackle I think, and he told me I would like it if I come there.

"And, the coaching staff at Penn State, the same as Syracuse, is just 'off the hook'.  I really like the coaching staff.  They look interested, they want me to come in, and they want me to play.

"Syracuse has been saying that they think I'm the man that can come in there and play right away after Dwight Freeney.  They're not saying they're going to give it to me.  They say I have to earn it, but they feel like that's going to happen.

Tamba is a fan of Coach Fran Ganter, and did admit to calling Coach Ganter on occasion.

"He's a nice person.  He's been looking at me since my sophomore year.  They couldn't talk to me, but he was looking at tapes.  I was the best sophomore in the state, so McCarthy (the McCarthy Report) came and took pictures and sent tapes all around the nation.  He's been looking at me since then, and I started talking with him and thought he was a great man.  I like him, and I like Coach Larry Johnson there also.  They offered me right after my junior year. 

"They also told my coach that 'we feel the kid could come in here and play'.  They didn't say 'we are going to give him a starting position'.  From the film they've seen, and the game they watched, they feel I can come in there and make an impact."

Tamba attended a summer camp at Syracuse at the end of June.  He's been to Penn State twice, for the Blue-White game and the Miami game..

"Those would probably be the top 2 choices, and Maryland, because I went to Maryland for their junior day.

"I like USC also, I really do.  I went there and fell in love with the place, but I told them I'm looking at other schools.  I told them that I really like this place, it's one of my best choices, and if Penn State doesn't work out, if I take another visit and don't like it, and [take a visit to] Syracuse and I don't like it, I'm coming here."

USC's major disadvantage is that it is far from his home.  Tamba would like to play relatively close to home.

According to Tamba, he is being recruited to play DE.

Tamba is looking forward to making the most of his collegiate opportunity.

"I just want to go in there and play, and be a great player.  I want to set my goals high, and I want to go to the next level, to the NFL.  I'm going there to study and get my degree also."

He would like to major in either Computer Web Design or Computer Science.

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