Linebacker Tanner Vallejo of Nevada Union HS (Grass Valley, Calif.) picked up an offer from San Diego State on Wednesday.
The Northern California star had a huge season last year with 150 tackles; he would be an immediate impact player for the Aztecs.
"I feel like I can stop the run really well, take on big blockers," Vallejo said. "I'm instinctive and quick. I'm just a leader on defense."
With an extraordinary number of tackles, comes a fire and desire with many bone-crushing hits on the opposition.
"Feel like I'm aggressive, if you knew in person I'm a quiet kid, mind my own business and just humble I guess," Vallejo said. "When I get to the field, something snaps, when I make a good play I let the people know. It's not talking crap, its more excitement. I'm aggressive player and I like to hit."
The 3-star prospect knows there is one area of his game that he really needs to sure up.
"Definitely covering, covering backs out of the backfield," Vallejo said. "Just my pass protection because I only had two picks last year. Fine tuning some other things."
"We have a new defensive coordinator this year and he covers technique stuff much more," Vallejo said. "He's been working with me after school, been training for the two Nike camps coming up."
While the new defensive coordinator has Nevada Union HS transitioning from a 4/3 defense to a 3/4, it has only made expectations higher for next season.
"Expectations are high for myself but I always put myself second then put the team first, trying to win section [championship] this year," Vallejo said. "Whatever comes with it, comes with it."
The 6-foot-2 and 225 inside linebacker holds offers from Boise State, Fresno State Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Colorado State and Washington State. He is also hearing from UCLA, California, Washington and Arizona State.
As for San Diego State, offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig stopped by Nevada Union HS to check out Vallejo then called his coaches a couple days later to offer.
"He told me that they are fired up and congratulations," Vallejo said. "They just like my intensity and how fired up I am when I make a good play and how I need to make it down there for a camp."
Initial reaction to the offer?
"I just smiled, I was happy," Vallejo said. "Right when I got off the phone I let my mom know. I always let my little brother know cause he's a brain cancer survivor, he will never be able to play so he's my motivation."
Vallejo plans on visiting SDSU this summer with his teammate Connor Keith, a walk-on for the Aztecs this season.
"I like San Diego," Vallejo said. "I was down there for spring break, liked it there. I don't know much about their football team but just hearing stuff about it, I like it."
As for what a school needs to land the tackling machine?
"I want to go to a place that wins, I don't like losing," Vallejo said. "I want to go to a place that makes me the best player that I can be. I want to be pushed to my limits. Family feel, home away from home feel and place I can see myself living for 4-to-5 years."
"I'd like to see the field early," Vallejo said. "Being close to home doesn't factor in at all, I'm away so I'm away."
Does the move to the Big East make SDSU more appealing?
"Yeah, definitely," Vallejo said. "I'm very interested in San Diego State."
As for dream schools, the linebacker is hoping SEC schools begin to recruit him.
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