LT Tagaloa names four Pac-10 leaders

A few moments after The Bootleg connected with Salesian High School star Freddie Tagaloa, the 6-foot-8, 300-pound offensive tackle paused briefly when he heard an incoming call.

"As we speak right now, I'm getting a call from Missouri," Freddie Tagaloa said.

Nonetheless, Tagaloa carried on with our conversation – after all, it's far from a rare occurrence for a college coach to reach out to the four-star recruit.

With the spring evaluation period in full bloom, Tagaloa has seen a who's who of coaches come through his high school.

"I get pulled out of class every 5-10 minutes," Tagaloa said. "Today Harvard came. Washington. We had Cal, USC, TCU, Texas, Florida, you name them, and they've been here."

While not closing the door on any of his multiple offers, Tagaloa does have a preliminary list of favorites, one with a distinct Pac-10 flavor.

"As of right now I've kind of lowered down to my top four with Stanford and Cal, USC, and Oregon," Tagaloa said.

We asked Tagaloa to briefly explain what he liked about each of those schools.

Stanford: "Of course on the West Coast, Stanford is on the rise, went to the Orange Bowl, the future looks bright."

Cal: "Cal just got Coach Michalczik back, and he has a reputation of getting offensive linemen into the league. He's put the most offensive linemen into the league in the whole Pac-10, so that's a big plus."

USC: "It doesn't get better than that."

Oregon: "Like I said, they're on the rise, and I'm going to really take this year to see how the program really takes off."

Although Stanford is still in a strong position with the recruit, Tagaloa admits he had forged a strong relationship with Jim Harbaugh and Steve Wisnewski, and was upset to see the pair move on to the NFL.

"Of course when Harbaugh was there, I had a real strong connection," Tagaloa said. "He and Wisnewski. When they left, it was kind of like your older brother leaving, in a way."

Still, Tagaloa is fond of the remaining coaches.

"But Coach Shaw, the remaining coaching staff, and they've got a new o-line coach that's pretty good," Tagaloa said.

Tagaloa further discussed his rapport with the Cardinal's new offensive line coach Mike Bloomgren.

"He seems real passionate about what he does," Tagaloa said. "I sat down with him and the way he talks about it, offensive linemen at Stanford, it's a new era."

Despite the staff changes, Stanford and Tagaloa are indeed quite familiar with one another. Tagaloa has taken numerous trips to The Farm (including one to a fairly recent spring practice), and has formed strong relationships with coaches and players alike. In addition to the usual selling points, that familiarity seems to be one of the main approaches Stanford is using to recruit Tagaloa.

"The general message is like home, this is home, they feel like I've been here long enough that they can see me in the system, I'm kind of used to it," Tagaloa said. "They're kind of hitting it on home and how they see me interacting with the players and the coaching staff."

Tagaloa, who reports a 3.8 GPA, said that he has also begun to talk about the admissions process with Stanford's coaching staff, but that he has yet to receive an application.

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