The Opening: Taua Update

Lompoc (Calif.) defensive lineman Ainuu Taua had a strong showing at The Opening and was rated among the top tackle prospects in the event...

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Ainuu Taua is the top rated defensive tackle in the West and showed why with a very solid performance at The Opening. He was voted one on one DL MVP for the defensive line group and showed superior quickness and some of the most violent and strong hands in the entire event.

Taua's weight has fluctuated a bit and after weighing 292 pounds this past March at the SoCal NIKE Camp, he came in at 271 pounds on a 5-11 1/2 frame.

"I feel real good right now," Taua said. "I'm comfortable with this weight, probably 280 is good for me but right now, I feel strong and quick. At 292, I felt a little sluggish, at this weight, I feel like I'm still strong enough but I'm a lot quicker so I'm happy with where I'm at."

On the recruiting front, Taua mentioned four schools he's strongly considering right now.

"I like UCLA a lot," Taua said. "They're close to home and that's big for me. I also like the alumni support and after I graduate, I would love to be able to find a great job and I know they can help me. I love the campus and I like the DL coach, Angus McClure, I've talked to him a few times and I think UCLA is going in the right direction.

"Washington is real cool too. I was just up there last week for their camp and that was a great experience. I got some good work in and I like Coach Tosh (Lupoi) and the rest of the staff a lot. Coach Sark is real cool and everyone up there is just real chill so they're high on my list."

The other two schools for Taua are both out of the area.

"I want to try and get out to Ole Miss and Wisconsin," Taua said. "Ole Miss is a big time SEC school and I heard it's incredible there. With Wisconsin, my assistant principal went to school there and he has talked to me a lot about what a great place it is.

"The only downside with both is it's kind of far from home so we'll see what happens. Right now, I'm not in any rush to make my decision and when I feel ready, I'll do it. It could honestly happen anytime. I need to talk things over with my parents and make sure we're all on the same page and then just go from there."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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