Get to Know 2016: Boss Tagaloa

Feb. 26 -- Four-star defensive lineman Boss Tagaloa from De La Salle will be a top UCLA target...

Tagaloa is the highest rated defensive tackle in the West, and a simple look at his highlight reel would be enough to justify the accolades he's received. He has everything you'd want in a defensive tackle from a physical perspective, being at least 6'2 with a powerful lower body. He has violent hands and uses them well to disengage from offensive linemen to penetrate into the backfield. He's explosive enough off the snap that he often doesn't need to use a great deal of technique to disrupt an offense, but when he is matched up against a lineman more his caliber, he shows pretty advanced technique for someone as physically talented as he is. One of the most impressive things you see while watching him, though, is his feel and awareness as a defensive lineman. He always keeps his eyes up and moves toward the play if it's going away from him. He makes far more tackles in pursuit than you'd expect of a typical interior lineman thanks to that feel and headiness, and some of that is probably attributable to the fact that he started off as a skinner defensive end-type before his body really filled out. He's got some growing still to do, but for UCLA's sytem, he would fit in at either three-technique or nose tackle and be a playmaker at either spot.
UCLA is in good shape with Tagaloa early, with Angus McClure making him an early priority. The Bruins were his first Pac-12 offer, and second offer overall after, weirdly, Ole Miss. Tagaloa has already declared his intention to use one of his official visits to go to UCLA, and his interest is likely further piqued by what should be a fairly wide open depth chart. Within, at most, two years, UCLA will lose Eddie Vanderdoes and Kenneth Clark, the two key cogs in the defensive line, and Tagaloa could step in and play early. California and Stanford will likely also be in the mix for Tagaloa, as will several national programs, including Alabama. Landing Tagaloa is an absolute essential in the 2016 class, and given the needs at that position, he might be the most important recruit overall for UCLA's 2016 class.

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