CONCORD, Calif. -- After a fast-paced first series by Anaheim (Calif.) Servite put the Friars up 3-0, the Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive front got their act together, and stymied the visiting side for the rest of the half, and though the second-string defense allowed one touchdown in the second half, the Spartans came away with a 53-15 win to move to 2-1 on the season. Creating much of the pressure inside was four-star defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa.
“The coaches talked about it to us. They said, ‘They’re going to have success, no matter what,’ but we just can’t panic, and keep playing strong defense," said Tagaloa, who finished with three tackles. "Eventually, we came up with a huge stop and forced them to kick a field goal, and the rest is history. We started bringing our D-line tighter, started crashing more.”
What were those adjustments?
“Coach Lad had me angled in, basically a four-high, and I was angled in and firing off, because the double team was coming," said Tagaloa, who scored a crucial three-yard tackle for a loss to put an exclamation point on the first half. “That was a big play for us. I was just happy our team came up. Our D-line played really well. We all got pressure, I feel. The coaches have been begging us and begging us this whole time to step up, because we should be the best part, the best unit on the team, so I feel like we did. We took a positive step.”
Tagaloa has narrowed down his many suitors to a top five -- Michigan, UCLA, Washington, California and Arizona, and is thinking about accompanying teammate Devin Asiasi on his Sept. 25 official to Tuscaloosa. As for his other official visits?
“I know two, for sure – UCLA (that’s most likely going to be the ASU game, so Oct. 7), and then Michigan or Washington, those are the other two," Tagaloa said.
The nearby Bears will likely not get an official, Tagaloa said, because he "could be there any time."
In fact, Tagaloa's already been on the Berkeley campus "three or four times," and even more than that, when he was younger, when he went to Memorial Stadium to watch uncle Matt Toeaina, a former NFL defensive tackle who was on the sidelines on Friday.
"I remember watching my uncle, who played for Oregon, back in 2005-2007," Tagaloa said. "He played for the Bears for about seven years. He lives in Brentwood now, and that’s one of the reasons I’m 75. I look up to him, and he’s such a great role model, always quiet off the field. He’s not really a big-name guy, but he’s a hard-worker. He played for seven years. He was really underrated in high school. He was coming straight from Samoa, and he wasn’t really a highly-recruited player, but he was fortunate enough to get a full-ride scholarship from Oregon.”
As of now, the Ducks are not a player in Tagaloa's recruitment.