Commitment Impact: Tui Talia

It's very early in the 2014 recruiting cycle, but that hasn't stopped Washington from being very aggressive in going after top players at every position. Diablo Valley DL Tui Talia is a player the Dawgs extended a full ride to very recently and after a trip to Seattle last weekend, he decided to commit. Here's a look at where he fits in and how he will help UW when he arrives in 2014...

The Background: Talia prepped at Ygnacio Valley (Ca.) High School and because it was a small school, he didn't get much in the way of recruiting attention. He decided to head to Diablo Valley where he saw immediate playing time with the Vikings and totaled 48 tackles, six sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss as a freshman this past season while playing almost exclusively outside at defensive end, but this year he is bulking up and hopes to be about 285 pounds when he takes the field. This will allow him to move inside to the three-tech (pass-rushing) defensive tackle spot as the DVC does what they can to get their best four on the field.

In addition to the Huskies, Talia has offers from Kansas, Hawaii, South Florida, Utah State and Baylor and had schools from across the country showing him plenty of interest.

Looking at the film: When you watch Talia on film (see link to highlights below), you can see his explosiveness and non-stop motor. He gets off the ball well and never quits on a play. He actually looks more adept at getting to the quarterback when he takes an inside line and rushes inside the tackles, rather than going wide on an outside move. He uses his hands well to keep blockers off of him and he spots the ball well and closes very quickly. One of the biggest concerns when you watch his film is that he plays a bit high and he'll need to work on that before he gets to Montlake, but there's no question he has the size and athleticism to play somewhere along Washington's defensive front.

The Projection: Where he will end up when he gets to Washington will definitely be an interesting thing to keep an eye on. He's got the frame and size to bulk up and move inside, but he said Washington wants him to play mostly at end. If he shows up weighing more than 270 pounds, but less than 290, the strongside defensive end spot is likely to be his final destination. He's also got the strength to play inside and if he shows up weighing 290 pounds or more, then he likely will get most of his time inside. The Huskies like their players to be versatile and if he could add depth to both spots then all the better.

The Competition: Washington loses Sione Potoae and Josh Banks following the 2013 season. Danny Shelton will be a senior in 2014 (assuming he stays), Lawrence Lagafuaina is coming off a knee injury and Taniela Tupou and Jarett Finau both will be fourth-year jeniors, but neither of the latter two have made much of an impact as of yet.

Pio Vatuvei was solid as a freshman in 2012, but like Lagafuaina, he too is coming off a knee injury so we still aren't sure how he will recover.

Andrew Hudson, Josh Shirley and Hauoli Jamora, another injured player hoping to return in 2013, would both be fifth-year seniors in 2014 while Damion Turpin and Connor Cree are both big defensive ends that the coaches have been working with quite a bit during spring football.

Washington was aggressive in the 2013 recruiting class, bringing in four defensive linemen, but at this point it's still not a lock that Marcus Farria, Elijah Qualls, Joe Mathis and Andrew Basham will actually qualify to enroll this year (**note** word is that Farria and Qualls are both in good shape while Mathis and Basham have a lot more work to do).

Bringin in a player like Talia would allow them to bridge the gap between the incoming freshman and the older players that will leave following the 2014 class, allowing the coaches to bring along the 2013 signees much slower than if he didn't wind up with the Dawgs.

Big Concern: The big concern when discussing junior college players who commit to Washington is their academic status. The Huskies don't go after a lot of JUCO players precisely because PE credits do not transfer and players typically need to take another class or two in order to get admittance to Montlake.

That being said, with Talia's commitment coming so early in the process, the Husky coaches can make sure he takes the right classes this summer and fall in order to ensure he qualifies.

Also, because Washington is on the quarter system, Talia can actually take a class or two in January and February, and still enroll in time to take part in all or at least most of spring ball, which is key.

Tui Talia 2012 Highlights

Tui Talia Scout Profile Top Stories