Tiano Tialavea is one of those players for the 2016 recruiting class. At 6-foot-4 and 353 pounds, Tialavea certainly passes the look test when searching for those inside run stoppers. But he won’t be at 353 pounds for long.
“My (O’Dea) coaches have already been talking to me about a diet plan,” Tialavea told Dawgman.com. “They want me to get to about 325 by the start of the season. My goal is to be at 310 by the end of the year.”
Tialvea has had a very busy June. It finished up at Sunday’s Rough Diamonds Showcase at Interlake High School.
“June 5th I went to the Northwest Elite Camp and got Finals MVP,” he said. “The next camp I went to, I flew down to California to Corona for the Prime Time Polynesian Camp - went to the finals of that camp, got some different Polynesian looks. Then I went to the Opening (regionals in Eugene), got to the Final 5. Me and (Bellevue DL) Omar (Dyles) went to work. Went to team camp last weekend, which was pretty good. We worked together. We got some good looks against Bothell, Eastlake. Then I came here, and got to the finals here. I think I did pretty good. Coaches started talking to me some more, got some more looks. So it’s been a pretty good month.
“I’m getting a lot of interest from a lot of schools, like Big Sky schools, Pac-12. I left California with 15 cards. Boise State and Utah are giving me some really good looks. Boise calls me about once a week. They haven’t called a little while because dead period started, but I’m hearing from a lot of good schools. I’m happy with this last month.”
So are colleges looking at him as a defensive tackle or nose tackle? “They like me because I can play both,” said Tialvea. “I can fluctuate. Boise, they are losing seven d-linemen, so they said I could come in as a true freshman and play. Utah also said I would fit in perfect as a true freshman, come in and play the 1-technique for them.”
At Rough Diamonds, BYU, Wyoming and Hawaii were all very interested in talking with Tialavea after the camp. Tialavea has a Cougar connection; his cousin Russell Tialavea is the Assistant Director of Operations down in Provo.
But after all the frequent flyer miles have been spent and the miles put in, Tialavea doesn’t have that first scholarship offer that he desperately craves. “It’s been my dream since I was in the fourth grade,” he said. “Once it happens I’m going to be excited.
“I’m definitely going to stay local to the first school that gives one to me. I’m definitely going to give a good look to their school. If they believe in me, I believe in them.”
Tialava wasn’t able to make either Washington Rising Stars camp, but he keeps in touch with their Defensive Line Coach, Jeff Choate. “He’s cool with me not being there,” Tialavea said. “He’s seen my film and he saw me in person at the Northwest Elite. He gave me the (finals) wristband at Northwest Elite, so he knows what I can do.
“I asked him where I stood and he told me he’s going to wait until the season. They want to look at more game film, and I feel pretty confident about that. I see myself as another Danny Shelton. I can see myself playing the 1-tech over there in a 3-4.”
One gets the sense that there are a number of college programs just waiting for the right time to offer Tialavea, and when those first couple come out, there might be a whole bunch that follow. “I really hope so,” said Tialavea. “That would be a dream come true. I want options and I want to talk to my parents about it and figure out where I want to go.”