2011 Spotlight: DL Taniela Tupou

Early in the 2011 recruiting cycle, Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wa.) DL Taniela Tupou is just letting the process run its course. The talented lineman who can play almost anywhere along the defensive line spoke with Dawgman.com recently and he updated us on things including which school he's favoring and which ones have just now started to pick up the pace...

"Things have been going good," Tupou told Dawgman.com recently. "I just got back from spending the holidays with my family in Hawaii. My mom is still there, but I had to come back to start school again.

"Other than that I'm just lifting and working out and getting myself ready for my senior season next year."

Tupou, who usually tips the scales at about 265 pounds, currently weighs 245 pounds but he attributes that to a long football season.

"I always lose weight during the season," Tupou said. "I'm usually right around 260 or 255 when I play, but I dropped a bit and now I'm just working on adding that muscle and getting stronger and working on my agility and stuff like that."

Tupou has been on our radar for a couple of years, getting ample playing time as a freshman for one of the top 2A programs in the state and starting both ways during his sophomore and junior seasons.

He camped last year at UCLA and Washington and earned his first, and to this point his only, scholarship offer from the Huskies following his outstanding performance at their Rising Stars camp.

"They are currently my only offer right now, but I've been told that BYU has one for me if I can get down there and visit them," Tupou said. "Oregon has just started recruiting me and they stopped by (the school) this week and so did Washington State so I know they are interested in me too.

"Other than that, right now I just get a lot of letters and stuff from schools."

Tupou said Washington is the school that he grew up watching and that currently they hold the top spot on his list.

"I've always liked them," Tupou said. "The staff there with coach (Jeff) Mills, coach (Nick) Holt, coach Johnny Nansen and coach (Steve) Sarkisian, they are all active with their players and they are great coaches.

"I mean, they aren't nice to their players when they are coaching them, but you can see they really care about them and then when you see them out there running with the players, that's pretty impressive because you could have a coach just saying 'go do this' or 'you have to run this much' while they just stand and watch, but not that staff. They get out and do it with them and that's really cool to see.

"I went to a lot of Husky games this year and I was thinking about committing (early), but I talked with my parents about it and I think I'm going to wait a little while. I only get one chance to do this so I want to take my time.

"I'll probably wait until this summer so I can take some unofficial visits to some schools and check them out and probably go down to some camps. I'm definitely going to camp at Washington and I probably will camp at Oregon too, just to check them out. After I do that I will probably make a decision before the start of my senior season, but I'm not really sure at this point."

Tupou, who is LDS, said he plans to take his mission after his freshman year wherever he ends up. However, he and his family are very close to Manti Te'o's family and over the holidays the two players spent time talking about some things.

"He told me he loves it out there at Notre Dame," Tupou said. "He announced to us he was going to skip his mission and keep playing football. Right now, I'm still planning on taking it, but things can change. It just depends on how things go and where I'm at. I'll never say never, but at this point I'm pretty set on taking (the mission).

"He said one thing that is totally different is the speed of the linemen at that level of football. He said it made it hard for him to read things, but he said other than that it wasn't that much different. It's football and he's been playing it all his life and he's really good so he's been successful because of that."

Tupou is not playing any other sports and said he plans to focus on lifting and running during his down time before the start of the camp and combine circuit.

We'll continue to keep track of the recruiting process for Tupou and we'll update news as it happens.

Taniela Tupou Scout Profile

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