Freddie Tagaloa, OT
Notes: Tagaloa (6-8, 318) is a massive offensive tackle prospect who was already 6 feet tall in 5th grade. Freddie is a legitimate NFL-caliber prospect even before entering his senior season of high school football at Salesian. When Freddie is not dominating defensive linemen on the gridiron, he spends his time dunking over opponents on the basketball court. Behind Freddie's strong post play and rebounding efforts, the Salesian Pride nearly won the CIF Division IV Championship in 2011, losing to LA's Windward 57-63 .
Ben Enos, Reporter of Contra Costa Times, spent some time w/ CGB to answer questions regarding Freddie. Be sure to follow Ben @ East Bay Prep Corner and Twitter if you want to learn more about East Bay Prep Sports scene.
Coach Kenwick Thompson recently spoke at a Southern California event regarding recruiting players that fit Cal’s brand & character. What do you think about Freddie’s fit?
Ben: Freddie would fit anywhere from a character standpoint. I know he’s a high-GPA student, and I’ve never really heard anyone say anything bad about him off the field. I would think he rates very high in that category.
What are Freddie’s strengths as a player on the football field?
Ben: You just don’t find a prototypical left tackle like him very often. His biggest strength is his athleticism. Being both a football and basketball player, you know he can move. When Jahvid Best came through Salesian a few years ago, it was tough to imagine that the school would have a bigger recruit than him. Freddie has the potential to reach that level and more.
We assume Freddie has dominated things pretty well because of his size, so what sort of mechanical things does Freddie have to improve upon to be a top-notch college offensive linemen?
Ben: As with every lineman making that jump, he’ll continue to work on his feet and his punch and skills like that. It’s a matter of getting him into a system and teaching him what that particular school wants in a lineman. His athletic ability will go a long way in making that transition even easier.
Are you aware of any unofficial visits Freddie has taken to Cal or his impression of the school?
Ben: I couldn’t tell you where he’s been or what school’s he’s visited. I know Cal was one of the first to offer him back when he was a freshman or sophomore. This is going to be one of the rare players that will get to punch his own ticket. I think any school in the country would be happy to have him on its team.
The Pride won their league title last season. What is your outlook for Salesian this season?
Ben: I believe their quarterback is graduating, so that will be a hole to fill. The thing about Salesian in the past few years is it is so well coached that you just expect the Pride to get back to the playoffs and do well. That speaks to the job that Chad Nightingale does, and I think he’s a vastly underrated coach. Salesian will be good again, no doubt.
Freddie is a two-way athlete. Is he primarily focusing on football, or does he want to be a basketball D-I player too?
Ben: I think there’s probably an understanding that his future lies in football, but he’s a fairly good basketball player as well. I credit the coaches involved, Bill Mellis and Nightingale, for keeping things balanced and focused for Freddie. He’s just a high school kid enjoying sports, and with a recruiting profile like his, that’s most definitely a good thing.
There’s been a rumor on the Internet regarding Freddie wearing a Stanford sweatshirt all the time. After learning about Harbaugh’s visit to Salesian, do you think there’s any truth to that rumor?
Ben: Ha, I couldn’t speak to that. If I were a recruit like that, and I had as many offers as he has, I would rotate sweatshirts every day. Why not!