Here at Lawless Republic we will be profiling all the 2013 signees & return missionaries who will be joining the BYU Football team this season. This will be a daily feature on the site as we count down to Fall Camp.
Merrill “Meti” Taliauli
Salt Lake City, UT – East High School
6’2 | 305 lbs | Defensive Tackle
Taliauli was a prep standout at East High School in Salt Lake City. A three-year starter for East. Taliauli was a standout at the 2012 All-Poly Camp, and Elite Lineman camp. Received an offer from Defensive Line coach, Steve Kaufusi and BYU when Meti visited BYU’s Junior Day. Taliauli committed on the spot.
Taliauli was rated the 40th best Defensive Tackle in the country by 247Sports.com. Along with an offer from BYU, Taliauli was offered by Utah State. A 1st Team All-State performer by the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune in 2012.
Taliauli was a life-long BYU fan growing up. So the decision to dawn the oval Y during his college career was an easy one for this former prep standout.
From watching Taliauli’s high school highlights he has tremendous strength. He’s going to step into the BYU program and be one of the strongest men on the team. Reminds me a bit of Romney Fuga, who graduated after last season and is currently with the Denver Broncos. Meti is the definition of a run stuffing lineman who can take up an offensive line and get to the ball carrier.
Expectations in 2013: Opportunity to compete in Fall Camp, ultimately redshirt.
A lot of new faces will appear along the defensive line in BYU’s two-deep this season. At Defensive Tackle, Eathyn Manumaleuna returns after being granted a medical redshirt season from the NCAA. He switches back to DT from the edge where he was playing last until he suffered a season-ending injury at Boise State. Behind Manumaleuna it is up in the air for competition amongst many new faces looking to shine.
Marques Johnson a JC transfer from last year redshirted during the 2012 season to get familiar with the program. Also, former Mr. Football from Bingham High School returns in Tuni Kanuch. A lot of talented players but none of those guys have played much recently compared to Taliauli who played in all 12 games for East last season.
Meti will have ample opportunity to compete in Camp Cougar but barring any injuries, I would expect Meti to be a great redshirt candidate for 2013. Taliauli has plans to serve a LDS mission after the 2013 season.
Potential in BYU Career: Starter / Solid contributor
Taliauli possesses great size for a Defensive Tackle at the D-1 level. He will be a successful player at BYU. Steve Kaufusi and Mendenhall have had a lot of success developing under the radar defensive line talent. Look at Fuga, Manumaleuna, Ziggy Ansah, Jan Jorgensen, and the list goes on.
I don’t see Taliauli as an All-Conference type of player (if BYU was in a conference), but a guy that the Cougars will see as a steady rock in a spot that is very important along their three-man front.