This past weekend, Nike held a skills camp in the Seattle area. Paul Wulff and others were in attendance, and it was the general consensus that Taylor Taliulu, a safety from Aiea, Hawaii, was the top rated player at his respective position in attendance. According to ESPN, Taliulu loved his visit to Pullman, and committed shortly thereafter.
"I fell in love with the place," Taliulu said. "Washington State offered me a few days before my visit, so I was real excited to go and check out. The idea of playing in the Pac-12 is something I'm excited about and it's a big-time opportunity. Plus they're going to let me play baseball too so that was another plus.
"The school is doing major renovations and the academics there are fantastic. I think they're a team on the rise, they have great coaches and players and a good philosophy towards school and football. I'm very excited to be a Cougar."
At 5'11 and 175 pounds, he has decent size with the frame to get a little bigger. He's quick enough to play corner if we need him to, but he's being recruited as a safety.
Like most safeties, he doesn't intercept a ton of passes. He'll at least knock it down, though, which is better than what we've seen lately. While I don't think he's the second coming of Lamont Thompson or anything, he looks to be a pretty good addition to a secondary I already thought would be much improved. Watching his videos, there are some plays where you think "Oh, ok, he knocked it down. That was a ni..ohmygodheonecaughtthatwithonehand?" and others where the ball hits him right in the hands and falls to the ground.
Overall, though, I'm pretty high on this kid. I love his backpedal, and he's really fluid in the hips. He doesn't possess blazing speed, but he's not going to be on an island with a fast receiver, so it doesn't really matter. I think he's a prime candidate to redshirt, hit the weight room, and see some immediate playing time as a RS Freshman in 2013.
The fact that he'll be playing baseball too is interesting, and perhaps why he chose us. It's still early in the process, but I'd venture to guess he'll be a 3-star and have a handful of other BCS offers when it's all said and done.
Great get by Wulff.
I love that Wulff is committed to getting guys from Hawaii.