Taylor Taliulu will be one of the more experienced players in the WSU secondary. Let's get to know him a bit better.
Name - Taylor Taliulu
Position - Safety
Year - Junior
Height/Weight - 5'11", 206 lbs.
Hometown - Aiea, HI
Things to know:
1. Aloha State native, not WAC - Taliulu was a 2-star safety out of Kamehameha High School in Hawaii. He received offers from both Hawaii and Idaho in addition to his offer from WSU.
2. Discovered and kept - Taliulu made his commitment to WSU while Paul Wulff was the coach. He attended a Nike skills camp in Seattle and later paid a visit to Pullman. At the time he committed he was also considering playing baseball for the Cougs, but that never materialized for whatever reason. Taliulu was one of the players retained by Mike Leach when he replaced Wulff to become part of Leach's first recruiting class.
3. Not so fast - When Taliulu arrived at WSU, he was able to crack the starting lineup in his first game as a true freshman against BYU in 2012. He replaced Tyree Toomer, who had started as WSU's starting free safety each game in the previous two seasons. After two games it was apparent that Taliulu was not quite ready. He was replaced by Casey Locker and relegated to special teams in most of the other games he played in that season.
4.. Increased role and setback - Taliulu would earn his starting role back in his sophomore season only to lose it again by season's end. On the season, he made ten starts and tallied 54 tackles.
5. Making it work in 2014? In a WSU secondary that is young and depleted with the loss of Deone Bucannon and Damante Horton, WSU will be much better off if Taliulu can solidify himself this season. If he can do so, it will go along way to answering what may be the biggest question on Coug fans minds - the secondary. The biggest issue with Taliulu seems to be that his development was rushed in his true freshman year out of immediate necessity. Entering his third season Taliulu sits atop the WSU depth chart at the free safety position ahead of Beau Glover who made big strides during the spring. I would give Taliulu the edge, but he will definitely have to earn it.