TA'AMU FACTS: Honor candidate had to graduate in the summer to receive fourth year of eligibility under NCAA initial non-qualifier rules ... if he receives additional year, watch him emerge as one of the nation's best offensive lineman ... tremendous talent ... big, strong player gets better with every game ... set new school strength room records in the back squat (625 pounds) and hang clean (412 pounds) ... 455 pound bench press is best on 2001 team ... also tested well in explosive speed (1.83 second 10-yard dash is second best on O. line) ... switched from defensive to offensive line late in 1999.
UTAH: 2000- Starter at left guard in every game ... amazing 124 de-cleaters was nearly double next best on team ... in on 650 plays, third on team ... 85.4% hustle grade for season ... career-high 18 de-cleaters vs. UNLV was most by a Ute all year ... also had 92% hustle vs. Rebels ... 17 de-cleaters against Arizona and 14 vs. Washington State ... double-figure de-cleaters in seven games. 1999- Made late-season move from defensive to offensive tackle ... played in four regular season games, three for defense and one for offense ... also played for offense in Las Vegas Bowl ... 1 tackle for defense ... in 37 offensive downs against New Mexico had 10 de-cleaters and 97% hustle ... lettered. 1998- Played in three games at defensive end ... 2 tackles ... 1 pass breakup and 1 fumble caused ... lettered. 1997-Non-qualifier.
HIGH SCHOOL: Honorable mention All-American ... league co-defensive player of the year in 1996 ... Iolani High team captain ... first-team state and Samoa International ... 1996 state discus champion (173 feet).
PERSONAL: Son of Esau and Vaiaoga Ta'amu ... last name is pronounced ta-ah-moo ... likes to play piano ... sociology major ... born Nov. 8, 1979.