#38: Doug Taumoelau - Inside Linebacker
One of the most fascinating position battles to watch this off-season is the competition going on to replace the departed senior Caleb Saulo. Saulo recorded a team-high 95 tackles last season and anchored the center of the Oregon State defense. Currently, the top players to replace Caleb Saulo in the middle and start next to Manase Hungalu are Andrzej Hughes-Murray and Doug Taumoelau.
Taumoelau is a 6-foot-2, 220 pound linebacker who redshirted as a true freshman a season ago. The Salt Lake City native committed to Oregon State out of Brighton High School and was a ranked as a three-star defensive lineman by Rivals. He moved to outside linebacker to start his college career and has been a revelation this spring as he made the move inside.
Taumoelau isn’t quite the physical specimen/freak athlete that Andrzej Hughes-Murray is, but Taumoelau has all the skills and instincts necessary to be an effective middle linebacker. He played rugby in high school and was a team captain; he also played both ways during football season (fullback/defensive end).
Ultimately, I expect Hughes-Murray to earn a starting role, but look for Doug Taumoelau to find his way onto the field early and often. Oregon State’s depth was tested at linebacker last season, but is quickly turning into one of the deepest and most talented position groups despite their relative lack of experience.
The List So Far:
#37: Doug Taumoelau - ILB
#38: Shemar Smith - OLB
#39: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. - OLB
#40: David Morris - S/OLB
#41: Nick Porebski - P
#42: Omar Hicks-Onu - S
#43: Isaac Garcia - DE
#44: Andre Bodden- WR
#45: Trajon Cotton - S
#46: Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson - OLB
#47: Kolby Taylor - WR
#49: Jordan Choukair & Adley Rutschman - K
#50: Thor Katoa - DT/OLB