Name: Sam Tai
Position: Defensive End
Rank: 65(S) / N/R(R) / 126(E)
Positional Need: 6/10
Outlook: You don’t see too many quarterback/defensive ends, but Tai played both over the last couple years for Liberty High.
He’ll only be sacking QBs for UCLA, though.
Tai had 10 sacks in his last seven games and turned into one of Nevada’s top prospects as the season went on, ultimately picking UCLA over Arkansas. He appears tenacious as a defender, with a very good motor.
Tai, though, is nowhere near where he needs to be physically for the Bruins yet. I met him a few weeks ago on campus, and he looked like more of a big, albeit tall, linebacker than a defensive end.
Immediate Impact: 1/10 – Not only does Tai need to put on a ton of weight and strength, but UCLA has a very deep defensive line over the next couple years.
Overall Impact: 5/10 – Unless he bulks up a ton, he won’t move into the rotation.
“Being able to spend time with Coach Neuheisel and the staff, getting more comfortable with them. These are guys I’ll be with for years. The thing that hit me the most is Neuheisel taking us on the campus tour on game day. A lot of coaches I’ve been to have stopped in periodically, but he took us on his own.” – Tai, in early December