By Trevor Enerson, CycloneFanatic.com ResidentRecruiting Junkie
What he is: Tautolo is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound center out of Saddleback Community College in Mission Viego, Calif. Tautolo will be graduating this December, so he’ll be able to participate in spring ball and summer workouts. That is obviously a big advantage in terms of his development.
What he does: Sam is a pretty large center who seems very capable in terms of pass blocking and is a decent run blocker right now. Being a center, he doesn’t have much in the way of stats but he does have a pretty solid recruiting video. Check it out:
Strengths/Weaknesses: I want to preface this by saying I am likely not all that good at evaluating offensive lineman but I am going to do my best. I used the linked video to take a look. What I see from that piece is that Tautolo is a guy who is very capable of standing up defensive tackles and pretty much making them ineffective in terms of the pass rush. Sam seems to manhandle guys in straight up rush situations. He is pretty big for a center but seems to possess adequate quickness. I would like to see him get to the second level a little more in some situations. A lot of times Tautolo will make his first block but isn’t great at the second level. That’s nit picking because we normally won’t be looking to the center to get to the second level, unless he doesn’t have anyone directly in front of him. On the flip side of that, Tautolo doesn’t seem to get impatient. He seems to wait in his hole until someone comes to it. By doing this, he doesn’t fly into space where he can be beaten in space. It looks to me like Tautolo is a very heady lineman who makes the right plays. Another thing to look at with any center Iowa State brings in is going to be his snapping ability. Do not underrate that aspect. It is vital in this offense as it relies on timing, especially in the run game and snaps off target can make a huge impact. To me, his snaps were average. That can be improved pretty easily simply by repetition and working with the quarterbacks in practice. I’m not worried about it in the least, but it a place to improve.
What’s in store: Like quarterback Steele Jantz, the staff didn’t bring this kid in to back someone up. They brought him in to compete for the center job against Tom Farniok. I don’t think Tautolo is the cut and dried starter, but I think he will definitely compete and just his size may give him the advantage early on. If Farniok beats him out, I think he would still challenge for Alex Alvarez’s former role at guard. I think he possesses the athleticism for that role but I don’t think he could move to tackle. If I were betting, I would say he will be the starting center in 2011 and guard in 2012.
He looks to me like: Reggie Stephens. They have the same type of build. Both are bigger centers. I don’t want to hype him up and say he will be as good as Reggie, but I think he could be pretty good.