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Scouting Latu Maile: Tyler JC Coach Breaks Down Strengths, Weaknesses



Just before the start of fall training camp, OSU added a commitment from Tyler Junior College defensive tackle Latu Maile — the younger brother of former OSU defensive tackle Mote.

Latu fills a need at the position after 2017 signee Fua Leilua backed away from the program, and although he’s a late addition for 2017, he’s already in Stillwater preparing for the season in fall training camp.

We caught up with his defensive line coach from Tyler, Alex Wierzbicki, who gave a scouting report on what to expect from the younger Maile as he prepares for his Division I journey. Wierzbicki was hired in January, right in the middle of Maile’s freshman season, so he has a unique perspective after spending the entire offseason coaching him to his Division I opportunity.

On what Maile’s been as a player

“Latu is one of the better one’s I’ve been around, both playing and coaching. He’s a leader, very coachable, extremely aggressive. He has a lot of strengths. His biggest weakness, just like any defensive linemen, if you don’t use your hands you won’t be very good. So when he starts getting consistent with that, I think he’s really going to be a big-time guy. He did really well for us, handled his business and now he’s at the highest level of college football. We’re obviously very proud of him.”

On his attitude as a player

The way he presents himself in the meeting room, the way he mentally prepares, and his attitude on the field — he always had a great attitude, never had to tell him twice — I think he’ll be a good player at OSU. He was great for us.”

On what Maile needs to do to make an impact from a physical standpoint

“It just depends on Oklahoma State and what their typical three-technique is. For us, he was a perfect weight. Strong, physical and could run at about 300 pounds.”

The plan for Latu as he prepared for his sophomore season was to return to Tyler, his coach said, until a late spot opened at OSU. And while he’s got all the tools to develop into a contributor for the Cowboys, I would be surprised if he does anything but redshirt in 2017 as he builds out his skills and body in a Division I program. But the talent and willingness to be coached are two major reasons why OSU has to be thrilled to have stolen him away from the JUCO ranks.

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