Yesterday, Coach Mendenhall and his staff scored a commitment from a former BYU recruit, Wayne Taulapapa. The 5-11, 200 pound Hawaiian running back was set to join Tre Harbison as the two incoming backs for the 2016 recruiting class.
However, as can be expected with Coach Mendenhall at the helm, it is expected that Taulapapa will take his LDS mission before coming to Charlottesville in 2018. As 24/7's Jamie Oakes is reporting, Taulapapa talked about his journey yesterday after signing his letter of intent with the Cavaliers.
The running back appears to be a bruiser of a running back. At 5-11, 200, at a young age, as he gets older and hits the weight room even harder, it might not be a stretch to see him move to fullback or become 3rd down and goalline back.
Tualapapa was previously committed to BYU, but opened his recruitment back up at the end of December after all the coaching changes. It appears he had a deep connection with the new UVa coaching staff, and RB coach Mark Atuaia hit the recruiting path hard after he reopened his recruitment. Ultimately, he chose the Cavaliers over programs like BYU, Colorado, UNLV, and Hawaii, among others.
With the announcement, Tre Harbison becomes the only running back of the 2016 class. Many expect Harbison to make an immediate impact given how prolific he was in high school, but RB depth is always a good thing.
Will this be a common theme during the Mendenhall era at UVa?