My favorite Pitt player has gotten himself kicked of the football team. I have sung the praises of Jeremiah Taleni since he was recruited back in 2013 by our then DL coach and my new best friend Inoke Breckterfield.
I guess I liked Taleni so much because 1) he was from the town where I lived in a tree house right on Kailua Beach in Hawaii for two years (really) and 2) my wife is part Hawaiian.
When stationed in Honolulu in the early 1980s I watched as much HS football as I could and was very impressed with the talent they had in those leagues. Taleni was only a two-star kid but he came from a football factory school.
Here is his recruiting video:
Last season he had more playing time then previously and toward the second half of the year really turned up his game which we saw writ large against Clemson…
2016: Played in seven games, starting three…starting assignments came in the final three regular-season contests…totaled 24 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and three sacks…had a career-high eight stops at Miami…in a start at Clemson, had four tackles and a personal best 1.5 sacks…had five tackles and a sack against Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl.
So what does that leave us with on the interior of the DL? Well, here is an older video of a break-down of what we had along that line coming into this year… (just mentally delete any references to Taleni)
Well, criminal arrest case searches turn nothing up on Taleni in either WPA or Hawaii so that’s good but it is intriguing to think about what it might be the cause of dismissal. Then again he was a music major – maybe he threw a ultra-violent fit when a Pitt Grad Assistant threw out his ukulele thinking it was just a toy.
But this is another example of Pat Narduzzi not playing the depth chart game. He just kicked one of our best defenders of the team – and from a defense that needs all the help it can get.