Nose Tackle Depth Chart
The Bruins run a more traditional four man front in their 4-3 defense but they still employ a nose tackle. Typically your nose tackle will function as a space eater or gap occupier. He isn’t asked to penetrate much into the backfield or sack the passer but instead is relied upon to hold up against double teams and free up other defenders so that they can make the tackle. It isn’t a glorious job and it won’t show up on the stat sheet but theses are highly prized players across CFB and the NFL. Last year Eli Ankou held this role and is now looking to fill that role with the Houston Texans.
- Boss Tagaloa, #75, 6’2″, 310lbs., So.
- Greg Rogers, #96, 6’3″, 305lbs., Fr.
- Ainnu Taua, #35, 5’11”, 295lbs., R-Jr.
Last year as a freshman Tagaloa saw action in all twelve UCLA Football contests. He recorded 19 total tackles and was a key reserve for the Bruins although I did notice there were times he was pushed around by PAC-12 veterans. That’s not cause for concern though as most freshmen take time to acclimate to the division 1 level. He wasn’t dominant this spring but again that should be cause for concern. He has the size, strength and now, experience to give the Bruins the piece they need in the middle.
He hasn’t see the field for the Bruins yet and hasn’t even been a part of a formal practice yet but Rogers should be an immediate impact player for UCLA Football. He looks bigger than 305 and is a better athlete than Tagaloa. He gives the Bruins some pass rush from the inside which should make coaches happy but will need to demonstrate his ability to anchor in the run game. Something I think he’ll only get better at as the season wears on.
Taua has bounced around from the offense to the defense during his time at UCLA. Not a big body, Taua is more of a penetrator with a fire hydrant frame that allows him to occupy two gaps. However he isn’t particularly stout and can be engulfed by larger blockers. His frame is his main limitation because he doesn’t have the quickness of Aaron Donald or even that of Nikita Whitlock. That means he’s not beating anyone with speed and he’s really not beating them with strength.