We've got just 55 days until kickoff, so today I'll highlight the player that wears the #55 jersey for the Broncos (but won't be using it)—Deuce Mataele
#55, Tutulupeatau Mataele, Junior, DT
Weight: 290 lbs
High School/College: Granger High School, West Valley, UT/Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Mataele was a surprise DT recruit that rounded out the 2013 recruiting class. We'd known about Fort Scott's Justin Taimatuia for a while, but right before signing day Mataele was signed, sealed and delivered in time for Spring ball (an early entry that ended up not mattering much...as you'll read further on). At Granger High School, Mataele was a two year all-league selection (first team as a senior and second team as a junior), and then took his sizable frame (and talents) to Mt. SAC where he racked up 81 tackles (24.5 for loss), 4 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 5 PBUs in his two year career. Mataele chose the Broncos over offers from Arizona State and BYU.
Finally, an actual nickname...and thank goodness, because 5 syllables is my limit.
Austin Pettis on Human Growth Hormone
Team high 42 tackles for Mt. SAC in 2012. First team all-league as a senior at Granger HS in 2010. Second team all-league as junior at GHS in 2009.
Gloom, despair and agony on us. Mataele's promising Spring campaign last year was all for naught as he ended up ineligible after a transcript...let's call it "snafu". The good news is that Mataele is back on the squad and practicing...the bad news being that the way the NCAA rules are drawn up, he won't be able to play until next year...and yes, this year of eligibility will be gone. So, ostensibly, last year did not count against him as he had a redshirt year available, but this season will. Man, I hope 2015 (the "future" in BTTF2) is worth the wait.
Last year, most felt that Deuce would have well been the starter before things got derailed on the academic front, and frankly, we could've used him. This year, I don't think we'll miss him quite as much, but he's still a force and it will be awfully nice to get him back for his swan song. The most we can hope for for this year is that Deuce does some real work in practice and really pushes all the guys on both sides of the LOS to get better. Then, he can mentor the youngsters, study film, and get ready to give his all in '15...which no doubt, he will.
Is he on Twitter?
I don't believe so.
Completely made up fact
Joe Schmoe's like me would probably pronounce Mataele's first name "Tutu-loo-pe-uh-tow", but those more familiar with island phonetics would just call him "Steve".