‘Bows freshman LB Tavai uses big brother as ‘behind the scenes coach’

Jahlani Tavai


When Tom Mason’s 3-4 defense is labeled as “ultra aggressive,” a cavalry of outside linebackers with the ability to pass-rush is paramount.

With just 15 days before kickoff against University of Colorado Boulder, the first-year defensive coordinator has received plenty of production from assistant Kurt Gouveia’s unit.

Over the last few days, Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea as a rush-end hybrid linebacker along with Jeremy Castro split majority of reps with captain Lance Williams and Jahlani Tavai at the outside position.

Tavai, a red-shirt freshman who was an All Bay Area selection in high school is looking to build around the blueprint of his brother, four-year starting OLB at USC and current Tennessee Titans rookie J.R. Tavai.

“Contacting him is pretty tough because he’s in Tennessee, with the five- to six-hour change, I got to get that good time in to try and text him and send him some film, asking how do I try and beat (blockers) out, and luckily he went against the Colorado tackle and he told me some tips about him. He’s been there, so he’s kind of my behind the scenes coach,” said Tavai.

Tavai and his Rainbow Warriors open their 2015 season against the Buffaloes on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.

The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

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