Vali’ hopes stint with Vikings earns him NFL ticket

Savali Talalemotu dreams of someday following the footsteps of his sports idol, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Palomalu, to the National Football League. (Contributed Photo)

Savali Talalemotu dreams of someday following the footsteps of his sports idol, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Palomalu, to the National Football League. (Contributed Photo)

Moving to Beaverton, Oregon is turning out to be one of the best decisions Saipan native Savali Talalemotu has ever made with the 19-year-old former Kagman High School standout now on his sophomore year playing for the Portland State University Vikings.

The PSU Vikings play in the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I’s Big Sky Conference along with University of Montana, Montana State University, University of North Dakota, Northern Arizona University, Portland State University, California State University-Sacramento, University of California-Davis, University of Northern Colorado, California Polytechnic State University, Idaho State University, Southern Utah University, Weber State University, and cross-state rivals Eastern Washington University.

“I decided to move to Oregon in 2011 for my last year of high school where I went to Beaverton High School, where I also played my first year of football,” said Talalemotu, who lives with his uncle Ina and aunt Megan.

“I liked both sports [basketball and football] but I think that it is at football where I think I really belong.”

Playing as a defensive end for Beaverton High School’s football squad earned Talalemotu a third team All-Metro League honors, which did not escape the watchful eyes of PSU scouts, which eventually led to him being recruited by the Nigel Burton-coached PSU Vikings.

After graduating in high school in 2011, he red-shirted for PSU in 2012 and the following year made his debut as a defensive tackle where he played 11 games as a backup defensive end registering 15 tackles, two in a Vikings loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Talalemotu thus followed in the footsteps of his uncle Ina, who was a member of the 1987 and 1988 Vikings squad that played in the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Division II national finals.

The 6’3”, 275-lb former Beaverton High School basketball forward is hoping that his stint with the four-time NCAA finalists Vikings could be his golden ticket to someday play in the National Football League.

“I come off the bench at PSU because our defensive line is full of talent, we’re really deep in every position and that doesn’t bother me. I do wish to someday play in the NFL. I know, I do have a long way to go for that to happen but I’m going to work hard for it,” said Talalemotu, who looks up to two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler Troy Polamalu since the Samoan plays with a lot of energy and remains humble despite all of his success in the NFL.

Talalemotu, who plans to major in Criminology and Criminal Justice, could really find himself playing for any NFL team someday after all the Vikings’ website described him as a “young defensive lineman with a strong future in the program [that] moves very well for his size. [He] should see more playing time in 2014.”

Talalemotu is the son of Fa’aea Talalemotu and Tamara Hunter. (Jon Perez)

Jon Perez Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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