Jarett Finau of Juanita High is still generally listed first as a tight end on the various recruiting sites.
But his coach, Shaun Tarantola, says he has little doubt Finau will end up playing defense for the Huskies, to whom he committed in June.
“I don’t think schools really knew where he fit so there was a lot of questioning going into his senior year,” said Tarantola. “He thought maybe it would be fun to play tight end in college. But by the time his senior year was over, he said ‘I know what I’m best at. I’m a defensive guy that can change games on defense.’ So I think he got really excited about that role. That was something different for him. I think in the past he wanted to be an offensive guy, but that changed during the year.”
Finau will sign his letter Wednesday morning in a ceremony at Juanita, Tarantola said, then begin the process of becoming a Husky. Tarantola said last week that there’s a chance Finau will be able to enroll for spring football, something that may be determined this week.
And Tarantola thinks when Finau does show up that he will be contending for time at UW’s rush end defensive end spot, the same spot where Hau’oli Jamora emerged as a starter at the end of the season.
“He could be a guy they could bring pressure with,” said Tarantola of Finau, who was a Seattle Times red chip pick and also was a three-star recruit by Scout.com and given two stars by Rivals.com. He was also a Times All-State pick.
“He’s up to 240 pounds right now, just getting bigger and filling out, kind of similar to what Senio Kelemete did (Tarantola coached Kelemete at Evergreen High). He’s still growing and you never know how that changes things.”
Finau played outside linebacker in Juanita’s 3-4 defense and Tarantola said he “really was a difference for us. Any team that wanted to throw the ball, Jarett changed the game. He was great versus the run, too, but when teams got in passing situations and wanted to throw the ball, he really just changed the game for us.”
Finau has tentative plans to go on a church mission during his college career, but Tarantola said nothing is set. He said wanting to graduate with his collegiate class even if he takes a mission is one reason for wanting to enroll early.
Here is some updated video of Finau:
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