NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.
#50 Tyrone Taleni
True Junior | 6-2 | 275 lbs. | Savai’i, Samoa
- Position: Defensive Tackle
- Previous College: Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College
- Projection: Third-String
- Status: On Scholarship
Tyrone Taleni (b. June 10, 1996) is a Samoan native and was a late signee out of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, who enrolled early for spring practices in 2020.
Taleni saw action as a defensive end in three contests in 2020, including the Kansas game, when he made a 6-yard sack. (He also played at Oklahoma and at Baylor.)
In the offseason, Taleni, who is majoring in biology, converted to defensive tackle for 2021.
He played the 2019 season for the Mounties under head coach Bob Jastrab. It does not appear that he used a redshirt season, so he should have four years to play three seasons.
Taleni tallied 26 tackles, six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2019, carding a season-high five tackles against Long Beach before totaling a season-best two tackles for loss against Chaffey. His full sacks came against Bakersfield, East Los Angeles and Riverside.
Taleni also broke up a pass against Palomar and, as a former rugby player, also possesses decent skills as a punter.
He signed with K-State in February 2020 over offers from Dixie State, Hawai’i, Houston Baptist, Robert Morris, UTEP and Western Illinois, as well as interest from Utah State and Washington State.
Unsurprisingly, his lead recruiter was defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo.