This Nevada football backfield is about to get violent – and make defenses in the Mountain West Conference ensure that they spend more time on gang tackling and properly wrapping up a running back.

It’s because Lompoc’s own Toa Taua is getting ready to head over to Reno to help solidify an imposing Wolf Pack backfield for the 2018 recruiting class.

Already, the Wolf Pack has gotten big power backs Crishaun Lappin (Henderson, Nev.) and Devonte Lee (Oklahoma City) signed through the NCAA Early Signing period that took place in December 2017. If you watch Lappin’s and Lee’s highlight films on Hudl or You Tube, you’ll see both runners carrying defenders on their backs or pummeling them to the ground with their fierce running style.

Sounds familiar, right?

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Taua, who announced his decision to verbally commit to Nevada during the Polynesian Bowl on Saturday, has an equal running style along with the three. The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder was renowned under the North Santa Barbara County Friday night lights for piercing his shoulders into defenders and bouncing off of would-be tacklers. While some viewers of Hudl or You Tube clamor for running backs using juke moves to evade defenders, Taua got people watching his film for doing the opposite: Running over anyone who dared to cross him.  

It’s looking as if Nevada is trying to recapture its physical, downhill identity that made the Wolf Pack a perennial bowl contender from 2005 to 2015 – as Nevada gashed and gassed defenses with its fame Pistol offense.

Current head coach Jay Norvell has his most expertise in the air attack as a longtime wide receivers coach, but Norvell has to love the fact that in his backfield next season are three high-powered locomotives including Lompoc’s own Taua…making this Wolf Pack unit one to fear if you’re a Mountain West team preparing for UNR's running backs in the future. 

Lorenzo J. Reyna covers sports, specifically Lompoc, for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at lreyna@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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