Meet Donovan Laie, Oceanside High Junior Offensive Tackle
Excerpts from the San Diego Union Tribune, by John Maffei, October 11, 2016
OCEANSIDE- In Rick Gerardi’s 25 years as offensive line coach at Oceanside High, more than three dozen of his players have gone on to play college football. Four — Joe Salave’a, Sam Brenner, Brian Schwenke and Larry Warford — played in the NFL.
“But we’ve never had schools like Michigan and Ohio State buzzing around our campus,” Gerardi said. “They’re coming around now, though.”
The draw is massive left tackle Donovan Laie.
The junior stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 290 pounds. Laie, who also plays basketball for the Pirates, is quick and strong, has a huge wing span, and can move. “He’s a very good basketball player,” said Aaron Burgin of Full-Time Hoops scouting service. “He’s not a Division I guy, but he is a gifted basketball player.
Those skills all translate to the football field.
But Laie isn’t the only college-size player on Oceanside’s offensive line. From tackle to tackle, the starting five — Laie, Mykel Bernal, Dyllan Tuisee, Mason Buczek and Isaiah Kaleopa-Tuisee — average 283 pounds. Add in sixth man Albert Leasau, and the average jumps to 294 pounds.
“These are big, strong guys, but they can all move,” Oceanside head coach Dave Rodriguez said. “Max Shuffer, our quarterback, has improved so much because the guys up front give him the time to throw.
“This group allows us to use our entire playbook. We know we can execute anything we call.
Lifting weights is a big part of their team bonding.
“All day, every day if they’d let us,” Bernal said of weightlifting. “We have little competitions among ourselves.
“We have good players here, so we have (Pac-12 and Mountain West) recruiters on campus all the time. But Donovan is drawing recruiters from schools that don’t normally come around.”
“I look at the recruiting as a blessing. I find it very humbling.”
Attention Pirates: Homecoming is Friday night, October 14 vs Torrey Pines! Check out details here about the All Pirate Weekend!
MEET THE OCEANSIDE OFFENSIVE LINE
Oceanside’s offensive linemen, with a comment on each from head coach Dave Rodriguez:
LT — Donovan Laie, 6-6, 290, Jr.
Rodriguez: Big and physical. Has the potential to be special.
LG — Mykel Bernal, 6-2, 290, Sr.
Rodriguez: You watch his film and say ‘Wow!’ Being recruited by Ivy League schools.
C — Dyllan Tuisee, 6-2, 300, Sr.
Rodriguez: Didn’t know if he wanted to play football, now he’s our anchor.
RG — Mason Buczek, 6-2, 270, Jr.
Rodriguez: Learning and has a chance to be special.
RT — Isaiah Kaleopa-Tuisee, 6-2, 265, Jr.
Rodriguez: Has the most to learn, but plays with passion.
Reserve — Albert Leasau, 6-0, 350, Sr.
Rodriguez: Most improved. We don’t miss a beat with him in there.
Reserve — Amarri Austin, 6-1, 240, Sr.
Rodriguez: Blue-collar guy who gives us 110 percent when he gets his chance.
article in its entirety: Oceanside lineman draws crowd of recruiters