Boss Tagaloa has done a little bit of everything throughout his football career.

He set the bar high becoming the first freshman to start at De La Salle, one of California’s elite high school football programs, and won three CIF State championships while losing just two games throughout his prep career.

While that winning success didn’t carry over with the Bruins, finishing each of the last four UCLA seasons with a record under .500, he became an example for others to follow.

After the pregame senior salute, Tagaloa will anchor the Bruins’ offensive line against Cal on Saturday inside the Rose Bowl for his 45th college game. He had only missed four UCLA games, three due to suspension prior to his switch from defense to offense.

With him inserted into the offense, the Bruins improved their average yards per game from 218.9 in the first three games to 412.4 in the final nine.

Running back Joshua Kelley rushed for 100 yards in six of the final nine games. Before 2018, the Bruins had just one 100-yard rushing performance from a running back since 2015.

The decision to plug Tagaloa in at center allowed Christaphany Murray to move over to guard.

“Ever since we switched last year, we just have that bond,” Murray said. “And when I’m in the trenches, I know that he got me.“

Tagaloa was highly touted as a defensive lineman coming out of my high school, playing defense for his first two UCLA seasons. He credits offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Justin Frye for helping with the transition.

“He is a real straight forward guy and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Tagaloa said. “He is a great coach. A coach like that is definitely what I needed to keep me on track, basically help me understand the game.”

The switch may have come easier for Tagaloa than it would for others but he remains thankful for the opportunity to contribute in any capacity.

“I’m grateful for everything and all the opportunities,” he said. “I got to play on both sides of the ball. I got to see all of college football from all the perspectives.”

As a freshman, he played as a reserve along the defensive line and on special teams.

The senior has considered what could be next in his career and hopes that he may hear his name called during the upcoming NFL Draft.

“I talk to my parents about it all the time,” Tagaloa said. “Having my name get called or just taking this football (career) as far as I can take it. … Wherever the team needs me. I’m willing to play whatever position. I have film on both sides. Whatever they need I am right here.”

LA Daily News