Football: Freddie Tagaloa cleared to transfer to Arizona with `no hatred’ toward Cal

Stressing that he is leaving Cal “with no hatred,” offensive lineman Freddie Tagaloa said Monday he won an appeal to transfer within the Pac-12 Conference to Arizona.

Tagaloa will enroll in spring semester classes and be eligible to play for the Wildcats as a redshirt junior in the fall of 2015 after sitting out next season.

He said the opportunity to be reunited with offensive line coach Jim Michalczik, now at Arizona, was key to his decision to pick the Wildcats.

“Having a coach I looked up to as a father figure was one of the main deciding factors,” said Tagaloa, a 6-foot-8, 330-pound graduate of Salesian High in Richmond. “I talked to (former Cal offensive linemen) Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz, and they call him an O-line guru.”

Tagaloa said he considered transferring after Michalczik was let go when Sonny Dykes replaced Jeff Tedford as Cal coach in December 2012, but wanted to give the new staff a chance.

Tagaloa was voted one of Cal’s four captains by his teammates last fall, but lost his starting offensive tackle job at midseason, then was moved to guard.

“I wanted to do anything to win at that point,” he said. “If I lost my starting job and moved to guard and we started winning games, obviously we fixed the problem. That didn’t happen, so I became a little frustrated.”

Tagaloa sat down with his family to make the decision after the Bears’ 1-11 season was complete. He said he wasn’t comfortable with the way offensive line techniques were taught by the new staff and wasn’t convinced he would develop into an NFL-caliber player.

At Arizona, Tagaloa said, he will return to offensive tackle.

Cal and Arizona play each other next season, but Tagaloa won’t be eligible to participate. He said he’s grateful the two teams won’t meet in 2015 and ’16 when he is playing.

A Cal athletic department spokesman said the school will not grant release from scholarship to any player trying to transfer to another Pac-12 school, which is standard practice for most college football teams.

Tagaloa said that required him to go through a campus appeals process, which was conducted via email because of the holiday season. He said he presented his reasons for why he should be permitted to transfer to Arizona and was informed on Dec. 29 he won the appeal.

One of at least three Cal players known to be transferring, Tagaloa said he is excited about the next chapter of his football career.

“I’m leaving with no hatred,” he said. “It’s just something that didn’t work out.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    So much about this hurts . . .

    A guy that wanted to give Dykes a chance, only to then realize he shouldn’t have,

    A team captain,

    Goes back to the position coach our alums in the NFL boast about.

    The good feeling momentum I tried to build thinking about a bunch of smart 3 star recruits just got stalled. It’s rolling backwards again.

  • bigdruid

    Coach M didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his second stint at Cal. I do wonder about his comment about techniques. I wonder what techniques we are teaching that aren’t applicable at the next level.

    anyhow, I am trying hard not to get too caught up in all of the off season drama. It sucks to lose current players, but it’s unlikely that new recruits will make a big difference over the next 2 years which is when Sonny Dykes’ future will be decided.

  • Manus

    Football and football coaching is not rocket science, so don’t get depressed about the latest ship jumper…

    Notwithstanding, the “spotlight” is now on Coach M to see if he can turn his new acolyte into a “Cinderella.”

  • Eric

    Funny, I suggested o-line play was the key reason for the disaster of a season, but the flaws in the o-line existed long before this season, which would include the Coach M Era (two). That being said, Arizona’s rushing attack was pretty damn good this past year, making Carey Heisman worthy.

  • Rob Bear

    This guy lost his starting position on perhaps the worst O-Line in America last year and was not happy about his move to guard from tackle. Another example of I am not starting or getting my way, hence I am picking up my toys and going home.

    Good-luck with your choice. Enjoy the Tucson scorch.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I didn’t think coach M was THAT bad in his second stint, the real problem being the QBs. I still can’t believe just how off target Maynard was able to sometimes misfire the ball.

    This one hurts, guys.

    It’s one thing for opposing coaches in the recruiting wars to make the arguments about a gimmick offense and position coaches that can prepare you for the NFL, but when a a guy transfers out, saying he spoke with Mack and Schwartz, he is what they will talk about.


    Damn good game last night. Cal should consider playing that sport.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Rob, he lost his job for not being able to do the new techniques that he never used before, which his size makes difficult, and which you don’t see in the NFL.

  • Manus

    “Gimmick offense….”?

    Just remember, the “spread offense” is alive and well throughout the Pac12, including at Arizona.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I wish him well. I hope when he gets the opportunity, he will cattouse you guys.

    I am sure that Sherm is sad since the Social Welfare Department just lost another football player. It must be down to 35 now.


  • The Wisdom Cow

    Yes, Manus, gimmick.

    While there are a number of variants off the “spread offense” within the Pac 12, only a few use the pass protection techniques of the Dykes/Franklin offense, most notably Oregon, though theirs is also a bit different to incorporate the option.

    There is a great article on Golden Bears Blogs about the different techniques which was written before the season started. The basic GIMMICK of the technique is to retreat 2-3 yards further back from the line of scrimmage in pass protection because it creates an extra second before the DL can reach the QB. The article does a great job of pointing out the plusses and minuses of this approach. A notable minus is the difficulty for larger lineman to retreat further and still be able to “anchor” themselves such as to still take on a DL without their own momentum working very much against them (Hello Tagaloa!).

    AZ does not use this approach. Rich Rod is about getting rid of the ball quicker, not retreating further to gain a second. Their blocking schemes are fairly traditional.

  • rotfogel

    “Tagaloa sat down with his family to make the decision after the Bears’ 1-11 season was complete. He said he wasn’t comfortable with the way offensive line techniques were taught by the new staff and wasn’t convinced he would develop into an NFL-caliber player.”

    -I really don’t like the feeling that I’m getting about Cal heading into the 14′ season. Wowsers!!! This year might even be worse than this previous season. The offensive line was atrocious and I always felt they had some talent on the Oline, after all, most of the current line were either 3 or 4 star recruits. I really feel Cal currently has the perfect storm of really sub par coaches. Andy Buh, the Oline coach, Sonny D. This is not a good bunch of coaches.

    I implore you to watch the movie “The perfect storm”. I think you’ll be able to drawn some comparisons between the storms in the movie and the coaches on the Cal football staff. They all suck individually but together they form the worst stinking pile of feces.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Perfect Storm? Too 90s, Rotfogel.

    It’s more of a Suckage Vortex.

  • me

    Tagaloa is a good looking player, but absolutely not the right kind of guy for the air raid.

  • Eric


    The o-line was terrible in the last few seasons of the Tedford era. Granted, Maynard was terrible, but he was fleet of foot (compared to Goff) and yet was sacked MORE than Goff was sacked, even though he had far less pass attempts. The o-line also did better this year in terms of fewer false starts, holdings, and chop blocks. So Coach M did not do well at all in his second stint.

    I went to the BCS game last night, sitting among FSU fans (thank god). Unbelievable atmosphere. Both sides’ fans were amazing. Still don’t understand how Auburn lost.

  • wehofx

    Baylor uses the same blocking technique/scheme.

    Regardless of technique used, if Tags plays tackle he doesn’t have the quickness to engage talented DE’s, esp when they used the outside speed rush. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Michalczik moves him to guard, too. That said, I hope Tags proves me wrong.

    What Eric said about the OL penalties. What really got to me about Michalczik’s 2 stint was all the personals. imo that said the O line stopped listening.

  • Juancho

    I wish him the best.

  • Woj

    Just another shining example of what I said – players and recruits are evaluating the level of suckitude coming out of Dykes, Buh, and staff and the rotten 2013 season and concluding they would be better off getting out of Dodge (Berkeley) as quick as possible.

    You cannot expect guys who were high quality recruits torpedoing their chance at the NFL because of bad coaching and overall ineptitude that was painfully clear under Stormy.

    This is not the RMS Titanic where the captain should go down with the ship. The captain of Cal was free to bolt as long as he paid the 1 year penance and that’s what he chose. Speaks volumes.

    Is Sandy B’s boss listening > 2013’s winless season and rotten outlook for ’14 states that you need to clean house and that’s not being done. I mean Buh looks like he’s back for ’14 – yikes, that’s scary.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    I could be wrong, but coach M was brought back because the the OL had gone to crap after he left. It didn’t improve much in his second tour, but I was under the impression part of that was a drop in talent on the OL which the young recruits were meant to help change the past two seasons.

  • covinared

    Go back and review the film of goff getting sacked. usually an end had blown by Tagaloa. he wasn’t suited for what we were doing and destined to ride pine.

  • rotfogel

    @Covinard: Perhaps if Tagaloa was coached better, as he himself had stated, Goff wouldn’t be getting punished.

    But again, it wasn’t just him, the entire line sucked. That is on the coaches, who are the worst group since the Holmoe years.

    We just need to face facts, it’ll be a decade before Cal is relevant again. We need a massive overhaul.

  • Joey

    “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” – Colin Powell

  • covinared

    Coach Rot: once Tagaloa was out of there the blindside sacks went way down with the same coach. you can’t coach quickness and speed. tagaloa was just too slow afoot for our scheme.

  • Eric

    I’ve been trying to find stats on penalties.

    In 2012, Cal had 99 penalties in 12 games, which was 117th out of 120th for total penalties per game (8.25 per game). For comparison purposes, UCLA was dead last. La Tech was 116th.

    This year, we had 85 penalties, which, while an improvement of more than one penalty a game, was still a lot. UCLA was second to last.

    These numbers are total penalties. I have not been able to find statistics just on the o-line.

  • Gobears49

    What I found most interesting about the article is the fact that the standard practice is for schools not to allow transfers within a conference and that Tagaloa won his appeal.

    What would be interesting to know is what percentage of inter-confernce transfers are turned down by schools, what percent of those are appealed, what percentage of appeals are won by players, and what arguments Tagaloa used to win his appeal. Also, I would like to know who decides whether an appeal will be granted or not.

  • Easy Ed

    I suspect the fact that he will never play against Cal had something to do with the granting of the transfer.

  • Steve W

    Read in the LA Times today that a fifth junior from USC has made himself eligible for the NFL draft. It’s not just Cal, it’s the culture of young athletes today. Although Marquis Lee has probably proved everything he needs to prove at the college level.