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White County's Suaava finds inspiration in frustration
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Listen to Tasi Suaava talk about the recruting process

Tasi Suaava manages to look past the frustration.

The White County senior defensive lineman doesn’t let the fact that he is getting passed over by the big Division I schools get him down, instead he just tries to control what he can on the field as a game-changing player for the Warriors at tackle.

He isn’t getting looked over by the SEC and ACC schools for lack of athletic ability. Suaava is coming off of a solid junior season, even though he missed the first three games due to a knee injury.

The reason Suaava isn’t getting major college attention is that he is only 5-foot-11, well below the 6-3 mold most elite schools prefer.

"Yeah it’s frustrating when someone looks at your stats and automatically wants someone taller," Suaava said. "But it’s just something you have to work through."

With his less than ideal height, the 265-pound tackle is now primarily getting recruited by Division I-AA schools and smaller Division I programs. Suaava already has official scholarship offers from Western Carolina and Northeastern. He is also getting recruited heavily by Georgia Southern and Alabama-Birmingham, which are currently his favorites.

White County coach Gregg Segraves says that his anchor on the line will be a valuable addition to whichever program lands him in college. Suaava is one of White County’s strongest players in the weight room maxing out at 500 pounds in the squat and 400 pounds on bench press, Segraves added.

"Tasi is very hard to block," Segraves said. "He’s just so explosive on the ball, strong and runs very well. ... With the way he moves he forces double teams, which frees up our linebackers to make plays."

Suaava’s biggest games last season were against East Hall and Gilmer with three sacks in each. Against the Vikings, he recorded those sacks on three consecutive plays.

"What coaches like about Tasi is his ability to change directions," Segraves added.

Suaava’s primary goal for his senior season is to win the Region 7-AAA title. He also wants to get noticed by major college scouts and lock up a chance to play at the school he desires.

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