Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Aggieville: USU Sports
Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska
Steve Luhm and Lya Wodraska cover Utah State athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. Lya Wodraska is on twitter at @LyaWodraska, Steve Luhm is on twitter at @sluhm

» E-mail Lya Wodraska

» E-mail Steve Luhm

» Subscribe (RSS)




(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah State tight end D.J. Tialavea works out April 30, 2014, at the Utah State strengthening and conditioning facility. Tialavea is on the brink of accomplishing an NFL dream that has required great sacrifices by both he and his family.
Utah State TE D.J. Tialavea signs with Jacksonville Jaguars, has more goals ahead

For so long, the NFL seemed so far away for D.J. Tialavea.

On Saturday, it arrived. And even the former Utah State tight end felt a little taken aback when the phone calls were pouring in.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It's crazy that it came so fast," he said. "I wasn't really worried though. I knew I was getting an opportunity, so I'd just rather wait patiently."

He didn't have to wait all that long. Minutes after the draft, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars, fulfilling a long-time goal he and his family have shared since he first took up football at West Jordan High.

He was with family on Saturday, talking to teams and his agent as the dominos began to fall. He nearly agreed to a deal with the Dallas Cowboys, but in the end, he decided Florida was the place to be.

Tialavea will try to join former Aggies Michael Smith and Will Davis as players who have caught on with Sunshine State franchises. Jacksonville in particular has a lot of new pieces, starting with first-round pick quarterback Blake Bortles, so he hopes he can bond quickly.

"It's not just myself, but all the rookies have a chance to go in, surprise the organization and make a positive statement," he said. "I'm excited to let people know who I am. I'm going to go in there and bring the right attitude."

Beyond monitoring his own situation, Tialavea kept an eye out on other Aggies who are trying to make the NFL. He was pleased to see Maurice Alexander and Nevin Lawson get drafted to the Rams and the Lions, respectively, and then even happier to hear that seven other former teammates will get a chance as undrafted free agents or attend NFL mini-camps.

For a player who committed to the Aggies when they were still rebuilding under Gary Andersen, the change over the years has been monumental.

"I'm happy for the success," he said. "I'm glad they can enjoy the ride with me."

Since a long-form profile ran in the Tribune last week, Tialavea said a number of people have been in contact with him and his family, wishing him luck in his bid to make an NFL roster this fall. It gives him more motivation to work his way into the Jacksonville system and learn the offense, he said.

But it also has gotten him thinking about spending some time with his family. Looking at the Jaguars' offseason calendar, he knows it will be tricky to get away with his mother and two sisters for a while. But he'll figure something out.

"I'll have to be in Florida until July, but if I can work something out, I'll make sure I plan something," he said. "We'll get them out of the house and out of our element. We'll go somewhere."

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
 
Football
Basketball
USU Football Schedule
USU Basketball Schedule
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.