Ole Miss on Monday earned a commitment from Diablo Valley College offensive tackle Mana Taimani, a 6’5, 310 lb JUCO prospect that brings intriguing athleticism and three years of eligibility to Oxford.
Taimani originally signed with Wyoming, and I believe redshirted there in 2020 before moving on to Diablo Valley. In his highlight tape from the California junior college, Taimani looks extremely quick for a 300+ pound athlete, and is absolutely vicious in finishing off blockers, not unlike departing Ole Miss offensive lineman Nick Broeker. Taimani plays left tackle in his highlight tape, but often pulls as a run blocker, to great effect. I could see his role ranging anywhere from challenging incumbent left tackle Jayden Williams, to moving inside and challenging for an open starting spot at guard, to being a depth piece. His athleticism looks elite, but it’s really hard to project how the transition from JUCO to SEC ball will work out for any given player.
New Ole Miss offensive line coach John Garrison returns four starters from Jake Thornton’s 2022 unit, along with Eli Acker, who has nine career starts. Clearly, he’s not content to stick with these five guys, having added UAB guard Quincy McGee, Washington guard/tackle Victor Curne, and now Taimani.