Scouting FSU's Late Addition
Joe Tonga
Joe Tonga
Director of Scouting
Posted Aug 5, 2008

Florida State went back to the JuCo ranks to shore up the depth chart on the offensive line for the 2008 season. The question isn't whether Florida State is getting a serviceable player. The question is, why was Joe Tonga still available? Check him out in this Scout video.

A lean 6-6 and 300 pounds, Joe Tonga of Mt. San Antonio College in California starred at left tackle for Mt. Sac. Florida State signed him to a scholarship this week to help add depth for this season.

A late addition to the Class of 2008 for the Seminoles, he'll suit up right away in Tallahassee. 

Having watched Tonga play live, my question wasn't if he was worthy of a scholarship to a traditional BCS Power like Florida State, but how was he still available? 

Tonga has a lean frame despite carrying in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. He chops his feet well and keeps a good base once he's engaged with a blocker. He sometimes overextends which makes him susceptible to double moves and speed rushers, but with his balance and leverage, he is nearly impervious to bull rushes.

Tonga has quick feet in short spaces, but sometimes struggled to reach the second level of defenders. A wet field after a rare southern California rain during the game may have hampered his agility some. He uses his hands well without holding.

Mt. San Antonio was a pass first offense last year, so Tonga's pass blocking skills were farther ahead than his drive blocking technique.

Tonga got a good challenge against El Camino, sometimes lining up against Justin Thompson and Simi Kuli. There's little doubt in my mind that Tonga can play on the next level. I just can't believe he was still available for the 'Noles to snatch him up in August.

Take a look at him in this Scout video from the game I was at last year which includes 30+ plays of Tonga in action.

#59 LT Joe Tonga vs El Camino - Part 1
Joe Tonga - Florida State Class of 2008

Joe Tonga - Florida State Class of 2008 Part 2

JoeTonga - Game vs El Camino
Joe Tonga

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