2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #33, Nevada RB Toa Taua
The Wolf Pack’s veteran running back reaches rarified air by landing on our annual list of the Mountain West’s best for the fourth time.
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A minor bit of history in the making.
Typically, our annual preseason countdown of Mountain West football’s best athletes doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for breaking new ground as stars rise to the top and often makes repeat appearances. Some of the very best appear three times, but Nevada Wolf Pack running back Toa Taua is likely the first player ever to make the preseason top 50 four times.
After being named as the conference’s freshman of the year back in 2018, Taua remained remarkably consistent as a key cog in the Wolf Pack’s burgeoning Air Raid offense under Jay Norvell. He ran for 872 yards and six touchdowns that first year while also catching 22 passes for 202 yards and a score, then contributed 1,102 all-purpose yards and six more touchdowns the following year. In 2020, he added 952 more and then jumped back above 1,000 for the third time last season, with 732 rushing yards and 296 receiving yards on a career-best 39 receptions.
2022 marks his final year of eligibility and there’s a decent chance that, with a wealth of last year’s offensive stars having moved on in one way or another, he comes out with his best campaign yet under new head coach Ken Wilson. He could also finish his Wolf Pack career in the top five by career all-purpose yards, cementing himself alongside program greats like his brother Vai Taua and Trevor Insley, and make defenses miserable one last time along the way.
"Toa Taua. They can't tackle him. That's the whole problem."@NevadaFootball pic.twitter.com/eOT1KFkT0H
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 17, 2021
Toa Taua makes it look easy ⚡️@NevadaFootball extends their lead 👏 pic.twitter.com/s3zdvHMBTa
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 2, 2021