InstantScouting Interview: Joshua Tatinger, LB, University of Alberta

By: Bryce Smith, January 30, 2019

Joshua Taitinger


What is your name?

Joshua Taitinger 

What college do you attend?

The University of Alberta

What is your Height/Weight?

6’0”, 225lb

What is your position?

Linebacker

Where are you from?

Edmonton, Alberta

What legacy do you want to leave when you are done playing college football?

I hope to be remembered as an intelligent, hard working and devoted player. Someone you can count on to step up when you need them to. Also, I want to leave the impression that I was enjoyable to be around, to play with and that I loved playing the game.

What are you looking to get out of your collegiate football experience?

In one word – memories. I want to enjoy myself playing the game I love. Have fun, interact with my teammates and build lasting friendships. I also want to use football as a platform to get a good degree in school and hopefully be recognized as skilled enough to play at the professional level.

Who is the best player you competed against in college?

On my team – Justin Lawrence (O-Line for the Stampeders now). His quickness off the ball, low center of gravity and physicality was unmatched.

On another team – Andrew Buckley. He was an incredible quarterback for our rivals the Calgary Dinos. He would get the ball of very quickly so pass rushing was a nightmare and so was covering receivers. He was also quick on his feet and had an ability to run the ball.

What separates you from other players at your position?

My lateral quickness, ability to make it to the ball (football IQ), and strength are all excellent. In my opinion, these three attributes are what makes me stand out.

List 3 things you feel you need in order to be successful in football?

In general, to be successful at football you need to have a will to play hard and through pain, intelligence to remember plays/keys, and an athletic ability comparable to those you are playing against. Without these three things, being successful at football will be very difficult.

Which pro football player would you compare yourself to? And why?

I like the comparison of Alex Singleton in the CFL. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I am as good as him currently, but I think we have similar play styles in the way we engage contact, move to the ball carrier and cover.

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is my speed in the box. In our defense we play a 3-4 with no gap responsibilities for the linebackers. Our job is to read the play and if it’s a run, get to the ball carrier while maintaining a certain leverage depending on where the play is going. This requires an ability to dissect the play quickly and accelerate both laterally and vertically rapidly. I am successful because my acceleration and elusiveness is greater than average. 

What do you feel you need to improve in the most?

I think using different techniques on my pass rush would be beneficial. I have an above average speed rush but incorporating more/different techniques would help me be more successful rushing the QB.

Outside of football, what has been your most memorable college experience?

It is difficult to narrow it down but experiencing living in the University residence was an amazing experience. The interconnectedness of the people you meet there was crazy. Moving away from home and meeting all those new people was incredibly fun and I had a blast. You get an opportunity to learn a lot about yourself and make new friends which I really valued.

If you can play alongside any athlete in the NFL, past or present, who would it be and why?

Ray Lewis without question. The way he played with such tenacity and enthusiasm was infectious just watching him, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to play with him. I think I would learn a lot from the experience about being a better player and person.

Who is your biggest inspiration? And why?

My father is my biggest inspiration. Regardless of how cliché/corny that sounds, its true. I was born while he went to school/ played football at the University of Alberta. He made a great deal of sacrifices to provide for his family and ensured that we would have every advantage. He’s overcome countless obstacles to being successful at what he does and is always a loving, supportive and involved father.  I aspire to be as good of a person as he is.

What is your definition of success?

Success, to me, is defined by the self. There is no holistic ‘marker’ of who is successful or not. People can say their successful because of their job/fame but that is technically a façade. What matters is your personal view of yourself. The goals you set and accomplish, your aspirations, your development. To some people graduating college is a success, to others its based on their GPA and how well the did during college. In a basic sense, it is accomplishing your personal goals and continuous improvement.

Personally, in regard to football, I want to be in the conversation of best linebacker in the nation. I think that’s the mindset you need to have to be great at something. I set lofty goals and if I fail, I analyze the reasons for my failure and make changes. This year I was sidelined due to a number of injuries, but I still feel confident in my abilities and if given a full healthy season I do think I could be in that conversation.

What interesting fact would you want the world to know about you?

I am in my final year of an interdisciplinary college, in conjunction with the UofA, focusing on leadership application and development. I very much enjoy the relationship between leaders and followers and hope to continue being a leader in my future endeavors.

I also played seven different sports growing up (Hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball, rugby, football, volleyball). Three of which I played at a very high level (football, soccer and hockey) and all of them during my junior high-high school years.