Name: Emmett Tela
Hometown: Provo, Utah
High School: Timpview High School
WSU football linebacker Emmett Tela is this week’s Signpost Student-Athlete of the Week , after recording 16 total tackles, including 12 solo tackles and three sacks in the Wildcats’ 31-28 loss to Southern Utah.
Tela became the first Wildcat with 12 or more solo tackles in a game since 2011, when safety/linebacker Nick Webb recorded 12 solo tackles at Portland State. In all of WSU history, 15 players have recorded 12 or more solo tackles in a single game, with former Wildcat Danny Rich being the only one to accomplish the feat twice. Former Wildcat Eric Jones holds the team record with 17 solo tackles against Montana State in 2004.
He also entered the school record books with his three sacks in the game. Tela is the 15th Wildcat to record three or more sacks in a game, and he is the first to do so since 2011 when defensive end Trevor Pletcher had four sacks against Idaho State. The last Wildcat to finish a game with exactly three sacks before Tela was defensive tackle Ryan Eastman in 2009.
“I know I had a good game,” Tela said after the loss. “But I also know I messed up a lot too.”
Tela is currently fifth in the Big Sky Conference, averaging 10.6 tackles per game. At the pace Tela is on, he could become the first Wildcat with 130 or more total tackles in a season since Matt McFadden in 2003. With 35 solo tackles through the team’s first five games, Tela is set to shatter the single season record for solo tackles with 84. Tela would be the first Wildcat with 70 or more solo tackles in a season since David Stroshine had 73 in 1997.
The Wildcats are on a bye this week, and will return to action on Oct. 11 for the homecoming game against the Cal Poly Mustangs. Looking forward to the game, Tela said on defense the key is to just focus on the basics.
“We’ve just got to get our assignments down,” Tela said. “Just fix our mistakes and get better every day.”