Navy’s undersized Tuani achieves in a big way

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“When Jabaree speaks, he’s someone everyone listens to on the defense,” senior safety Kwesi Mitchell said. “No matter who’s talking, everyone’s going to be quiet.”

Acting as an extension of the coaching staff is particularly helpful during stretches like this week. Classes at the academy have progressed to the point of the semester where midterms litter most players’ schedules, and the significance of taking the first step toward winning back the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy is understood by everyone.

Tuani knows his teammates have plenty to juggle but also realizes it can be better for the Mids to hear a message from him rather than the staff.

“If I see I need to do something , I’ll try to make sure I immediately say something. …. I’d rather have it come from me than have coach Green jump on everybody else.”

Especially if it can help Navy continue to improve after a promising September. Contributing to defeats of Air Force and Army as a senior would further enhance Tuani’s career. So would 12.5 more tackles for loss, which would secure the program record.

No matter what, though, the undersized Tuani’s immense legacy as a model for Navy defensive linemen to aspire to is safe.

“He’s the best one I ever coached here,” said Pehrson, who is in his 16th year at Navy. “There’s no doubt about that.”“

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