Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alualu ready to build on rookie season

Please excuse Tyson Alualu, but he’s taking a break, both mentally and physically, for the first time in 16 months. It’s a deserving break for a player who arrived in Jacksonville from across the country with high expectations and plenty of skepticism, and lived up to the billing of a top draft pick.

The Jaguars defensive tackle has been going strong since beginning his senior season at the University of California. He never missed a game in four seasons for the Golden Bears and then immediately began preparations for his NFL career last January, first at the Senior Bowl, and then with extensive training in Arizona.

Of course, all the work paid off when the Jaguars selected him with the 10thoverall pick in the NFL draft. But getting drafted put him right back to work with mini-camp, film sessions, offseason conditioning and then a 16-game rookie season.

“It feels good to finally have a break,” Alualu told jaguars.com “I’m just resting up my body and getting ready for next year. The veterans say the second year is always a lot better so I’m looking forward to that.”

In the interest of full disclosure, Alualu is not completely relaxing. His wife, Desire, gave birth to the couple’s third child, son Tydes, in early January. So Alualu is playing the role of Mr. Mom for the newborn along with son Tyree and daughter Dereon.

“Running a lot of errands,” he said.

The pick of Alualu by the Jaguars was not a popular pick by some locally or nationally considering Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was still on the board. But Jaguars general manager Gene Smith was steadfast in his plan of rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines.

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