Sunday, October 28, 2012

An emerging big man in the state capitol

Contributed photo
When teams have gone against Burbank-Sacramento's defense, not one has been able to break the 30-point mark.

Maybe its the massive size that the Titans (9-0) have in the front four. Or maybe, its the presence of imposing 6-foot-3, 275-pound Feaumoengalu (Ngalu) Tapa.

The 2014 prospect is carving out a name for himself up in the Sac-Joaquin Section. While his first name seems to be a mouthful, he's been a handful for opposing offenses.

After watching him on film, Tapa has a defensive line motor that four-year schools should love. He may not be the fastest player on the field, but he won't stop moving his legs until the whistle blows after what I saw.

What I also got was a powerful defensive player with a push. He'll look as if he's drive blocking an offensive tackle, when the offensive guy should be driving him. His brute force on the outside helps clog the perimeters. Yet, Tapa isn't just a space eater at defensive end, he's emerging as a legit run-stopping and pass rushing force for Burbank.

He already has four games of 12 tackles or more. His better games were against traditional Sacramento-area powerhouses Grant and Del Oro-Loomis, especially with getting six sacks total in those contests. In nine games, he's reached 15 sacks and he's forced two fumbles.

He'll need to get better about using different hand techniques instead of relying on strength and power in the future. He also tends to bite on plays and can over pursue. However, Tapa has been playing at a level that should get someone convinced, especially with his size and motor.


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