Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rising star watch: Vincent Elefante

Vincent Elefante has been a disruptive force against opposing offenses for Upland High. The Class of 2015 prospect currently holds three Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) offers (photo credit 24/7 sports).
"King Elefante" has reigned on offenses in the 909.

Vincent Elefante is a wrecking ball of punishment for the Upland defensive line. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound powerhouse has come home to three scholarship offers from Weber State, Montana and the University of San Diego. He also had a visit recently from Sacramento State.

After breaking him down in the Cali Gold Mine film room, Elefante could be one of the biggest sleepers in the talent heavy Inland Empire.

Here's a closer look:

WHAT TO LIKE: I like his motor. It gets started once the ball is snapped, and it only stops after the fourth quarter. Elefante has a nose for the football and he won't stop penetrating through the line until he gets his hands on a ball carrier. As a defensive tackle, he's an excellent gap shooter who averts or destroys inside running plays. Elefante lines up at defensive end too, where he shows the same tenacity and hustle. He does a solid job of bull rushing and getting his palms locked onto his would be blocker. He's hard to block on double teams as well. Elefante controls his space and clogs running lanes. His best season as a pass rusher was an 11.5 sack season as a junior in 2013.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: He can get faster off the ball. He doesn't possess eye-catching speed for a defensive lineman. I also need to see his consistency with using other hand techniques to shed past blockers, like a swim or rip move. His sacks took a dip this season too, as it dropped to two during his senior year. That could raise questions about his consistency as a pass rusher.

OVERALL: Elefante is a versatile disruptive force on the defensive line. He's the kind of guy defensive line coaches usually crave on the recruiting trail. Someone will love his persistence with attacking the running game or passing attack. He reminds me of current Fresno State nose tackle and former Kingsburg High star Ryan Steele.

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