2 min Read

Scouting Report: Keanu Saleapaga

by Jeremy Shapiro

USC verbal commit and La Mirada (Calif.) defensive end Keanu Saleapaga was on display in the Matadores 35-14 rout over the Charter Oak Chargers on Friday night in Covina. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Saleapaga made his presence known on the first play of the game, sniffing out a run play in the backfield for a two yard loss, but only recorded one tackle for the remainder of the game.

While Saleapaga showed disruptive flashes coming off the edge that resulted in a couple of quarterback hurries, it was an underwhelming performance overall. Saleapaga is a still a raw prospect with a long frame that can eventually carry upwards of 300 pounds, potentially prompting a move inside to defensive tackle.

Athleticism

-Scheme versatile athlete who can play from the 5-technique or 3-technique position.

-Physical defender with adequate sideline-to-sideline range, but needs to improve his ability to redirect and pursue without jeopardizing gap responsibility.

-Possesses a long, sturdy frame that is capable of adding the bulk necessary to play defensive tackle.

Pass Rushing

-Displays streaks of explosive play off the line, but lacks consistency and often gets stuck on blocks.

-Purely a bull rusher who needs to develop an arsenal of pass rushing moves to counter with when his initial move is stymied.

-Gets slowed by contact too frequently when rushing off the edge, struggling to regain full speed.

-Needs to develop his hand use technique in order to shed blocks.

Run Defense

-Excels as a run defender who can set the edge, establish leverage in the C gap and disrupt inside runs.

-Plays with a low pad level and uses his long arms to corral ball carriers.

-Physical defender who can hold the point of attack and anchor consistently with his stout frame.

Conclusion

Saleapaga boasts an impressive physique, translatable skill set and is capable of contributing as a 3-technique or 5-technique defender with the proper coaching at the next level.



Garry Paskwietz
Author
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.


More Articles By Garry