School: Burbank HS – Sacramento, CA
Position: Defensive Nose Tackle
Vitals: 6’3, 275 lbs
- Rivals: NR
- Scout: #51
- ESPN: #98
- 247Sports: #53 (SDE)
FBS Offers: WSU, Arizona, Hawaii
Player Type: Inside Pass Rush
Best Attributes: Explosion, Strength
Prediction and Early Impact:
Ngalu Tapa’s potential is through the roof, but how much he develops in his first preseason will separate him from being a role player vs an eventual starter on this 3-4 defensive front. One thing seems sure from my vantage point, the Cougars can ill-afford to keep him out of the rotation in 2014. This is especially true when considering the loss of Ioane Gauta from the middle of the rotation.
Tapa brings enough explosiveness to be effective and the Cougars were not able to rotate nearly enough at the nose tackle position in 2013. As a result the pass rush eventually wore down, not to mention the rush defense as we all know what Bishop Sankey and Kapri Bibbs did to finish the season against the Cougars.
The Cougars will add the bodies of Robert Barber, Daniel Ekuale and Gerald Sterling to the mix up front, but I really think Tapa is the most college-ready athlete of any of those names coming out of high school. He should find his way onto the field in some extended capacity his freshman season to make a solid impact.
“Freshman Impact Potential” Rating: 6.5