We're featuring some of our HomeTeam 100 players, including our No. 91 player, St. Petersburg Catholic DE Elevisi Halapio:
By all accounts, Elevisi Halapio had a breakout junior season, wreaking havoc on defense and leading his team with 15.5 sacks.
But doing it again won’t be enough for the senior standout.
“I’m thinking about getting double those sacks this season,” he says.
And he is unflinching when the math is presented.
Halapio (6-2, 245) has good reason for such confidence after a great offseason. He has gotten faster, which was his main area of emphasis after 2012. And he has gotten better with his hands, fairly notable since he was already one of the best around, using them to shed blockers.
And he was unstoppable in the spring game against Indian Rocks Christian, collecting three sacks and delivering nonstop pressure in the backfield.
Halapio has done a little of everything for the Barons. He excels at defensive end, but can also play inside. He will see some action at linebacker. He starts at right tackle and can also carry the ball. He can punt, and once even returned one for a touchdown.
Halapio, whose brother Jon is a starter on the offensive line for the Florida Gators, was the rare big guy to return a punt for a touchdown as a sophomore.
Nothing, however, beats setting the mood with a game-changing sack. It might be the thing that colleges like USF, UCF and Jacksonville notice most when they consider giving Halapio his first college offer.
“The colleges have said they want to see my senior year and the first few games,’’ Halapio said. “I definitely think I’m underrated, so this is going to be a real big year for me.”
Also in this series: