Well, defensive lineman Cameron Elisara now has the distinction for me at least, of being the first.
It's called "Cameron 33" and what it basically does is let this 6 foot, 3 inch, 280 pound freak on cleats do what he does best: inflict mayhem.
Mayhem translates to 35 tackles and 10 sacks his junior year. Yeah, that's impressive, but you haven't heard the good part, well, at least to put this number into perspective. That came in just over four games.
"I had hurt my ankle," Cameron said. "So, I didn't get a chance to do what I wanted to do."
10 sacks is a season and a full one for most defensive linemen, but going into his junior year, you might find it a little surprising at what kind of goal Eisara was looking to attain. "My goal was around 30," he said. "Obviously, I didn't get that, so I am going for at least that this year."
I've heard of a few tackles and ends getting that many sacks. Granted, it's not many. Shaun Cody before he went to USC had tallied 33 from the defensive tackle position, but I don't recall with any conversation I had with Cody where he was actually thinking prior to getting that number, that 30+ seemed like a good goal to have.
Then again, Cody didn't have a play named after him.
There's a reason or a couple even, that Elisara has had the kind of success he's had in the very limited time due to injuries. First, his physical ability, Elisara saying of what coaches have been telling him, that the one thing that stands out about him is how fast he gets off that line. "That's like the main compliment I get from everyone," Cameron said. "They really like my speed off the ball and that is one of my big things. I get off the ball so fast, I am usually up and going before the offensive lineman is up, so that makes it a little easier to get to the quarterback."
Ability is great and it certainly helps those at some of the skill positions if they are those freakish athletes that everyone covets each year. But, in the trenches, Cameron will be the first to admit that ability is great, speed, size and strength is great, but when you get down there, you have to have a little something else. "I call it controlled rage," he said of the attitude he has on the field. "I know I play with intensity, but I also like to think that I play the game smart."
"I like to outsmart the guys I am going against, because they will look at you and think that you are just physical and that's how they try to play you. For a lot of guys, it's hard to balance being aggressive and being smart. I have found that if I balance those two, I am a lot more effective at doing what I need to do."
From his stats in a very brief amount of time, you can tell Cameron knows how to get up-field, but what is surprising is that he's been doing it from both outside at end and also from the interior. That kind of versatility is another aspect of his game that has drawn some very high praise. "The Stanford coaches told me that I am their number one overall defensive line prospect," Cameron said. "Oregon is saying they like me inside or out, Washington says inside and Idaho said they like me both ways."
Add Arizona State to that mix, that voiced no preference as to what position he played and you can add another one as well. "I know I am getting an offer from Nebraska, because their coach called my coach and said it was on its way," he said. "I don't know much about Nebraska other than the fact that it's a pretty prestigious program for winning and dominating, so that's definitely a place I want to look into a little more."
It seems that Cameron's lack of a full season has hurt him some in the overall exposure in recruiting thus far. However, it seems that any school that has seen him on film has come o' running with an offer. That type of publicity is great and Elisara is definitely thankful, but no matter how popular he gets from this point on, he's already got a plan for the off-season. "I am definitely heading to the Stanford/Nike combine," he said "And, I might make some contact camps to Stanford, Washington and Oregon."
"There might be more, but I don't know right now."
There is one thing that Cameron does know and that when it comes to that school, he's not bound by ball and chain to the west coast, while still not wanting to go as far as the east coast to play ball. He also knows that when he's thinking about his more immediate future, he's looking at the long-distance goals as well. "For me, I am going to be looking at a school that has a reputation or history of putting out good defensive tackles," he said. "I'll look at the coach, look who he's coached and see what those players have done after college."
"And, if that coach has NFL experience, that makes it all the better, because they have been there, so they know what it takes for a player to make it to that next level."
That criteria couples with the usual criteria most preps have at this point, i.e., good academics, a good fan following, a solid tradition and a good shot of winning while he's there.
Other than that, he's totally wide-open. "I am in absolutely no hurry to make up my mind about any of this," Cameron said. "I know that there's a lot of off-season to come and I think other schools will get involved, so there's going to be a lot to think about in the near future. I just want to take it all in and look at each school to see what fits me the best."
The goal this year is like last year, 30 plus sacks. Figure double-digit tackles, probably some pass deflections and some bonus points for chaos caused on the field and when the dust settles, Cameron Elisara could be one of THE names you are hearing as a defensive line prospect to watch. Or, if you are fans of the aforementioned schools, you are already watching him now.
Chances are, though, if you are one of those fans, you'll have company soon and probably a lot of it.