Early Reviews of Ako Poti

It's been 22 years since Penn State's football team brought a junior college prospect into the fold, when Nassau Community College wideout Mike Alexander joined the Nittany Lions. So it's not surprising that PSU fans are curious about the most recent JUCO football prospect in Happy Valley — Ako Poti.

Ako Poti, an offensive tackle prospect from City College of San Francisco, enrolled in mid-January with fellow Class of 2007 members Nick Sukay and Jon Ditto. Since then he has been participating in the winter sessions which consist of regular workouts and drills.

At 6-foot-5 and just shy of 300 pounds, Poti has been described as "massive" and "huge." As one observer said of his initial impression of the lineman, "He's got the size, but he's built well — he's solid. He's not one of those soft linemen."

Poti has shown "impressive strength" in the weight room and the program has him focusing on working his legs and back to "improve his control when coming out of his stance." He is said to have "good upper strength" in his shoulders, arms and chest and solid leg strength. "They're working his thighs and midsection to help with preventing the surge off the corner. It's all about getting up and being able to move laterally," an observer shared.

In assignment drills he has received positive comments about his feet and hands. Poti "gets up and keeps his feet moving." He has received praise on his ability to "quickly engage a defender" and "direct his assignment." He has shown a need to improve in handling the speed some of the defensive ends have. As one observer explained, "When you have a guy like Maurice Evans coming at you, you need to anticipate his direction and be prepared to stop a freight train. If not, a guy like that will run right by — or over you. Ako has the strength to do match up in that situation, but needs to just work on understanding how to anticipate the tendencies of the assignment. These ends are quick and it is not an easy thing to do."

He has good basic technique on wrapups and "keeps his shoulders square while using his hands to mirror his assignment." As another observer explained, "He only has two years to make an impact here, but he's ahead of the curve with his size and fundamentals. If he can handle a guy off the corner, out in open space and consistently hold his blocks, he'll be a contributor — or better."


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