Prime '06 target Cameron Elisara has crimson roots

<b>THOUGH THE CROP of Division IA prospects in the state of Washington was smaller than usual in the just-concluded recruiting season, 2006 is shaping up to be a bountiful year. And one of the headliners figures to be Spokane's Cameron Elisara, a bull of a defensive tackle whose crimson ties run deep.

Cameron Elisara, a 6-3, 275-pounder from Ferris High, is the son of Matt Elisara, a first-team All-Pac-10 nose guard on Washington State's 1981 Holiday Bowl team. Pappy, who scored one of the most memorable defensive TDs in Cougar history on 42-yard interception return against UCLA, went on to play professionally in the USFL.

The family ties to Ol' Wazzu don't end there, however. Mom Cheryl is a WSU grad and older brother Travis was the scout team QB for the Cougars this past fall.

Elisara already holds an offer from Oregon with Washington State and Washington both very interested in keeping the defensive tackle within the state borders. Offers from both are expected any day.

Ferris head man Clarence Hough told that Elisara spent last summer down at Oregon's camp and the Ducks have been high on him ever since, culminating in the scholarship offer this past month. A coach from Washington was at Ferris before LOI Day last week looking at tape on Elisara.

A BROKEN ANKLE cut short Cameron's junior season at Ferris in Week 5, but that didn't stop him from being named unanimous first team all-league.

"Everybody understood his talent level," said Hough.

Like many dominant defensive tackles in high school, Elisara is moved around up front to keep teams off balance. Unlike many DTs, he was also versatile enough to play out wide.

"We moved him around, he even played a little end," said Hough. "He has a great first step, extremely quick. We measured him (a couple days ago) and he's 6-3, 275 right now. He's a powerful guy -- a powerful guy."

Before the injury, Elisara was well on his way to a stellar season, collapsing the middle and racking up sacks.

"He was good for about three sacks a game," said Hough. "Honest to Pete, it seemed like every game he opened with a sack on the first series."

With Elisara sidelined for the year, Hough said Ferris had to change virtually everything they did on defense and offense without him in the lineup -- he was that much a force.

"You lose a Division I football player, and it's hard to bounce back from that," said Hough. "He needs to be out on the field for us as much as we can get him out there."

Elisara is also a standout shot-putter, heaving the orb 56 feet as a sophomore.

THERE'S MUCH TO like with Elisara, an already naturally strong specimen who also holds a real passion for time spent lifting the iron.

"He is a wrecking ball on defense, he's just a bull," said Hough. "He's a great weight room guy too. And he uses his hands really well."

An assistant coach at another GSL school who asked not to be identified said Elisara figures to rank among the top defensive linemen to have ever come out of eastern Washington.

"He's an absolute horse ," said the coach. " He dominates the line of scrimmage and his pass rushing technique is as good as it gets at this level. Coming out of high school you'd have to rank him up there with Jeremey Williams, George Yarno and Steve Emtman as far as prep linemen from this part of the state are concerned."

Interestingly, Williams and Yarno are both Ferris and Washington State alums. Yarno, whom many people remember as an offensive lineman because he played that position so long in the NFL, was actually an All-Coast defensive lineman for the Cougars in the late 1970s.

Elisara was in Washington State's camp this past year and Hough thinks the Cougs, and the Huskies, will be charging hard after the defensive tackle this year.

"I think they're going to be really aggressive," said Hough.

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