2015 Intro: Olive Sagapolu

With the University of Wisconsin welcoming its 2015 recruiting class to campus this week, BadgerNation looks at the new Badgers joining the program, like Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei defensive lineman Olive Sagapolu.

Commitment Date: 10/27/14

Accolades: Olive Sagapolu attended Mater Dei High School … ranked as the No. 5 defensive tackle in California, No. 8 in the West and No. 44 in the country by Scout.com … as a senior, named first-team All-California Interscholastic Federation for Pac-5 Division … finished senior season with 24 tackles, including 2 TFLs, a sack and a fumble recovery.

Recruiting Competition: Sagapolu committed to Wisconsin over scholarship offers from Kansas State, Sacramento State and Washington State.

Why Wisconsin? “The one thing I took away from (my official visit) was everybody was really welcoming. Everybody was really kind. I heard some people say ‘Go Wisconsin’ or just a simple ‘hello.’ That’s something for me that’s heartwarming because you feel welcomed into another family. It’s nice to go to a college where they are going to welcome you with open arms. That’s what I got at Wisconsin … I had a list of things I was looking for in a college, and Wisconsin had every single one of them.”

Scouting Report: Sagapolu was part of arguably the state's top defensive line. He's a true nose guard and an ideal fit in a 3-4 scheme. He's very strong at the point and can take on a double team and still get a push. He uses his hands very well, plays with advanced technique for a high school lineman and has a great motor. He has good short-area quickness, does a great job disengaging from blockers and has violent hands. He's a tough kid who is more advanced as a run stuffer than a pass rusher right now, but has a very nice upside for the next level.

While plenty strong, he will need to continue to work on his overall athleticism to excel in college. As mentioned above, he does have good short-area quickness, but it's still an area he can improve. He'll need to improve his “get-off” and overall burst off the snap, but as hard as he works, this won't an issue. He can physically manhandle opposing linemen right now, but it's always a big adjustment for a high school tackle going up against grown men 3-4 years older in college.

The good thing for Sagapolu is he already has a college frame and is very strong. He has been well coached, and the technique is strong so it won't be a surprise at all if he sees the field as a true freshman.

BadgerNation Prediction: The more film of Sagapolu we watch, the more of a steal he looks like for the Badgers. He's a dominant player who has the talent to play for any school out West, yet Washington State was his only Pac-12 offer. Playing for a program like Mater Dei is a huge benefit, as he received college-level coaching for the last three years, and the schedule the Monarchs play is as tough as that of any high school in the country. When you combine his frame, athleticism, toughness and work ethic, we think there's a great chance Sagapolu sees the field sooner than later in Madison.

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