Su'a Filo pushes to improve
Xavier Su'a Filo, 6-foot-4, 270 pounds
ESPN 150 Watch List offensive lineman
Timpview (Provo, Utah)
When looking for an interior offensive lineman who can run like a tight end and hit like a heavyweight boxer, don't go any further than Timpview High in Provo, Utah for Xavier Su'a Filo. Don't be fooled by his 6-foot-5, 275-pound frame; this first team all-stater has the feet and agility to make the impossible look routine.
The great thing about Xavier is that he's just as impressive of a person as he is a football player. A grade point average over 3.0 proves how dedicated he is off the field and indicates why he makes so few mistakes on the gridiron. His intelligence and leadership has helped lead his team to two state championships in a row.
"My main goal is to help lead Timpview to the third straight 4-A state title," said the unselfish, team-first Su'a Filo.
After his high school season finishes, he will compete in the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game.
"I am excited to see how I stack up against other athletes from around the country," he said.
Being a team guy first doesn't prevent this "man on the move" from setting personal goals. He wants to be a master technician as an offensive lineman. A talented athlete who can play either guard or tackle, he has already proven he can pull and trap with quickness and precision. In short yardage and goal line situations, he plays with that little extra that separates a good player from a great one. He gets his pads down just a little lower and stays with his block just a little longer.
Still, Xavier thinks he can get bigger, faster and stronger.
"I really like working out and I know I can improve some of my physical skills, and I really want to be a role model for the kids coming up in the football program."
Programs like USC, BYU, Notre Dame, Colorado and LSU are among his many scholarship offers. He is wide open and is looking for a school where he can feel comfortable with both the academic and athletic atmosphere and build a relationship with his offensive line coach.
"I want to play in the NFL someday and I'm looking for a football program and a coaching staff that will prepare me to accomplish just that by the time my college career is over."
As a devout Mormon, it's equally important for him that the college he picks allows him to fulfill his mission responsibility.
Away from football, Su'a Filo also played basketball his freshman and sophomore year at Timpview, understanding his foot quickness and hand-eye coordination would benefit from the hardwood. He also enjoys relaxing to jazz, reggae or rap and playing video games.
It's easy to see why Su'a Filo is such a hot item; few high school football players are as talented, determined and focused.
Su'a Filo's "X factor" is he can run well for an offensive lineman. His physical structure and abilities make him a very good guard prospect. Can pull and trap as well as any other lineman in the 2009 class. He leads the ball carrier downfield and locks on to would-be tacklers. Gets off the ball quickly when pulling and can turn upfield through small cracks. Lowers his hips when trapping while keeping his feet moving on contact.
This athletic lineman could be a real force if drive blocking skills get better. Needs to come off the ball with more authority. Doesn't really pack a punch. More knee bend and flatter back at point of attack is vitally important. Concentration on rolling the hips along with good leg drive would make a huge difference. Plays tougher in goalline situations, especially when double teaming and combination blocking; plays with better pad level and tends to a better finisher than in base blocking scheme. Good athleticism in reach blocking; quick feet gets him on the outside pad of the defender quickly and he positions his hands well.
Needs to work on balance and body control in pass protection; tendency to play too high or over-extend. Must sink hips and not lockout legs. Hand-foot coordination needs improvement in order to advance in pass protection skills.
Su'a Filo will only get better. He has exceptional feet and is athletic but has to play more physical, especially at the point of contact.
Bill Conley worked at Ohio State for 17 years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Since retiring from Ohio State in 2004, Conley has worked as a contributor and analyst for Columbus-area print and broadcast media and as a professional speaker. He also published a book recounting his years as Buckeye recruiting coordinator, "Buckeye Bumper Crops."
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