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#NVprepsfb top defensive player countdown — No. 2

Arbor View defensive end Elijah Wade comes in at No. 2 on our #NVprepsfb list of Southern Nevada’s top defensive players.

To create the list, we spoke with coaches from the Sunrise and Sunset Regions in both Class 4A and 3A. A couple of the base questions were: “Who is the top high school defender today?” and “Who would you pick to start a team?”

Then we grabbed the statistics from last season, looked at the player’s collective rankings on recruiting websites and used our own judgment to fill holes.

This resulted in the #NVprepsfb defensive players rankings. The list is based off high school productivity and not college or professional potential.

#NVprepsfb Defensive Player Rank: Arbor View defensive end Elijah Wade No. 2

Class

2018

Vitals

6 feet, 5 inches; 240 pounds

Honors

All-state honorable mention (2016), First-team All-state Northwest League (2016)

Recruiting

Wade, a consensus four-star recruit, has scholarship offers from Alabama, Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Southern California, UCLA and UNLV among others.

Last Year’s Stats

Wade had 50 tackles and a sack for the Northwest League champion Aggies, who reached the Class 4A Sunset Region final last season.

What they are saying?

— “There’s a reason I think Alabama is on him because he’s a hell of a player,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He’s going to take care of one side of the defense by himself. He’s a very valuable asset for them.”

— “He’s an absolute freak. It’s unbelievable,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “I saw him as a sophomore and he looked like a tweener. Now he runs sideline to sideline pretty well. He was dangerous against us. What made him good last year was they put him and (former teammate Greg Rogers) on one side of the ball. We could’ve put six dudes out there and we wouldn’t have been able to blocks those guys.”

— “He’s a specimen,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “And he’s in a system where he can be that big guy. Is he an Alabama recruit? No. I’m not going to defend him the way I defended (former teammate) Greg Rogers.”

— “A kid like that was really able to shine because of the level of attention Greg (Rogers) got, but he’s a good player in his own right,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He’s done a lot of good things and he’s gotten some attention at the next level and I think it’s deserved.”

— “Not impressed with him,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “He passes the eye test. But colleges look at him as a talent, and once they get him into their program, they think he’ll improve.”

— “Huge kid, but I felt that he could be better,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He took plays off and played down to his opponents. A kid that big, with that kind of size and skill, there’s not a play he shouldn’t be dominating. When he wants to play, you’re not doing anything on that size. There’s not a tackle who’s going to block him. I think (former Arbor View defensive tackle Greg Rogers) had more power. Elijah has more size and more finesse.”

— “He’s a little more explosive (than Gorman’s Adam Plant),” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He has a better motor than (former teammate) Greg (Rogers) and is a better athlete. He’s a big strong kid who is coached well.”

— —

#NVprepsfb Defensive Player Rank: Liberty defensive lineman Crishaun Lappin No. 3

Class

2018

Vitals

6 feet, 0 inches; 245 pounds

Honors

First-team All-state (2016); First-team All-Southeast League (2016)

Recruiting

Lappin, a two-star recruit on Scout.com, has scholarship offers from Northern Arizona, UNR and UTEP. He also is receiving interest from Miami and UNLV.

Last Year’s Stats

Lappin had 70 tackles and finished with a school-record 11 sacks in leading the Patriots to their seventh consecutive Sunrise Region title.

What they are saying?

— “That kid’s a stud,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “That dude’s explosive. Strong. Mean. Everything you want in a defensive lineman.”

— “He’s going to be a kid that you have to prepare for,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “It’s tough when you have big kids up front.”

— “Lappin’s a competitor,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “He doesn’t have the stereotypical 6-4 frame, but in high school, he’s unblockable. He brings that fire to (Liberty) because he’s so competitive.”

— “He’s a good football player,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He’s explosive off the ball and reads blocks well. It’s hard to trap him. He’s very physical with his hands. He might be the best interior lineman in Southern Nevada. He was unblockable.”

— “He’s the truth,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “He’s a football player.”

— “He’s really good,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “But he kind of plays down to his competition. He’ll play when he wants.”

— “He’s a tough kid,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “They’re lucky to have him. He’s a really good player inside.”

— —

#NVprepsfb Defensive Player Rank: Bishop Gorman defensive end Adam Plant No. 4

Class

2018

Vitals

6 feet, 4 inches; 240 pounds

Honors

N/A

Recruiting

Plant, a three-star recruit, decommitted from Arizona on June 23. He has scholarship offers from Oregon, Penn State and Southern California.

Last Year’s Stats

Plant had 25 tackles and a pair of sacks last season, helping Bishop Gorman complete an undefeated season and win its third consecutive mythical national championship.

What they are saying?

— “He’s good but kind of got overshadowed by (since-graduated) Haskell Garrett and (senior) Palaie Gaoteote,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “He’s a solid player and has a couple good scholarship offers. To me, he’s more of a contain defensive end. He won’t get a ton of sacks, but he’s a type of guy who can set the edge.”

— “He’s more of a prospect,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “Amazing size. Moves well for a guy that big. His best football is ahead of him.”

— “I didn’t know he was one of their big-time players until the playoffs,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He can be a dominant player. But size-wise, you wish you saw a little bit more from him. I believe his work ethic is trending up.”

— “He’s a pretty tough pass rusher and plays the run really well,” one Sunset Region football coach said.

— “Fundamentally, he’s better than (Arbor View defensive end Elijah) Wade,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He’s a grinder.”

— —

#NVprepsfb Defensive Player Rank: Liberty defensive back Allan Mwata No. 5

Class

2018

Vitals

5 feet, 11 inches; 180 pounds

Honors

All-state honorable mention (2016); First-team All-Southeast League (2016)

Recruiting

Mwata, a three-star recruit, committed to San Diego State on July 3. He originally committed to Brigham Young on April 22.

Last Year’s Stats

Mwata had three interceptions and 46 tackles for a Patriots team that won its seventh consecutive Sunrise Region championship. He had 11 tackles in the Sept. 2 victory against Westlake (Texas), which helped Liberty earn its first national ranking in program history.

What they are saying?

— “I would go with Allan every day,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “He’s a stud — fast, physical. I like him a lot.”

— “Mwata is a better player (than teammate Octavion Bell),” one Sunset Region football coach said. “He’s a leader back there. He stands out. He’s very smart, physical. He’s a perfect free safety, very rangy and can play cover three and man (defense). He’s very vocal and leads the defense. He’s the quarterback of their defense.”

— “I think he’s a great cover kid,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “His talk backs up his play. I saw that in passing league, too.”

— “He’s on the radar for a lot of colleges,” one Sunset Region football coach said. “I didn’t think he would be, size-wise. But he’s got very good technique for a defensive back — not too many guys get by him and (Liberty’s) scheme is really good, as far as putting him in a good position. He’s a good talent and a legit Division I guy.”

— “He probably gets the nod over (teammate Octavion Bell) because he’s more versatile,” one Sunrise Region football coach. “He’s good in zone. He’s physical. He’s a leader. And kids respect him.”

— “It’s hard to judge with (Liberty) guys sometimes because they’re front line is so good,” one Sunrise Region football coach said. “The ball has to be gone so fast from the quarterback. But he’s an athlete and a ball hawk.”

To get involved in the discussion, use #NVprepsfb on Twitter. You also can follow along @nevadapreps.

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