Hand Technique/Length – Has shown a nifty little arm over and rip counter to keep hands off of his chest. Lacks length, which stands out when tasked with trying to extend and shuck blockers at the point of attack. Lack of length also prevents a clean stun punch.
Competitive Toughness – Spends too many plays getting turned out at the point of attack. Is effective in occupying blockers but doesn't have a consistent track record of holding ground at the point of attack and can get pushed off of the line of scrimmage to concede running creases.
Two Gap Ability – Big body must be accounted for in blocking designs, has been a big piece of the success of teammates on the second level. Raw size can be problematic due to second effort push. Will need further focus in anchoring vs. double teams to maximize value.
Gap Penetration Skills – Is a bit top heavy, which results in difficulty collecting balance when contacted laterally as a gap shooter. Has just enough in the hands to stave off a late challenge and continue to press forward towards the mesh point. Can be a challenge if given a few steps to build momentum.
Tackling – Limited length is compensated for by range and closing burst as an uncovered defender scraping along the line of scrimmage. Will pancake ball carriers if able to get chest and hips in front of tackle challenges. Won't bring many ball carriers down with stationary arm tackle challenges, though.
Flexibility – Has terrific mobility throughout such a large frame, has ability to pivot and unlock the hips in tight spaces to get width and transition into pursuit. That said, leverage is an issue and needs to be better hinging at the knees and hips to stay under the pads of blockers.
Pass Rush Counters – Has the capability to generate a fair amount of force in short spaces to bull rush blockers. Will force some false punches with tight swim move on the inside and has good short area quickness for size. Limited repertoire if first charge is negated, however.
First Step Quickness – Does not present an athletic mismatch for interior blockers. Can at times be late to release out of stance and as a result will get caught unprepared to shoot a gap. Will shine when pulling off of blocks laterally to transition into pursuit, however.
Feet/Change Of Direction – Nimble footed "dancing bear" on the interior. Has plenty of balance when pivoting and changing directions to play with grace and control. Skill in this area is made with acknowledgement that abilities are impressive *for his size*, not necessarily relative to his peers regardless of profile.
Versatility – Flashes enough winning ability in penetration reps to warrant consideration for development into an every down defender in the long run, however needs to perfect power elements of his game to establish a clear identity as a player before anything else.
BEST TRAIT – Two Gap Ability
WORST TRAIT – Length
BEST FILM – Miami FL (2017)
WORST FILM – Western Kentucky (2018)
RED FLAGS – 2018 arm surgery (missed end of season)
Olive Sagapolu has potential to be a productive run stuffer on the defensive interior, although his lapses in pad level, leverage and a limited ability to extend to stack blocks are all notable stumbling blocks that need to be accounted for. Sagapolu has some pleasant flashes of hand technique to discard blocks but his lack of length will largely limit him to an occupation defender, where his teammates will be uncovered to pursue the football freely.