Scouting Report: Hercules Mata’afa, OLB, Washington State

Lahainaluna, HI | 6016 | 255 | 4.65E | 2019

A hand in the dirt college defensive end who will need to convert to outside linebacker in the NFL. Wins with speed and agility; possesses raw power. One of the near impossible traits to measure on a prospect is their heart but this player has plenty, according to his former defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, “He’ll never be the biggest guy on the field, but he’s got the biggest heart. He plays like a lion on the field, and it’s great to have him in our room to be a student of the game.” A samoan native who grew up in a large family, one of seven children from Maui. Shows a nice mixture of swim and dip moves but how his game translates is still to be determined. This player could be labeled as a ‘tweener’ and someone who could have a limited type of impact at the next level—may best be suited for a joker type situational role. Very soft-spoken and humble player, team first mentality and highly coachable—should be able to make the transition to any new role created for him. While he has posted great production during his first two seasons, he’s not expected to declare early, which would put him in the draft class of 2019.

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2016: Named to watch lists for the Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award and Polynesian College Player of the Year…named All-Pac-12 Conference Second Team…named to All-Pac-12 First Team by Pro Football Focus…named All-Pac-12 Second Team by The Associated Press and Phil Steele…fifth in the Pac-12 with 13.5 tackles-for-loss and a team-high five sacks…seventh on the team with 47 tackles…had a sack against Eastern Washington…recorded two tackles-for-loss at Boise State…had 3.5 tackles-for-loss including a sack and two quarterback hurries…made six tackles including one sack in the win at No. 15 Stanford…made seven tackles including one for loss in win over UCLA…had four tackles in win at Oregon State…recorded 1.5 tackles-for-loss and three quarterback hurries in the win over California…made career-high eight tackles with one sack at No. 12 Colorado…had three tackles and shared a tackle-for-loss against No. 6 Washington…had a sack against Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl.

2015: Played in all 13 games, totaling 32 tackles, 11.0 tackles-for-loss and 7.0 sacks…added a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…named to USA TODAY Sports Freshman All-America First Team…earned 2015 All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors…led team in sacks along with Darryl Paulo, T-4th in Pac-12…tied for third on team in TFLs, T-14th in Pac-12…named Outstanding Lineman of the Sun Bowl after registering two tackles and a sack in win over Miami…season-best six tackles, 3.5 TFLs and two sacks at California…had four tackles, 1.5 TFLs and a sack at Washington…also registered sacks against Wyoming, Oregon, ASU and Colorado.

2014: Redshirt season.

High School: Attended Lahainaluna High School in Lahaina, Hawaii…as a SOPHOMORE, earned All-Maui Interscholastic League second team…as a JUNIOR, named All-MIL First Team after tallying 64 tackles including 12.5 sacks…as a SENIOR, earned All-State First Team honors from Hawaii Star-Advertiser and ScoringLive…named winner of the Cover2: Hawaii High School Football Weekly Defensive Player of the Year Award by KHON2 Sports…also named All-MILL First Team after recording 24 tackles-for-loss including 15 sacks…also wrestled, was state finalist as junior and senior at 215-pound weight class…rated three stars by ESPN.com and Rivals.com…ranked the No. 4 overall prospect in Hawaii by Rivals.com and No. 7 by ESPN.com.