Blake Antzoulatos is a 6’2”, 225 pound inside linebacker from Chaminade (no, not this Chaminade) High School in West Hills, California. He is rated as a consensus 3-star recruit.
Antzoulatos was first offered by Cal in December of 2017. At this point, Cal was his fourth offer. He quickly found something that he liked in Cal as he took unofficial visits in February and April of 2018 before committing on June 1st and signing on Early Signing Day. According to 247Sports, Peter Sirmon was his primary recruiter, with Marques Tuiasosopo helping out as well.
His athletic numbers aren’t much to get excited about. In March of 2018, he measured with a 5.01 40-yard dash, a 4.59 20-yard shuttle, and a 32” vertical jump. These all rate pretty poorly, especially considering that he is on the lighter side for a linebacker.
However, his production speaks for itself, as he recorded 427 tackles in his three year varsity career. In his senior season, he had 152 tackles (13.2 tackles per game) with 25 hurries despite just two sacks. He also added two interceptions, two pass deflections, one fumble forced, and one fumble recovery. This level of production was enough to hear him first-team All-State honors in both his junior and senior years. Also, he had four receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns in his senior year, so there’s that.
After watching his tape, it is apparent that this guy is a perfect fit for Cal’s defense. He is extremely patient and a fantastic tackler which makes him a force in run defense. Cal’s defense relies on their linebackers to make tackles, and Antzoulatos is absolutely perfect for this. He fits the mold of a run-stuffing linebacker and honestly reminds me a lot of Evan Weaver. This is also a guy who gives his all on every play, which is another thing that Cal values on defense. Another thing that he does very well is rushing the passer. Although I don’t expect him to play on passing downs (more on that in just a bit), he could definitely have some pass-rushing value.
There are a few concerns though. He is a bit on the smaller side for his position and will likely want to put on a bit more weight once he gets to Cal, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
However, the biggest concern is his speed. He doesn’t look all that fast on tape, and that is against high school competition. This severely will limit him in terms of his coverage ability. There are not many clips of him in coverage in his tape, and it is likely simply because he doesn’t have the speed to match up with opposing receivers. I would not expect him to be a three-down player for Cal.
All in all though, it seems like we have found another great player. This guy could be a fantastic run stopper. Cal is very serious about adding quality, skilled defenders to their defense, and Antzoulatos is just that. He is definitely someone who can compete for early playing time as a rotational player before possibly seeing significant playing time on running downs once we lose Evan Weaver.