George Iloka (Boise State)
-- Courtesy of Fanatic Football Fiend --
Height: 6040 Weight: 225 40 Time: 4.66 Bench: 20 Vertical: 34.5 Broad: 10’3
Final Grade: 8.1
Player Comparison: Kam Chancellor
Projected Draft Position: Second – Early Third
As a Houston prep star, George Iloka was a three-year letterman and senior captain, earning himself a spot on the Houston Top 100 Team. He was named Kempner Defensive Back of the Year as a senior and was a Houston Touchdown Club nominee. Iloka graduated HS a semester early to enroll at Boise State. He would go on to play in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2008 and earn All-Freshman Second Team. Iloka started all 14 games as a sophomore in 2009 and he would make his 27th consecutive start as a junior in 2010 after starting another 14 games that season. As a junior, Iloka earned First Team All-WAC. Iloka was named preseason Second Team All-American at the start of his senior year and he continued his highly productive collegiate career. Off the field, Iloka is intelligent and studious and has a good work ethic that is also inviting of solid coaching. Iloka plays with the right attitude for the safety position and he has a good approach to the game.
Of all the safeties in this draft class, Iloka possesses the most attractive body type, with a long frame and immense height for the position. Iloka operates as somewhat of a wirey defensive back, but he’s proportionate with long arms and long legs. Iloka plays well for a player his size, showing proper bend at the position and good tracking ability with fluidity in his running. Very coordinated at the safety position, Iloka’s build and natural athleticism reflect that of the typical former basketball player turned football stud. Iloka has the agility and change of direction speed to play the safety position effectively, most commonly displayed in his pursuit of a ball carrier. Despite his height, Iloka’s natural athleticism allows him to play with good bend at the position. For a player that could be classified as being somewhat lanky, Iloka is fully grown into his body and uses his length with ease.
Even at 225 pounds, Iloka isn’t a bulky safety. His height results in a longer frame rather than compact, but he still has the strength to lay big hits and become a reliable source in run support. Iloka has good speed across the field, demonstrating the ability to attack the line and move laterally in coverage. His read-and-react skills are on par for a safety prospect and he has a good understanding of reacting to both a runner, and a quarterback’s intentions. Iloka plays with good range, displaying his length as a benefit to covering so much ground. On run plays, Iloka is quick off the snap and can be aggressive in his attack. On pass plays, Iloka prefers to play deep in order to give him the best jump on the ball. Often times Iloka’s desire to play so deep can keep him out of plays and he can outrun plays that take him out of it completely. In coverage, Iloka is a threat with his above-average hands to make a play on the ball.
Iloka is much more effective in zone-coverage and it’s his obvious preference. Equipped with such developed read-and-react skills, Iloka plays to his advantages of zone-coverage where he is given a large enough cushion and his best chance to make a play on the ball or receiver. Likely a result of his frame, Iloka is a little stiff in his hips and effects his ability in man-to-man. Despite his instincts on the football, Iloka struggles to be instinctive with a route-runner. He can come down and cover a slot receiver, but not out of his immediate range. Iloka is best-suited playing center field and awaiting a receiver to come into his zone. With above-average hands and good instincts on the ball, Iloka can make plays on the ball and rarely drops interceptions. Iloka has good closing speed, but his deep alignment rarely calls for him to use it. Often times, Iloka’s deep-zone placement can keep him out of plays and he becomes more of a security blanket than a difference maker.
It’s difficult to call Iloka’s technique orthodox or form fitting for a safety, but it’s far from a detriment to his game. Iloka has good size and length that help him reach the opposition and tackle with force. Given a tough tackling assignment, Iloka is capable of the drag-down tackle and he can dish out the flashy shoulders drives. Judging by his style of play, Iloka appears to enjoy tackling and being aggressive in doing so, but his physicality doesn’t translate in coverage, as his zone is very deep and somewhat soft in center field. Because of such alignment, Iloka’s hand use is generally unknown. Often times blocks are engaged by the time Iloka uses his range to come up into the box and make a play, not requiring that he shed blocks on a consistent basis. Iloka’s footwork in zone-coverage is developed, but he’s a little stiff in his hips and turning and running with a receiver is not his strong suit. Iloka excels more so when he’s given ample time to read and react.
George Iloka wasted no time breaking onto the scene as a highly-touted Houston prep star, joining Boise State a semester early and playing in all 13 games as a true freshman. Iloka became a full-time starter by his sophomore season and his production on the field continued to improve. Throughout his collegiate career, Iloka proved his durability and made his presence felt with more and more game experience, to the point where opposing offenses would need to prepare solely around his advantages. Iloka possesses a long and athletic frame for the safety position, but he’s slightly undersized in the bulk category and he’ll need to get stronger at the next level. Looking very similar to the typical basketball player convert, Iloka is a rangy athlete with speed, good coordination and natural instincts. Iloka is accustomed to playing a deep zone at the safety position, but he’s a great fit for it. Possessing great awareness and read-and-react skills, Iloka prefers to play a deep center field in order to give himself ample time to make a play on the ball. When given the chance, Iloka has an explosive reaction and sure enough hands that make him a threat on nearly every pass. Despite limited fluidity in his hips, Iloka can come down and cover tight ends and slot receivers, as he started the final few games of his senior season at cornerback. Iloka’s desire to sit back in the zone can sometimes leave him out of plays. Although he’s a good tackler and doesn’t shy away from sticking his nose into plays, often times plays are over by the time he brings himself down around the box and effectively positions himself. In an overall weak class for safeties, Iloka’s stock will (and should) rise as the draft draws closer. Coaches will be impressed with Iloka’s experience, athleticism, size and versatility. Iloka is also a well-spoken and studious young man off the field when he’s not leading his team as a co-captain on the field. Iloka has upside with developing coverage skills and a system that will force him to play closer to the line with added strength.