Written by Drew Johnson (@RealNews102)
It’s nice to watch young high school football players fly around the field and put it on the line to make game-changing plays and when you do, it must be highlighted.
That’s seemingly all Auburndale’s 2026 linebacker Elijah Dias has put on film for college coaches to evaluate. He’s continuing to stay humble throughout the recruiting process but is determined to leave as one of the greats out of Polk County.
He’s done his part on the gridiron this season, contributing to a 7-1 Auburndale Bloodhounds squad that has won its last four games by a 134-10 margin. Dias has flashed his read and react abilities, totaling 90.0 tackles with 25.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks to add. He’s a DOG and versatile prospect who’s willing to get it done in the classroom and contribute leadership abilities at the next level.
“Before I leave high school, I’m trying to go down as one of the best linebackers from Polk County,” Dias said. “You have to show coaches that you’re willing to do whatever,” Dias said. “Whenever your number is called just be there, get there, stay humble, and have your head on a swivel. When you get that opportunity you have to make the most of it.”
When watching Dias on film, you wouldn’t think it’s just his sixth year playing the sport and second full season at the linebacker position. He’s a head hunter who plays with explosiveness and speed to track down runners behind the line or show off his sure tackling skills in the open field. In just two seasons, Dias has totaled 166 total tackles and 44.0 tackles for loss.
Dias gave a breakdown of his game and how he dissects plays on the field.
“All I know is when I see a certain play and make a read it’s just go get it,” Dias said. “I’m all about making big plays and doing whatever to win. It’s way more than just winning though but showing that you’re worthy.”
Those numbers and mentality attracted local USF early in his freshman season which was first to offer him while the likes of FAU, Marshall, UAB, and FAMU followed suit.
Dias shared his thoughts about the USF Bulls program, his relationship with the coaching staff, and their recent success this season.
“USF was my first offer and it was coach Will Bahler. He’s a really good dude and the head coach as well. I love the way they run their program. Ever since they offered me it has been nothing but love. They are all about me and how I operate and play my position. I’m really thankful USF saw potential in me, they were my first offer so I really respect USF.”
He also provided insight into the relationship between Marshall, and UAB.
“I like both of those schools. For me, I would go somewhere like Marshall because I feel like it’ll keep me focused and humble and make me stay on my grind to do what I have to do. I like UAB and would go there as well.
I just want to go somewhere that isn’t easy, the coach is going to apply that pressure and make me work. I’m all about putting in that work and I want to show the coaches at the next level that I am willing to put in that work.”
When asked about offers in mind, Dias mentioned the change Deion Sanders has brought to Colorado and his thoughts on a future offer.
“I mess with coach Prime over there,” Dias said enthusiastically. “I like how his players are willing not to give up and put the work in. They go 100 % in practice and in all their reps they don’t take any days off.”
No official visits locked in yet but the in-state big four (FSU, UF, Miami, UCF) are on the list for Dias.
“To be offered from a big school as a sophomore you just know you doing good things,” Dias said. “It’s just going to influence me to go super hard through the rest of my high school career.”
As the regular season concludes and the playoffs arrive, Dias is just proud to be at this point early in his high school campaign. He took time to thank his mom for believing in him and the coaches who put time into developing him as a young man on and off the field.
“I appreciate everyone who has helped me to get here,” Dias said. “I appreciate my mom for believing that I can do it and staying on me. As I get older I realize why she stays on me and I really appreciate it. Same with the coaching staff that believe in me that I can go to the next level and play.”
Plenty of time for the 5-11, 186-pound sophomore linebacker to add weight to his frame and work on the technique. He will for sure see an uptick in Division I offers as he continues throughout his high school career. Well-spoken with the DOG mentality. A must-get for college coaches!