I joked with Solon’s, Nate Leskovec, briefly before the game against Brunswick last Friday night about watching him as a freshman. He played some defensive end then as well, but at about 210. Now, as a junior, he is listed at 6’3-230.
Regardless, he is a physical player as a defensive end. Plays with emotion and, at times, he needs to play more under control. Not from the too aggressive, but from the initial quickness that he has off the ball.
Runs well, and like many defensive players in high school, he needs to improve his change of direction. Pursues down the line well. Also gets to the QB off the edge. Finishes well.
I remember his 9th grade year when he had a QB sack against Olentangy Liberty in the playoff game at Solon. Thinking that it was almost 20 yards. Again – just a freshman.
Although I have not been to a Solon basketball game, Nate played on the varsity last winter. Also carries a 3.7GPA in the classroom.
Nate has all of the skills that DL coaches like. Looks good at DE, but could see him growing into an inside guy. But with one more year of high school to get bigger/stronger/faster, we will see. Regardless, he is a tough. physical football player.
Also had a chance to watch senior Taj Ward who has committed to Cincinnati. Looks good. Guessin 6’0-170. Starter as a 10th grader, Taj plays corner. Fast. Good hips. Plays with swagger that corners have to have.
Not surprising, Taj is as good of a wide receiver as he is corner. Natural ability to separate. For now – UC – corner. Cousin – OSU CB Denzel Ward, I am sure, has given him some idea of what the next level is all about.
With head coach Jim McQuaide, Solon’s program is and will always be very solid. Good athletes. Tough players. Fast guys. Coach’s 9th grade son alternated some at quarterback and did well. Guessin Coach McQuaide will be around for at least three more years after this year.
As for Nate Leskovec, he will be an MSR top defensive lineman in the Class of 2019.