Coming off a season in which he tore a ligament in his left foot and needed extensive surgical procedures to correct the issue, Los Al Linebacker Matt Locher plays each game to make a name for himself and attract an FBS university.
“It’s kind of been a struggle a little bit because of the foot injury,” Locher said of the recruiting process. He’s visiting Harvard and Yale unofficially this weekend, September 27-28. “I haven’t heard much from the FBS schools, mostly the FCS. But I have a recruiting coordinator who helps me and we’re going to be sending out a mid-season tape.
“Hopefully that’ll help.”
One school that Locher will be sending tape to is Boise State. Locher may have missed last season, but that hasn't stopped the Bronco Coaching Staff from taking note of his early success this year. One of the most recent followers to Locher's twitter account is none other than Kent Riddle, the Runningbacks coach for the Broncos who has shown that he is willing to look at large HS Linebackers to fill the HB/FB Spot for the Broncos.
One thing that can’t hurt the 6’3”, 245-pound Locher are his measureables. Built more like a throwback middle linebacker, Locher can still get to most any play. With a 345 bench, 445 squat and 275 clean, he’s got a little thump when gets there. He played outside linebacker the two previous seasons and moved inside to best help the Griffins.
Locher, who has a 3.9 GPA, has an offer from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is garnering interest from Yale, Harvard and UC Davis. He’s been a one-man wrecking crew so far this season. Through three games, all Los Al wins, he’s recorded 52 tackles, which is good enough for second in Division II of the Southern Section and 12th in the state. His 14 takedowns last week actually put a dent in his average and dropped it to 17 tackles per game.
Despite the defensive accolades, it was other side of the ball that made Locher proud.
“I’m actually really excited carrying the ball,” said Locher, who is also playing fullback and even some tailback when needed. “I hadn’t played offense since my freshman year. I’m pretty stoked to do it for my team.”
As the games roll on, Locher can’t help but take into account the fact that he was in a similar situation last season before his Lisfranc fracture derailed his junior campaign in the third contest of the season. It’s a serious injury which has severely hurt the production of some pro athletes.
“I had to have four surgeries,” he said. “It’s taken a full year to get back up to speed.
“It was really frustrating because I felt like I was really playing well to start the season last year, then the injury. I was definitely wondering if I could make it back at times, but everything worked out fine.”
Locher, whose dream is to play at a “big-time D1 school,” won’t have too much more influence than whether or not his parents can make the commute to watch him play. But the family has other priorities. “My parents want me to stay local,” he said, “but the biggest thing for them is education. If I was to go to an Ivy League school, they’d be more than pleased.”
Now that he can have fun in the park after biding his time for a year, Locher’s goals are lofty.
“I have some high goals,” he said. “I want for us to win league, since that hasn’t been done in a long time. I want to get Defensive MVP for League and CIF first-team on defensive.
“It’s a lot, but I think I can get it.”