Recruiting News: Nick Pilon, MLB [MEDIA:20319]

Lake City High (Coeur d'Alene, ID) product Nick Pilon, who last spring gave a verbal commitment to the University of Idaho, has also been recruited this fall by the University of Washington and the University of Oregon.

Player Profile
Height:  6-4
Weight:  230 pounds
Bench Press:  310 pounds
40 yard Dash:  4.58 seconds
BIO: 2001 1st Team, All-State (Idaho), 4A, MLB
2nd Team, All-State, 4A, TE
1st Team, All Border League, TE
2000 2nd Team, All-Border League, MLB

Below is a report which ran in the CDA Press last fall highlighting Nick Pilon (MLB/TE). We've known for some time that Nick (a 2-way starter at MLB and TE who also regularly handled kick-off duties) is hot commodity, and that his performance on the football field has raised the attention of the UW and UO programs. He is an athlete who has the physical tools to become the type of impact player that Idaho needs, whether its on offense or defense.

'Laying the wood to people'

Pilon emerging as another in a series of standout middle linebackers at Lake City

Assistant sports editor, The CDA Press

Watching the way Lake City High School middle linebacker Nick Pilon plows into running backs and receivers, and harasses quarterbacks, it's hard to imagine the Timberwolf coaches earlier this season had to come up with a way to motivate him to do that more often. "We gave him an ultimatum (after the Clarkston game) to play linebacker or defensive end," LC defensive coordinator Russ Blank said. "At 'Mike' linebacker, he takes some plays off. When he does play full speed at 'Mike' linebacker, he's one of the best we've ever had."

"I get somewhat tired," replies Pilon, a senior and one of only two two-way starters for Lake City. He also starts at tight end and sometimes kicks off, often into the end zone. "Every once in a while they'd pass and I'd slack and I wouldn't get back in my zone. He (Blank) said they were going to move me to defensive end. It motivated me to drop back on passes."

Pilon has 45 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble so far this season for Lake City (3-0 Border League, 6-0 overall), which plays host to crosstown rival Coeur d'Alene (1-2, 2-4) on Friday. Blank noted Pilon's improved pass coverage of late. He deflected three passes last week against Moscow, one of which he intercepted. "It takes a lot to motivate me," said Pilon, a two-year starter at linebacker. "When they said they were going to move me, I get upset and get down to business.

"I thought it was a plan," he said of the ultimatum. "When they get me motivated, I lay the wood to somebody, and everybody else makes plays."

At tight end, the 6-4, 230-pound Pilon (pronounced PIE-LAWN) is one of several offensive weapons. He has nine receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He has given a verbal commitment to play at Idaho next year, where he said the Vandals are considering him as a tight end.

"He's an excellent tight end," said Lake City coach Van Troxel, who calls the offensive plays. "He's a very good blocker, and when you move him outside he's a mismatch, because how many defensive backs are 6-4 and 230 pounds? And he runs well."

Pilon grew up in western Washington, and with his family moved to Coeur d'Alene prior to his sophomore year at Lake City. His mother, Laura, grew up in the Silver Valley and wanted to return to North Idaho. His father, Fred, coaches the defensive line for the LC sophomore team, and on Friday nights is up in the press box helping Blank plot the defense.

Pilon played on the freshman team at Issaquah High, and Washington was among the teams recruiting him. "I've always had a dream of playing for the Huskies, ever since I first played football (in kindergarten)," Pilon said. "If I lived in Issaquah, I'd probably go to the UW."

He played mostly on the sophomore team his first year at LC, but saw action in some varsity games. In fact, he caught a touchdown pass for Lake City's only score in its shocking 44-7 loss to Vallivue of Caldwell in the state A-1 Division II championship game two years ago. "All the sophomores that suited up in that game made a pact, that that would never happen to us," Pilon said. "When we go to state (this year), we want to take it all."

Blank said Pilon is the latest in a growing list of standout middle linebackers at LC, from Ian Johnson to Keith Vedder to Josh Vogan to Pilon. Blank said a reason Pilon is able to deliver those bone-crunching hits is he has the speed [4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash] to chase running backs sideline to sideline. "Those hits change the momentum of the game," Blank said. "They make those kids not want to come in quite as hard. I wouldn't want to play against him."

Pilon agrees. He says his biggest rush is "laying the wood to people. Watching their eyes get all big when you hit them. Watching them get up real slow, kind of hesitant like they don't want you to hit them like that again."

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