Paulsens Emerge

Small towns in Iowa have a way of producing strong college linemen. Class of 2015 Moville Woodbury Central twins, Levi and Landan Paulsen, could be the next in line. Get to know them in this intro.

If he were in their place, Kelly Manker isn't sure he'd be as grounded as Levi and Landan Paulsen. The twins continue amazing their Woodbury Central coach with their actions.

The Class of 2015 linemen are hearing from major college coaches. It isn't changing whom they are.

"After they're done lifting, they walk around and put all the weights away," Manker said. "I was telling the coaches the other day that if I was getting attention from D-I schools, I'd probably slap the coach on the back and tell him I'll see him tomorrow and leave the weights lay out. They're just not like that."

Woodbury Central is nestled in the small Northwest Iowa town of Moville, population 1,622. There's no guarantee you will work hard if you grow up there but there's a good chance.

"They're old school," Manker said of the Paulsens. "Their mom and dad are two of the best parents you could hope for. They've taught them the values of life right from the start.

"They're the first people to hustle up and open the door for an older person or help a kindergartener open his milk as they walk through the cafeteria to go to class."

In addition to showing potential on the football field, Manker believes the Paulsens off-field demeanor is serving them well in recruiting.

"That's what separates them from a lot of other kids in this day and age," the coach said. "The high character of these young men is unbelievable. Not only are they great individuals on the football field, they're great individuals in the classroom and around the community."

Landan checks in at 6-foot-5 and 267 pounds. Levi is 6-4 1/2, 248. That's big for most players entering their junior seasons but especially a pair of brothers playing Class A football.

Manker said this is new territory for everyone at Woodbury Central.

"We've never had kids of this caliber," he said.

The twins camped with Iowa, Iowa State, Northwest Missouri State, South Dakota State and Northern Iowa this summer and those schools have shown the most interest so far.

"(College coaches are) pretty excited about their future," Manker said. "They carried themselves well at the camps and are respected by some of the other kids at the camps. That catches the coaches' attention."

Landon plays inside on defense with Levi at end. It's the other way around on offense.

"The main thing is that they put in the time," Manker said. "They do anything we ask of them. We're really working in their footwork and increase their mobility."

Manker and his staff ran a wide-open passing attack last season. They've rethought that approach heading into 2013.

"As big as those guys are getting and a couple of other guys in the program, they're going to force us to run the ball a little bit," the coach said. "This year, we'll probably go with Levi at guard and Landon at tackle so we can trap a little bit more. Levi is just a little bit quicker at this time."

The Paulsens also wrestle and throw the shot and discus in track. Levi plays baseball.

"They're both outstanding wrestlers," Manker said. "Landon went to state this year. His freshman year, he had like eight takedowns. This year he ended up with about 52 takedowns. That's how much better his footwork has gotten."

Manker relates well with his star linemen. The coach is a twin.

"I understand that part of it," he said. "They're close. I can't see them separating (for college) at this time but it's going to be about academics, too.

"Each of them is going to go to the place that offers the degree they want. It's not just going to be about college football. One of them is talking about being a doctor and the other one is talking about the agricultural field. They both are right at 4.0 GPAs."

The Paulsens have ties to Iowa and Iowa State. Their older sister, Danielle, played in the Hawkeye Marching Band before graduating from the school last year. Their father attended Iowa State.

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