Storm Klein Evaluation

Licking Valley junior Storm Klein was superb in leading his team to a 21-17 win over Northwest Friday night. Klein played both ways and scored the game-winning touchdown with over two minutes remaining. Bill Greene was on hand and filed this report.

Ohio State commit Storm Klein scored on a fourth down run to lead Licking Valley to a 21-17 over previously undefeated Northwest. Klein's touchdown run capped an 18 play, 65 yard drive to secure the win. Klein rushed for 71 yards and made 16 tackles from his middle linebacker spot.

"That last drive was amazing because it was do or die for our team," Klein said. "Our offensive line was awesome all night long. It was good to see everybody contributing and everybody pulling for each other. We haven't always had that in the past few years. This win is our biggest win ever in my career. Everybody played their heart's out and our seniors deserved this. We were very confident in the huddle that we could drive the ball down the field."

Licking Valley advances to play Mentor Lake Catholic in the state semi-final round this Friday in Massillon.

I had seen Storm Klein play in the playoffs last year as a sophomore and he was very good. He played mostly tailback and only played sparingly at linebacker. I believe he could be a serviceable runningback at Ohio State, but he has a chance to be a star at middle linebacker. The Buckeyes have told him they plan on playing him at linebacker.

The improvement in Klein over the past year is dramatic. He moves much better and is far more athletic than he was as a sophomore. He needs to become totally dedicated in the weight room, and if he does the sky is the limit. He is far better at linebacker than he should be, considering he has so few reps at the position. As he learns the position he should easily become a tremendous player at linebacker because he has all the tools needed to succeed.

Klein moves very well for a player that measures 6' 3" and weighs 220 pounds. His speed is amazing, having been timed at 4.55 in the forty yard dash. He hits as hard as any junior in the state and appears to be a player that will cause turnovers. I would compare him to current Buckeye star James Laurinaitis on the football field. I could also see Klein playing over the tight end in the Viper role that Bobby Carpenter filled at Ohio State.

With an added year in the weight room and being more comfortable at his linebacker position, it's not hard to believe that Klein will be a leading candidate for Mr. Football in Ohio in 2008. You always like to see improvement from year to year, and Storm Klein has taken a major step forward in 2007. It's not hard to see why the Buckeyes offered Klein a scholarship so early in the process.

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