Recruiting: Use Your Imagination With Badger

You have to have a little bit of an imagination when you look at defensive lineman Nathan Badger of Norman (North), Okla., and think about recruiting him. At 6-2, 250 pounds he is big enough to play defensive end but might not be quite fast enough. That is why I challenge a school to picture Badger a year or two from now after being on a strength program and eating at a college training table.

Now he is a 6-2, 285- to 290-pound three technique defensive tackle complete with an attitude. When I watched Badger and his teammates earlier this week in a spring practice, Badger and a big offensive lineman were going at it throwing haymakers. Badger has a habit of making sure everybody works hard on both sides of the ball.

"We're working hard out here and we've got to win that state championship next year," said Badger of the new Oklahoma high school tradition of two weeks in full pads for spring football.

"We have a lot of good players out here. A couple of years ago we were 1-9 and then we went 6-6, and last year we were 9-3, and now I expect us to go undefeated."

Badger, who is also an excellent student, talks big because he has a confidence built up by playing a lot of snaps. He started as a sophomore when even his father wasn't sure he could handle the big offensive linemen. But he did and that's where college coaches with an imagination may find themselves with a solid player at a tough position to fill.

"Yeah I like the three technique a lot. You know I'm not sure I have enough speed to play off the end, but I feel like I can play at defensive tackle," said Badger. "Sometimes I get doubled and I've dealt with being doubled inside."

Badger, himself, needs an imagination and maybe a bigger appetite. He says actually eating more would not be a problem, he's up for it. "Not too much, I'm still trying to gain weight," he said.

Schools like Missouri State, Wyoming, New Mexico State and more have all inquired about Badger. He would like to be closer to home and he has attended Oklahoma State games and camp and will be at the Cowboys' camp again this summer.

"I want to be somewhat near home where I can come back and see my family and they can come and see my games," said Badger when asked about what he was looking for in a school. "It's important to be around coaches that believe in you. People that you can relate to and are there to make you better and you can still have a good time."

A good time especially if he finds a coach with an imagination.

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