Class of 2018 Tigard (Ore.) athlete Braden Lenzy has used his versatility in all three phases of the game to help lead his Tigers to a 7-2 record. That versatility has also caught the attention of multiple programs around the Pac-12.
“On offense, I've seen a lot of double teams and triple teams, and that's been a good learning experience for me because I didn't experience that last year,” Lenzy said. “I’m trying to get the ball in different situations…It's just different things and it's humbling when you're in a situation that makes you a lot better as a football player.”
“On the defensive side of the ball, (I need to) become more physical, more of a physical presence,” Lenzy said. “That has been very successful. I've made multiple big hits this year, and that will be good for coaches to see that that is an aspect of my game.”
The four-star recruit has also focused making an impact in special teams.
“Leading the state in kick-off return yards and do what I can there because I knew those double and triple coverages were coming,” Lenzy said. “Getting those one or two touches a game or and kick-off return in a game, those are very valuable and certainly can get involved in the game and change the momentum.”
Running track has helped him make plays in all three phases and stay in shape during the offseason. At one time during his season, he was seventh in the nation in the 400 meters.
“When you can contend in the nation on its own and track, that's pretty special,” Lenzy said. “It's very, very helpful translating to the football field.”
Lenzy is able to dissect his own game in a way that is reminiscent of 2017 Stanford target and West Linn cornerback Elijah Molden, (Must be an Oregon thing, right?). The two are good friends and being a class ahead of Lenzy, Molden has provided advice to the 2018 defensive back.
“To me, he's one of the best competitors I've ever played against,” Lenzy said. “He's gone through the recruiting process more than I have. When he says something about a coach, I respect that. It's a very strong word he has towards me.”
Additionally, Lenzy said Oregon linebacker and former Tigard star A.J. Hotchkins has been giving him advice about the recruiting process.
Programs like Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State have already offered the junior athlete. Stanford hasn’t offered, but they are in constant contact with him and he visited The Farm this summer.
“I loved it,” Lenzy said. “The campus was beautiful, and it wasn’t a far flight from Portland. That was nice getting that kind of experience and see if I would go to Stanford.”
Lenzy said working with the coaching staff gave him a firsthand look at how the Cardinal operate.
“I love (defensive backs coach Duane Akina), (he has) great energy and he got to work me out at the camp. He was very happy and impressed,” Lenzy said. “Coach Shaw was just very intelligent and a thoughtful head coach. I really like his vision of the program, what he sees in Stanford and what their goals are.”
Lenzy said Stanford made it apparent they are interested in him as a cornerback and he’s hopeful an offer will come.
“That would be an incredible thing to achieve. Everyone talks about that as a kid. It's Stanford. You go to Stanford you're set for life,” Lenzy said.
“It's very hard to compare Stanford to anyone because you can’t, really. They compete with the Ivy League schools for academics and they compete with the Alabamas and the LSUs and the teams that are always up top for football. It's rare for a school to do both.”
Lenzy’s skill set may not fit the Stanford scheme perfectly, but he thinks his versatility and the coaching staff would make it possible for him to thrive at The Farm.
“They’re a physical team. I wouldn't say that I'm a physical player or that's my strong suit. I would say I'm a cover corner and my job is to take someone out of the game but when you're that type of player, I think it's easier than other types of situations to go somewhere and incorporate that into the system,” Lenzy said.
“I think it would be totally fine especially with the coach with the resume if I could coach Akina I think he would coach me up well and get me ready for the Pac-12 and the different offenses they have.”
Lenzy said he doesn’t have a definitive timeline, but said ideally he would commit before his senior year.