LB Todd Basler

Saturday's Nike Camp on Stanford's campus attracted a wide range of top talent from all over the country, and especially the West Coast. That has helped to bring the recruiting picture into greater clarity. One linebacker you may not have heard about is Todd Basler from Washington state. But after a strong day Saturday and stayover for Sunday's junior day, his picture is coming into focus...

LB/RB Todd Basler (profile)
Elma (McCleary, WA)
Ht: 6-1: Wt: 210
4.80 forty; 4.32 shuttle
23 bench reps; 26.9" vertical

If you live outside the state of Washington, the name of Todd Basler may not be tripping off your tongue, but residents in the Northwest know what Todd did in his junior season to shake up the state and region.  You could skip the rest of this article and take home his amazing story with just two stats: 2,258 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns.  Fifty!!  Todd was a driving force for the Elma Eagles en route to their 13-1 record and state 2A championship.  The Eagles were a dominating team at many times, with large enough scoring margins that they often pulled their starters in the third or early fourth quarter of games - making those rushing numbers all the more impressive.  On defense, Todd played back and forth between defensive end and outside linebacker.  He totaled 14 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and a pick returned for a score.  And it is noteworthy that though Todd is being recruited on both sides of the ball, his best position in college may likely be as a linebacker.  Indeed, he worked out as a LB at the camp on Saturday.

 

Todd's accomplishments on the field this past season earned him just about every award imaginable.  League MVP, All-Area, All-State and 2A Washington Player of the Year.  He was also named to the prestigious Northwest Nuggets in Waiting list of top juniors in the state.

Todd has also been a serious baseball and basketball player, though he gave up baseball to give greater attention to football.  He also "didn't get the cardio (he) needed for football."  Well, that commitment sure has paid off.

 

Though his performances in the drills were very good on Saturday at the camp, there was one significant disappointment on the day.  Todd has previously been timed with a 4.6 forty, but he ran a 4.8 early on Saturday.  You can bet that with a kid who is so big on training and conditioning like Todd Basler, some serious focus will be on his speed this summer.

His upcoming plans for camps and training are the approaching Nike Camp in Oregon, as well as Elma's two weeks of spring ball.

I had the chance to talk with the young man after all the times, drills and instruction from the long camp, and here is what he said:

The Bootleg:  Todd, you looked like you had a pretty good day out there.  How did you feel?
Todd Basler:  Yeah, it was a good day.  I wish I could drop my forty time a few tenths, but other than that, I thought it came out pretty well.

The Bootleg:  How did you fare with your numbers and times?
Todd Basler:  I bench pressed 23 times.  My vert was 28.  My forty was like 4.8. (laughs) So I need to drop that.  Just before I came here, I ran a 4.65.  Then a 4.8 here - I don't know how I managed that.  Other than that, I think I did well with the drills, agility-wise.

The Bootleg:  Yeah, how were the drills for you?  Did you pick up anything today?
Todd Basler:  I've been through all these drills because I do these at home.  So I just loved it.  I mean, I had fun doing those.  More time and more reps for me.

The Bootleg:  As you know, Todd, this is a unique Nike camp with all the coaches able to watch.  Were there some coaches, who you were hoping to catch their attention?
Todd Basler:  I just worked my butt off - gave 110%.  If they saw, then that's good.

The Bootleg:  Are there some schools that you are hearing from, and who you like back?
Todd Basler:  I'd say Stanford, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Northwestern - places like that.

The Bootleg:  I note that you mention Northwestern, and then a bunch of West Coast schools...
Todd Basler:  Yeah, but Northwestern has been around, though.  I've just been talking with them a bit, and I think they dropped by.  Still keeping all my options open.

The Bootleg:  Can you talk about the Pac-10 schools, and what you like from some of them right now?
Todd Basler:  I just like the opportunity to play.  Playing time is a big thing for me.  If I go, I just want to play a lot.  Playing time, and location a little bit - but not much.

The Bootleg:  What would be a location you would like?
Todd Basler:  The parents want me to go around in Washington, but I'll extend that to California and wherever I need to.  It doesn't matter that much to me.

The Bootleg:  You mentioned a good cluster of schools up in the Northwest, and then Stanford.  Does the area up in the Northwest feel like home to you?
Todd Basler:  Yeah, it's kind of nice.  But I love the weather here.  It's nice to see the sun and not rain, where I'm from.  I feel comfortable here.

The Bootleg:  Are there any two or three schools you feel best about right now, who might be your leaders?
Todd Basler:  I would say Stanford, Washington and Oregon - Oregon State.

The Bootleg:  Can you talk about what you like about those schools, individually?
Todd Basler:  Stanford I like education-wise.  You can get a good education and a good sports program.  Washington - location. Uh, location and sports program.  Same with the other schools.  You have to put that all in perspective.

The Bootleg:  As you compare these schools later in your decision, what will be the top criteria you use to separate and differentiate them?
Todd Basler:  I'll use the schooling, of course - academics.  Location.  And playing time - how much I get to play.  Position doesn't matter, because I go both ways in high school, so I can go either way.

The Bootleg:  Within the linebacking group, do you see yourself as an inside or outside backer?
Todd Basler:  Outside.

The Bootleg:  What skills do you possess that you think make you a good outside backer?
Todd Basler:  I think the quickness and the feet - being able to read people.  I love the hitting.  Get out there - open field tackling, one on one.

The Bootleg:  Do you t


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