Do you have Michael's stats on the year?
"Well first I can tell you that Michael was name First Team All-District, and none of the other awards have come out yet. For stats, Michael finished with 62 ½ tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 interceptions, running one of those back for a touchdown. He also played some quarterback for us in short yardage situations, and had 6 rushes and 4 touchdowns. He has also lined up for us as tight end and can play that position very well also."
What is your evaluation of Michael as a linebacker?
"Michael is a big kid, and he has great range on the field. He is 6'3", 220 pounds, and he runs about a 4.6 forty. He is the kind of kid that has their best game in the biggest games. He has a very long stride, so he can cover a lot of ground very fast. He is versatile too, I actually don't know what he'll play in college, I could see him at linebacker or over at tight end."
Has Sherman said anything about where he was recruiting him?
"I know he is recruiting him at linebacker, but I also know he is aware that he can play other positions, specifically the tight end position."
Could you talk about Michael's biggest strengths on the field?
"He's got a lot of them. His perception is one of his greatest strengths; he can recognize a play developing very fast. He is a 3.96 student, so obviously his intellect carries over on the field and it really helps him. He is a tremendous hard worker; he actually got stronger as the season went on. Most guys, you know, we just try to keep them at the strength level they were at during the summer and beginning of the season, but Michael actually improved his lifting as the season went on. He has an incredible motor. He also has great hands for a linebacker, which is why he can play tight end and had his four interceptions."
What does he need to work on to play early at the D1 level?
"I guess his overall quickness. He plays long and rangy, as most big guys his size do, and he is effective at it, but he could get quicker and that would further improve his game."
How would you rate Michael's character and leadership abilities?
"I tell you what; honestly, he's the best I've ever coached. [He's] number one, after 25 years of coaching. He has excellent character. He is a strong Christian, and he comes from a great family. His mother is the principal over at a Baptist school nearby, and you can tell he is as respectful as they come. He never gets in trouble and has been a great role model for this team. The whole team really respects him a lot, and actually it goes beyond that. I've had people not even involved with football come up and tell me how great of a kid Michael is. He's special."
Is there one play that sticks out in your mind as a good indicator of why he is so good?
"Actually yes, because it incorporates most of the things I told you were his strengths. It was one of our biggest games, Week 9 against St. Martinville, and we desperately needed a stop to hold on to our slim lead late in the game. Well Martinville tried a seam route, and it was a good throw, but Michael read it well and literally took the ball out of the receiver's hands, just fought him for it and won, and then raced down the sideline, broke four tackles, and dove into the endzone. It won us the game and looking back on that highlight I know that that play is one that shows his true talents."
Coach's Corner: Michael Lamothe
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