Junior Profile - Todd Basler

Todd Basler is a 6-1, 220-pound athlete from Elma, Washington, and while seniors such as South Kitsap's Ryan Cole and Bethel's Steve Dildine were having monster running seasons last year, Basler crept onto the scene about as steathily as a bird circling its prey. Todd knows a little something about birds, namely Eagles.

As a member of the 2001 Elma Eagles, Todd played Running Back, Defensive End, Linebacker, Punter and Kicker, displaying his versatility. Todd's brother Kyle, currently with the Washington State Cougars, was an all-state selection in his own right punting the ball.

Todd's forte, however, is running with the pigskin, not kicking it. He racked up 2,258 yards and scored 50 times last year, earning 2A Player of the Year honors. Elma went all the way and won the state 2A championship over Othello, going 13-1 for the year, their only miscue coming against Lynden Christian.

For those that look at Basler's size and think he's a truck between the tackles would only be getting half of the story. "I'd say my game is more finesse," Todd told Dawgman.com. "It's not like I'm trying to run guys over. I have good field vision and I know when to cut. I can lower my shoulder when I have to, but I don't think I'm a real bruiser."

He runs a 4.6 40, squats 420 pounds, benches 305 and power cleans 300 pounds. On top of that, Todd also has a 33-inch vertical jump to his credit. Elma's weight room prowess has become the stuff of local legend, and was a big reason why they rolled this past fall.

"It's really helped us a lot," Basler said of the team's passion towards strength and conditioning. "We push each other a lot in the weight room. It works out for everybody. It takes a full team effort to win."

And football is taking center stage in Todd's life. He used to play baseball, but stopped playing to concentrate on football. Now that basketball is over for the Eagles, Basler is back in the weight room, getting ready for a rigorous camping circuit this summer that will see him attempt to hit five camps in one month.

"I'm going to camps at Washington State, Washington, USC and Arizona State, as well as the Nike camp in Oregon," Todd said about the camping gauntlet he'll run in June. It's that type of pro-active work by Basler that will earn him the title of captain, one that was bestowed on him last year as well.

"I lead by example," he said. "I'm prety quiet, unless stuff is going out there that gets me yelling. If I do my job, the other guys can follow me. I want to be a captain again next year. It's going to take a lot of work to do my best."

Does Todd think the Eagles will be back in the winner's circle? No doubt about it. "Well, we lost almost all of our linemen from last year, but all of our skill guys are back, so we need to build the line back up to where we need it to be," he said, mapping out Elma's plan of attack for this coming fall. "We like having those rings. We want another one really bad!"

On the recruiting front, Todd was able to soak in a lot when Kyle was being recruited. "I learned to always keep your options open and keep on working hard until the coaches have you on the phone and the decision has been made," he said. "That's the most important thing I learned."

Currently he's been receiving letters from Washington, USC, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Northwestern, but no offers yet. Expect that to change when May rolls around.

Dawgman.com Top Stories