Running Linebacker

Although a stout running back for Illinois 8A state champion Naperville North, Nick Mlady's size and athleticism has made him a valuable commodity for a variety of division one football programs during his summer camp tour.

Any great offense needs a solid running game, especially at the high school level.

Naperville North High School (located outside Aurora, Illinois) rolled through the state's playoffs and completed its perfect season - taking home the 8A state title - by using that offensive philosophy to perfection.

The star in their backfield is Nick Mlady, who rushed for over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior year.

Although his recruitment has started slow, Mlady has started to generate interest, which can be shown when the Naval Academy extended Mlady his first offer.

"Just getting the first offer takes off a lot of pressure because no matter what else pops up, you always have that first one there," Mlady told Badger Nation. "It makes you feel a lot less stressed but it makes you work that much harder to try and get another one."

Using that mantra, Mlady has attending Central Michigan and Northern Illinois for one-day camps, visited Minnesota (talking with the Gophers' running back coach and head coach Tim Brewster) and plans on taking a visit to Harvard's summer camp and then travel to Navy.

Although a running back at Naperville, some schools have been looking at Mlady on the defensive side of the ball. When he went to Northern Illinois' camp, the Huskies put the 6-foot-1, 191-pound Mlady through linebacker drills to see what his skills are. It doesn't matter to Mlady, however, as he'll do anything he needs to play college football.

"Most schools are 50-50 in terms of running back or linebacker," Mlady said. "I guess it depends on what they need or what they are looking at me for. Some schools, I guess, are looking at me for both so it really is up in the air."

One school that also has been on Mlady's radar has been Wisconsin. Mlady made the visit to Madison for Wisconsin's spring game and got to see the campus. Mlady was so impressed that he booked Wisconsin's summer camp on his schedule but because of the rigors at Northern Illinois' camp, Mlady had to pull out and is looking to reschedule.

"They introduced the coaches, took us on a little tour of the facilities, watched them for the scrimmage and got to talk to the coaches afterwards and ask them questions," Mlady said. "I wasn't able to make their camp because of conflicts but I still hear from them. Coach McCray called when coaches could make calls and he's visited my school to talk to me."

Holding a 3.9 GPA in the classroom, Mlady is looking for a good football school with top-notch education, as he hopes to go into business or sports medicine. As for a timetable with his decision, Mlady is going to take his time and go through the process.

"I am trying to keep an open mind," he said. "I really don't know what's going to happen. I want to see what else comes up."

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