He didn't intend it coming into the season, but Santa Rosa's Steven Stutsman (6-3, 235) has shown schools he can play inside or outside linebacker and even defensive end.
"I'm not a natural defensive end, but my coaches came to me during camp and said ‘we need you at end' so that's where I'm playing this year," Stutsman said recently. Through four games he was leading the state in sacks with eight."
"I'm definitely a work in progress right now because I'm still learning techniques and stuff like that."
Stutsman admitted he is basically getting by on his outstanding athleticism – 4.45 forty-time, 37-inch vertical and 430-pound bench press – along with his desire.
"I just want to make plays everywhere on the field," Stutsman said. "Last year I was pretty much a role-player for the team, but this year I want people to know that I came to play every day no matter where I play."
As a senior at Clear Lake High School in Lakeport, California Stutsman didn't get recruited, but then a coach from Santa Rosa came calling and the rest is history.
"Coach (Lenny) Wagner, our defensive coordinator is a great coach and he recruited me to come play here," Stutsman said. "I saw the roster and how great the team could be so I said I wanted to be part of that. That's what brought me here."
Most schools are looking at Stutsman to play linebacker and he's been excited to hear from Boise State, UNLV and Washington State and the Cougars are the ones recruiting the hardest.
"Washington State has sent me a lot of stuff and I would say they are probably the closest to offering me, but I don't know for sure," Stutsman said. "Nebraska said they were really interested in me, but I haven't heard from them in a while."
He doesn't have any offers yet and no visits have been set up, but he feels it's just a matter of time and those things will take care of themselves.
"Really I'm just worried about doing my best out there and playing well," Stutsman said. "I know I've got the speed and size I need to play D-1, now it's just a matter of going out there and showing schools I'm worthy of (a scholarship offer)."
Stutsman expects to graduate in May and he will have three years to play two. He wants to major in communications at the four-year school he finally chooses.