Paden leads tough Butte defense

The leader of the Butte College defense this fall will be LB Nick Paden (6-3, 235) and he's been seeing a lot of recruiting attention so far this summer. caught up with the hard-hitting middle linebacker from northern California and he talked about his plans this summer and what he does best on the field.

"I'm a run-stopper," Paden told matter-of-factly. "I think that's what I do best – I stop the run. I'm really good at reading plays and flowing to the ball and making the play.

"Our system also likes to blitz me a lot so I can really get to the quarterback and make stops behind the line of scrimmage."

After prepping at Folsom High School in California, Paden didn't have any four-year scholarship offers to choose from so he headed to Butte for several reasons, not the least of which was his older brother was already at Chico State which is located very close to Butte's campus.

"He was already up here so I could live with him and save some money," Paden said. "I also really liked the coaches up here and they have a really successful program. They have a good reputation of getting guys out to four-year schools and I knew I wanted to be a part of their program."

Paden had an excellent freshman campaign for the Roadrunners in 2006 posting over 80 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles-for-loss and three forced fumbles.

"I think I did pretty well, but this year I expect more out of myself," Paden said. "I know the defense better and I can just play on my instincts instead of thinking too much. I'm looking forward to this fall."

On the recruiting front, Paden said he's hearing from several top programs including Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas State and California.

"Those are the main four right now, but there were a ton of schools out here for our spring practices," Paden said. "I'm hoping to get as many schools as possible interested in me because I want to have choices when this season is over with."

During the spring Paden posted solid physical numbers including a 4.7 forty time, a 33-inch vertical and 26 reps at 225 pounds.

"I've got things to work on and I want to get stronger and even better with my technique," Paden said. "I just like to get after it and be physical. Playing in the middle is a cool thing because you're right in the middle of all the action and the defense is all on me to get guys lined up correctly."

Wherever Paden ends up, he'll have three years to play two and he expects to finish up his two-year degree in December.

We'll have more from Paden as the season draws closer.

Nick Paden Scout Profile

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