Paden still flying under the radar

It's been a while since we've been able to catch up with Butte LB Nick Paden (6-3, 235), but we found out one of the top JUCO linebackers in the country is still waiting for that first D-1 offer. caught up with Paden recently and talked about his season and where recruiting stands with only days left in 2007.

"I had a good season and put up good numbers," Paden told earlier this week. "We finished 7-4 and we won our bowl game, so overall I think it was a pretty good season."

Paden finished the season with over 80 tackles and six sacks and led the state in forced fumbles with five.

"I played in the middle this year, but I'm open to doing whatever a team needs me to do," Paden said. "I'm at my best when I'm stopping the run. Just getting to the hole and hitting the back and stuffing him is what I'm all about.

"Our coaching staff blitzed me a lot and that's how I got my sacks. I can use my speed or my strength to get by blockers when I blitz."

On the recruiting front, Paden has three offers from some top D-1AA programs, but he's hoping that his big sophomore campaign will end up turning into some D-1 looks as well.

"Montana State, Northern Arizona and Portland State have all offered," Paden said. "My dream has been to play D-1 so I think I'm going to hold off and see about signing in February if I can get some D-1 offers.

"Colorado and Kansas State were on me pretty hard, but they both ended up getting some JC linebackers already so they've sorta fallen through.

"Florida Atlantic, New Mexico and Louisiana-Lafayette are on me still and they might be looking to trip me, but right now that's about it.

"My coaches have been making calls for me though, to see who might be interested, but right now there isn't much attention coming my way."

Paden could have signed on December 19th (the early JC signing period), but now he plans to wait and sign on February 6th.

Wherever he ends up, he'll have three years to play two.

Nick Paden Scout Profile

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