Butte's Paden is headed to the WAC

It was baffling why Butte LB Nick Paden (6-3, 235) went without much recruiting attention during the 2007 football season. After for his first D-1 offer, his patience was rewarded when New Mexico State called him earlier this week about coming on an official visit and while in Las Cruces he decided he wanted to be part of what the Aggies are doing on defense.

"I wasn't surprised they offered me, but I was definitely excited about it," Paden told JCFootball.com shortly after arriving back in Northern California after his visit to New Mexico State. "Coach (Hal) Mumme offered me earlier today when he met with me and I called my parents right there and talked with them about it and they were excited so I committed to him and he was really happy.

"Playing D-1 ball has been my dream and my goal all along and for it to finally pay off it was just great.

"Plus, they have a great defensive coordinator there in Joe Lee Dunn and they are really aggressive and they lose a bunch of their linebackers so I have a really good chance of coming in and getting time right away."

Paden was eligible to sign with a school following the season and he expects to sign with the Aggies this week and be on campus for the start of the next semester in eight days.

"I can come in and lift and work out with the team which is huge for me," Paden said. "And I can be there for spring ball which will help me learn the system faster.

"I've got a lot of stuff I have to do in the next week so it's going to be a long week, but I'm excited and I'll be ready to go when I get there."

This past season, Paden led the Road Runners with over 80 tackles while also posting six sacks and five forced fumbles (best in the state).

"I played in the middle this year, but I'm open to doing whatever a team needs me to do," Paden told JCFootball.com a few weeks ago. "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."

When Paden arrives at New Mexico State he will have three years to play two when he steps on campus.

Nick Paden Scout Profile

JC Football Top Stories