2016 Jefferson LB Justin Madden has seen an uptick in his recruitment since the end of his season. Some of that might have to do with being named as one of the Seattle Times’ Top Athletes, but most of it has come because he’s an outstanding linebacker prospect.
Madden, a 6’0, 215-pounder, is an unbelievably instinctual player with the ability to diagnose plays while also being physical at the point-of-attack.
“I like to make plays sideline-to-sideline,” Madden told Northwest Elite Index recently. “I like being in the middle of things, being a leader and I’ve studied a lot of film, so I can recognize things and then when I get to the ball, I wrap up and make the sure tackle.”
As a senior this season, while helping lead Jefferson to a 7-3 record, Madden totaled a team-leading 105 tackles to go along with two fumble recoveries and an interception.
So far, recruiting interest has been steady, but he’s still waiting on that first offer.
“I’ve talked to a lot of schools, but so far, none of them have offered yet,” Madden noted. “I’ve talked to USC a little bit and I went over to see Washington State play Oregon State back in October.
“Eastern has been by to see me at school and I’ve also been in contact with Portland State, Central Washington, Montana and Colorado School of Mines.
“I’m just trying to be patient and wait for an opportunity. I feel like it could come pretty soon, but that’s not really something I can control, so I’m just making sure I recover from my football season and I want to have a great wrestling season, so I am focused on that and then I’ll also do track, so I have a lot of stuff on my plate and that’s what I’m focused on for right now.”
Madden is an accomplished wrestler who placed in the 195-pound class as a junior last winter and now he’ll face off against even bigger wrestlers in the 220-pound class this season.
“The guys are definitely bigger, so that’ll be tougher, but I like a challenge,” Madden said. “I just like to compete and give things my best and let the results speak for themselves.”
With his outstanding football instincts and the physicality he plays with, Madden is a player to watch over the next couple of months as schools continue to make their post-season evaluations. He’s a prospect who should be able to succeed at either outside linebacker or inside, but with his smarts, he’s probably a better fit inside, depending on the scheme.
NEI will continue to keep track of Madden’s progress and we will update news on him as it breaks.