One of the top players in the state of Oregon for the 2014 class is Lake Oswego sophomore Nick Underwood (6-1 215 So. LB/RB). He earned honorable mention all league honors on last years state title team, and recently tore up our West Salem regional combine running a 4.45 (40 yard dash-hand time) in the process.
Underwood, and Joey Alfieri (6-1 215 So. LB/FB) of Jesuit both MVP’d the event and looked phenomenal. Both are considered top 10 overall players in the State of Oregon for the 2014 class. Nick is a special football player and is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. He’s a kid that puts god first in his life as he says,
“If it is good, it’s not good enough for me when it comes to training. I am fortunate to have professional trainers, Mark McLaughlin and Chris Berg at the Performance Training Center challenge me five days a week with tough routines. I practice, practice and practice until I have established my best performance. Then, I will wake up the next day and work toward beating yesterday’s best.”
Underwood’s testing is off the charts for a kid his age, while his speed and size already make him a legit Pac 12 type kid. Watching his video you see an extremely coordinated backer that has unique body control for a young athlete. He has played Fullback in the Lake Oswego system, but could also play the tailback spot with his quicks.
When referencing the upcoming season he says, “”We have a terrific fall class of seniors and juniors with tons of strength, speed, agility and varsity game experience. Our first goal will be to build our pre-season chemistry, confidence and commitment to becoming the best team possible this fall. Coach Coury and the coaching staff at Lake Oswego have instilled a great sense of focus, and work ethic on delivering our best performance each week on the field. We have no doubt about our ability to deliver wins as a team.”
There are only a few kids every year that have that “it” factor, so Underwood’s performance at our latest regional combine solidified how talented he was. When talking about recruiting Nick says, “My extended family lives throughout the West Coast in California, Oregon and Washington, so I have always felt at home in the Pac 10, now Pac 12. Academics are very important to me, so I think a lot about UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Washington and even USC, which might be hard for my Bruin Dad.”
Regardless Underwood has most of his high school career ahead and just wants to focus on working hard and winning every ball game that they play. They are off to a good start winning last years 6a state title, finishing (14-0) and ranked #25 in the country. The Lakers have been one of the most dominant teams in Oregon over the last decade, but continued to lose the big games until last season. The 2011 linebacker group was probably the state’s best led by PSU bound Zach Walen ,Grant Taylor and Junior standout Mitch Lomax.
The 2014 Oregon class of linebackers could rival some of the state’s all time best with Underwood, Alfieri, and McNary’s Perry Groves (6-3 210 So.) leading the way. Marcus McGovern (6-2 210 So- Sheldon), Mike Varadi (6-0 220 So.- Southridge), and Mitch Kekel (6-0 210 So. Westview) are three other very prominent backers that we will hear a lot about.
Its going to be an exciting 2012 season in the northwest as we now have multiple teams finishing highly ranked nationally. Look for Underwood and a host of his very talented teammates to be a factor once again on a state wide level. NEI projects that Lake O will start the season with a #5 or 6 ranking, but until someone beats them they are still the undefeated state champions from 2011.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9owdz1gvBvQ&list=UUT_DPlKL5JSc3Uyf3j8e0vA&index=1&feature=plcp NEI/Barton Football Regional Combine Highlights- Salem
http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1302241/highlights/9992583 Nick Underwood HUDL
(Nick Underwood 6-1 215 So. LB/FB Lake Oswego)