Greensburg Central Catholic LB Nate Stone announces he’s committed to Duquesne. @Head_Huntin_23
— Westmoreland Sports (@WestmorelandSN) September 11, 2013
That was the news about Jerry Schmitt’s Duquesne team this evening courtesy of the Westmoreland Sports Network and WPIAL Insider twitter feeds, and it’s big news about a player who will now figure to be a large part of the Dukes’ defense from 2014 on.
Stone is one of the top linebackers in the WPIAL, and if you check out his highlight video, it’s easy to see why.
Obvious disclaimer: this is a highlight reel. Still, his recognition is deserved. Nate is quick and he has vision. As you can see, he is skilled at reading plays and often was heading in the direction the ball was going before the opposing offense actually made the play to put it there. I love his placement on some of the sacks in that video – good, clean tackles that don’t give the QB the chance to break free.
What impresses me the most is the way that he is able to bide his time until he strikes at the right moment. He hangs back and then just explodes up to the ball carrier. There is frequently help around him, but rarely does anyone else actually make the tackle – and rarely does he need the help. Even when he gets held up by the offensive linemen, he has the ability to break free and drag the running back down as he passes by. He’s tough to block and can squeeze through the line and make plays in the backfield.
His speed is also impressive. Midway through the highlight video, you’ll see instances where he comes from way behind the play to be a part of bringing the player down.
This is a player who knows where he needs to be on the field and does everything that he can to put himself in a position to make the tackle. He can get sacks, he can drop into coverage, and he can read plays. This is a great pickup for the Dukes, and I’m sure that Nate will feel right at home on the Bluff.
Welcome home, Nate!