I should have had you on my All American Team.
I would like to apologize, but it seems I just can’t stand to watch football on your home blue turf. There’s just something about football being played on a blue turf that I just can’t stomach. I love the state of Idaho and I love Boise. I even have a lot of respect and like your head coach Bryan Harsin.
But, I am a purist and that blue turf is just not something I can handle.
The thing is, Leighton Vander Esch is really good. Supposedly, Vander Esch plays weak side
linebacker for the Broncos, but he’s mostly in the middle and he dominates. Going into their bowl game against the Oregon Ducks, he was 6th in the nation in total tackles. At 6-4, 240, Vander Esch is big enough and strong enough, but he also has surprising quickness and speed and can get to the ball carrier, or the quarterback, in a hurry.
He had 129 total tackles with 5.5 tackles for losses and 3 quarterback sacks.
He also came up with 3 interceptions. You might just say that Leighton Vander Esch has a nose for the football.
As I am writing this, Vander Esch just sacked the Oregon Duck quarterback Justin Hebert.
I made a mistake by not including Leighton Vander Esch on my All American team. There’s little doubt about that at this point.
Vander Esch was the Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year in 2017 and it was his first season as a starter.
He played both quarterback and middle linebacker in high school which may seem like an odd combination. But, he was a tremendous athlete. He threw for just over 2,100 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2013 during his high school senior season. The impressive stat was he only had one interception all season long. He also impressively ran for over 1,500 yards and 34 touchdowns. He led the team in tackles at linebacker and had 4 more touchdowns on 5 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries.
The level of competition in Idaho is probably pretty low, but he was phenomenal on the basketball
court. He averaged right under 30 points per game and 11 rebounds. Those are pretty good statistics for a football player playing basketball and it also gives an indication of what kind of an athlete he is.
So, once again, please accept my apology for leaving this splendid athlete off my All American list. Leighton Vander Esch is a junior and he will have the opportunity to go to the NFL if he so chooses. But, he’s only started one season at linebacker for the Broncos and I believe he should come back and gain the experience by playing another year.
But, should he decide to leave early, he is more than good enough to play in the NFL. He seemingly has it all. He’s got size, quickness, athletic ability and instincts. He could make a good NFL linebacker.
I’m just not going to watch him on that hideous blue turf.