He has been a fixture on the Winona Winhawks offensive and defensive lines for the past two seasons and Nick Waldo doesn't expect it to be any different during his senior year. He will be ready to help his team…
He has been a fixture on the Winona Winhawks offensive and defensive lines for the past two seasons and Nick Waldo doesn't expect it to be any different during his senior year. He will be ready to help his team attempt to duplicate and possibly improve on their second place finish in the Class AAAA state playoffs. He is ready for that responsibility. Off the field, he is still getting used to the attention colleges have been giving him. He is entering a whole new world.
“Recruiting is all new to me,” Waldo said. “My family has never had someone that has gone to the next level. It is new for us. I am not used to it yet, but I am trying to get better with it.”
Earlier this month Waldo picked up his first offer from Winona State.
“I have mostly Division II programs looking at me,” Waldo said. “Obviously everyone's dream is to play DI. I am just working every day to get better. I want to improve myself and play at the next level.”
This summer he has been in contact with schools around the Midwest.
“I went to North Dakota State; we had a lot of players go there from our team. I thought I did really well and NDSU. I thought I opened some eyes.”
In addition to Winona State and NDSU, Waldo told northstarfootballnews.com that Minnesota-Duluth, Upper Iowa, Mankato State, South Dakota State and Northern Iowa have all been in contact with the soon to be senior.
“WSU told me I have a good off the ball reaction,” the 6'2″ 280-pound lineman said. “I am physical. They like how nasty I play on the field getting to the ball carrier and then having good tackling technique.”
Before he was getting attention from college programs, he was helping his current program make a deep run into the playoffs.
“Last year was a very good year for me,” Waldo said. “I improved my pass rush technique. I came up big in big games and tried to help my team as best as I could.”
Right now Waldo is being recruited as a defensive end, but he is a two-way, two-year starter. He usually played the strong side defensive end in the Winhawks' 4-3 defense and then played left tackle on offense.
“I love hitting guys. I think I get off the ball and get after the quarterback, said NFN's 56th ranked player from the 2018 class. “My strengths on offense is pulling and getting to the second level. Being physical is my strong suit.”
Pulling is not something he gets to do as much as his sophomore season when he played guard. Winona lost their starting left tackle to graduation and moved Waldo outside.
“(Moving positions) wasn't too much of an adjustment,” Waldo recalled. “The coaches expect us to know what to do at every position on the line. The only thing that was different was that I didn't pull as much. That was disappointing for me because I love to pull and get out in front of my running backs, but at tackle, we do have some power plays that involve me pulling. I do like pass blocking at tackle because it is more of a one-on-one situation and it just depends on who is better – which I like.”
Football is his only sport, but that doesn't mean Waldo takes much time off. He lifts weights not only for football but just because he enjoys it. Based on his self-evaluation from last year he is also working on some football specific skills, he feels he needs to touch up before his final high school season starts.
“For defense, I need to work on using my hands to get off blocks. I need to improve my lateral quickness. On offense, the thing I need to work on is getting lower – even when getting to the second level.”
Right now it looks like Waldo will be getting to the second level of football after his high school career ends. It is something he and his family will just have to get used to as his new reality.