Alex Balducci is only a junior but the Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic defensive end has already developed a reputation as a hardworking, determined football player.
Coach Steve Pyne sees it every day and now Balducci is starting to hear from even more college programs.
"Alex has a tremendous motor," Pyne said. "He is very coachable and he's starting to really understand how to play the game with good technique. He has great position coaches who are doing a great job with him.
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"Toots Ka'ahanui, who played at Boise State back in the '80s when they won the national championship in Division II, works with him and we got a guy named Dave Richie who played at the University of Washington and spent six or seven years in the NFL so this guy knows what he's doing. Alex is just being a sponge and taking it all in."
Balducci is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound prospect who excelled at the Eugene NIKE Camp this past spring and has already picked up verbal offers from Oregon and Washington.
He recently tore the PCL in his knee and has been sidelined for about two weeks but is expected to return by the end of the season. Central Catholic's best player is four-star defensive end Brennan Scarlett, who's also out hurt.
Prior to his injury, Pyne said he was impressed with how hard Balducci had been working. It's kind of the calling card for the junior standout.
"He's a workaholic," Pyne said. "He'll just go and go and go and want more and then take a rest and then go and go and go. He has a thirst for the game and really wants to be as good as he can be."
College programs have taken notice. He has the two Pac-10 verbal offers and Pyne said LSU sends Balducci mail "every day."
Michigan, Boise State, Miami, Alabama and Oregon State are also involved. Balducci took an unofficial visit to Stanford this past spring and might visit UCLA and USC for camps next summer.