Brandon Linder is a versatile offensive line prospect from the talented team of St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale. Linder, 6-6 and 290 pounds, was slotted to play offensive tackle this season. But an off-season surgery on his foot has derailed his playing time so far in fall camp.
"I am hoping to start practice again next Tuesday," Linder said. "If I do play in our first game I will play center not tackle. It will be less moving around for me. We'll see what happens."
Linder originally had surgery on his foot back in January. Then in March, he had a follow up surgery to fix a bone in the same foot.
"They put a pin through it. I was on crutches and then started rehab. It's just taking longer than we all expected. I am now wearing a special shoe."
St. Thomas Aquinas is the top high school football team in the country and the defending state champions in Florida. They travel to the Buckeye State to open up their season next Friday against Upper Arlington. Linder wants to get back on the field and playing with his teammates as quickly as possible.
"It's been really difficult and at times depressing. Sometimes I feel like I am not a part of the team. But I rehab at school and then go out there. I get in huddle and try to listen in and help out as much as I can."
Despite injured foot the college football programs have not backed off. Linder has it narrowed down to four schools; Miami, Florida, Ohio State and Notre Dame. He has been to all the schools on unofficial visits but Ohio State. That will change next weekend because St. Thomas Aquinas takes on Upper Arlington in Columbus.
"We play in the Ohio State stadium so I will get a tour of the place. I am excited to finally get up there.
"I know I will take an official visit to each one of these schools. I am not sure when. I will talk to my dad about it. I just don't want anything to interfere with the season."