Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Leppke the latest Emperor quarterback getting college interest

Dinuba High quarterback Isaac Leppke has witnessed his recruiting period pick up, with Ivy League and Mountain West schools asking more about him. Leppke also has Fresno State's Junior Day coming up on Saturday, March 21 (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna). 
The recruiting period has now ignited for Dinuba High 2016 quarterback Isaac Leppke, who’s come home to letters from different college football programs and has had his phone buzzing with coaches on the other line.

It sounds like what his predecessor experienced.

The 6'4" Leppke was backing up Marcus McMaryion when the current Oregon State Beaver quarterback was throwing the football at various camps/tournaments and worked out after school in front of visiting college coaches.

Leppke is starting to go down a similar path. Ivy League schools and UNLV are reaching out to the 4.0 student, as they try to learn more about the Emperors’ rising prospect. He has Fresno State’s Junior Day (Saturday, March 21) and workout sessions during the NCAA Spring Evaluation period in April also lined up.

Leppke finished his first season at the varsity level with an appearance in the 2014 Central Section Division II title game, which ended in a 16-14 defeat against Ridgeview of Bakersfield.

Despite completing the season with a loss in the championship game, Leppke said he never had any jitters when it came down to replacing a PAC-12 quarterback at DHS.

“I felt like I handled the job well. I didn’t have as much panic,” Leppke said. “I did have a lot of weight on my shoulders. But we finished the season good. I feel that I’m now more mature this year than last year.”

Leppke ended the 2014-15 season with 1,464 passing yards, a 59.2 completion percentage, 14 touchdown passes and five interceptions for the 11-2 Emps. Since then, he’s juggled between the track and elevating his name in front of college coaches.

Leppke, who runs the hurdles for DHS track and field, still adds time for the football field. He’s linked up with another place responsible for helping mold McMaryion: the Bod-E-Shop gym in Clovis.

“Art Correa (the gym owner) reached out to me. He asked me what my top five dream schools were and he was going to get me to one of them. That meant a lot to me. I’m working for him,” Leppke said.

The Bod-E-Shop’s club 7-on-7 team handed their quarterback spot to Leppke. The Bod-E-Shop made an appearance at Passing Down’s Nor Cal regional on March 15, with Leppke impressing the spectators with his array of bombs to the end zone against some of the top talent in Northern California.

Before Passing Down, Leppke and The Shop played in the Las Vegas Pylon tournament in February. The Vegas trip included a visit to the UNLV campus, where Leppke was introduced to the Rebel coaching staff.

Now, one UNLV coach has been in contact with him.

“Coach O’Dell (the quarterback coach of UNLV) has been talking to me a lot. He’s been messaging me every other day,” Leppke said.

But Ron O’Dell isn’t the only one hitting up Leppke.

“Coach Jon Poppe (Columbia University recruiting coordinator) reaches out to me every other day. He calls me to ask how my grades are how I’m doing in track,” Leppke said.

Fresno State sent a letter to Leppke inviting him to its junior day. Leppke said Bulldogs’ defensive line coach Pete Germano has been emailing him and adds “It would be nice to play closer to home.”

While Leppke is still seeking his first scholarship offer, he said he’s still trying to improve his quarterback skills.

“Just understanding defenses more. Plus reading different coverages and then making my reads,” Leppke said.

But he also believes that schools and people outside of Dinuba are overlooking him.

“Oh yeah, definitely. It’s because I’m a small town Dinuba boy. I’m much more than that,” Leppke said.

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