Laken Tomlinson has helped pave the way for the Lane Tech's 10-2 record heading into the championship game of the Chicago Public League playoffs against Hubbard on Saturday.
"We're a very balanced team," Laken states. "We can run and throw the ball. Our running game is very good and every time we seem to pick up huge yardage."
The 6'-5", 285 pound lineman has cleared the way for that running game, but his talents are not limited to the offensive side of the ball.
"I play both ways. I have numerous pancakes. I think my blocking is the best aspect of my game right now. Defensively, I feel like I can always step up my game and get the key tackle or sack when needed."
Laken sees the need for improvement, however, and he has a couple of things already in mind he wants to work on in the offseason.
"I want to work on my balance. I'm not fat, but I have a big upper body so I want to work on becoming more centered in my stance. I also want to become more conditioned."
Laken has garnered attention from local media, including the Chicago Sun-Times who named him to the All-City team, as well as many top colleges.
"Colleges looking at me are Illinois, Northwestern, Duke, ND, UCLA, CMU, and several others. I don't have any official scholarship offers yet, nor do I have any favorites. In the offseason, I'll take some unofficial visits, but I don't have any planned right now."
Although he plays both ways in high school, Laken's future lies on offense.
"I'll be on the offensive side of the ball in college. I'm doing pretty well at guard in high school, but I'll play either tackle or guard in college, whichever they need me to play."
Laken is already familiar with the University Of Illinois and its campus and has been impressed on his visits.
"I've been there a few times because I do track and field in the spring, and several of our track meets have been held at Illinois. My events are shot put and discus. I really like it. I've always been a fan of Illinois. I'm very interested in Illinois. Coach Mitchell is my recruiting coach and we talk a lot. I really like it academically as well."
Laken has a 3.5 GPA and has yet to take the ACT.