Elkhorn South’s Nick McEwin is a yes sir, no sir kind of guy.
A captain, a 4.0 student and a National Honor Society member who says homework comes before TV and other activities.
Turn him loose on the football field, though, and the senior middle linebacker turns nasty.
“He’s no-nonsense, physical and wins the physical confrontation,’’ Storm coach Guy Rosenberg said. “When he tackles somebody, they get knocked back the other way.’’
McEwin, the team’s defensive MVP last year, is the type of tackler you don’t always see anymore, Rosenberg said. He’s the downhill, knock-back type instead of today’s more common drag-down version.
McEwin, 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, said he models his play after former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers. Extremely physical, they are known for their ability to stop the run and cover passes.
McEwin has gained explosive strength after picking up power lifting with some buddies a few years ago. He’s won a state championship at 220 pounds.
“I like to bring my own type of intensity to the game and hit people as hard as I can when I’m out there,” McEwin said.
That will come in handy in Elkhorn South’s first-round playoff game at Beatrice (6-3) at 7 p.m. Friday. For the second year in the row, the teams will have met in the regular season and their postseason openers.
Beatrice won both games last year, but the Storm shut out the Orangemen 17-0 this season.
This year’s victory was payback for the playoff loss, McEwin said, and part of a 5-0 start for the Storm (6-3).
“We brought the fight to them,’’ McEwin said. “We stopped the run really well.’’
McEwin has 61 solo tackles and 62 assisted tackles. He alternates at fullback with Zach Zelasko and has 15 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 41 yards. He’s also on the punt protection team.
Defense is his favorite, and where he’ll play in college. Among those interested are Ohio, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Tulsa and several Ivy League schools.
McEwin said he probably won’t decide until closer to signing day in February.
Wherever he goes, they’ll get a keeper, Rosenberg said.
“He’s just an outstanding player and person,’’ the coach said.