The countdown is really flying (or really dragging, depending on whether you're writing them or reading them) and I can almost see the Jawja Dome on the horizon. It is officially not too early to shop for tailgate bratwursts.
We've got 78 days until kickoff ... so today we'll be taking a look at number 78 on the Bronco roster—Charles Leno
#78, Charles Leno, Sophomore, OT
Weight: 278 lbs
High School: San Leandro High School, Oakland, CA
How'd he get to The Blue?
As a three-year letter-winner in basketball at San Leandro, Charles Leno might not be the guy you'd expect to draw comparisons to All-Pro offensive tackle Ryan Clady, but that's exactly what many are saying about the big, athletic lineman. Of course, Leno played a little football at the Oakland-area high school as well—gaining first-team all-conference honors as an offensive tackle and second-team all-conference honors as a defensive end his senior year. But rather than bore you with further accolades from his prep career, take a look at what ESPN said about Leno shortly before he committed to play for the Broncos in the class of 2009:
Leno is on prime time when he's on the field. He has very good size and is extremely athletic. Runs more like a tight end than a tackle; gives great effort when leading downfield on the screen pass or getting crossfield to pick up a defender.
Leno was also offered a scholarship by Idaho, Utah, UNLV, San José State, and San Diego State.
"Late Show" [leyt shoh]
This one was really lazy...but come on, the kid's last name is Leno—what am I, a wizard?
Selected Bay Area "Cream of the Crop" while at San Leandro. Named first-team All-Metro. Made two game appearances in 2010 and even made the tight end depth chart due to injury.
Scholarship offers from San José State and Idaho mean that at some point, Robb Akey and Dick Tomey may have sat on his couch. Thank God for Febreze®.
I have a gut feeling that this is Leno's year. I'm ready to call the "Nate Potter to OG" experiment over and done with, so he's is going to be the starting left tackle on September 3rd. The right tackle slot, at this point, should be Leno's for the taking. Leno is probably the most highly-touted tackle the Broncos have signed in the past few years and I don't think the comparisons to Ryan Clady are too far off. He doesn't have quite the stature and girth that Clady possessed, but does have another coveted Clady trait—footwork and athleticism. If you have a tackle that can stick with a speedy edge rusher or get out ahead of a flysweep and block down field, it is an amazing advantage to have. Plus, the Broncos will have the benefit of lining Leno up on the opposite end of a line that will include a possible first day draftee—Nate Potter. Kellen Moore should feel very safe. I'll call it: Leno will be the starting right tackle in the Georgia Dome and the rest of the line will shake out thusly: RG–Brenel Myers, C–Thomas Byrd Esq., LG–Joe Kellogg, LT–Nate Potter. I'm wary of the the right guard pick, but I can always come back and edit this on September 4th to make it look like I picked correctly.
Completely made up fact
Leno has been cast to play a young Biz Markie in the upcoming biopic You Got What I Need: The Biz Markie Story.