Gridiron Football Top 300: Joe Strickland

Joe Strickland is a Defensive End in the Class of 2022 for Brebeuf Jesuit Prep High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Standing in at 6’4” and 250 lbs., Strickland is an absolute nightmare for opposing offensive lines and backfields. Strickland combines his rare build with incredible strength and quickness off the snap to get himself into the backfield nearly as often as the opposing QB. His ability to finesse his way around a blocker should not be overlooked though as he is just as skilled as he is strong. With an incredible work ethic and an insane amount of raw talent, Joe Strickland is a player everyone should know as he enters into his senior year.

Check out Joe’s highlights

When did you start playing football and why? I started playing football around 5 years old, it was pretty much something I don’t remember much of, but I know I started as early as I could. I never played flag football and didn’t hear of flag football until I was years into regular football. I played basketball, baseball, and soccer as well, so I thought football was the best due to it being the most physical. 

Favorite moment of your career so far? Coming into high school, starting all year freshman year would definitely be one of if not the most memorable moment of my football career. 

What current or past player do you think you play like the most? I have been compared to like a Lawrence Taylor, I would say I like him the most, although I do not partake in some of the external things from football he did, I like him the most. 

Do you play any sports outside of football, and what do you think you adds to your game? I have played basketball up until this year, to focus on training and being healthy from the season past. I have played baseball as well, and soccer when I was 4. I would say that they are somehow relate to my game in some way, from jumping to running to cutting, they all correlate in some way. 

Do you have any pregame rituals? This is somewhat dumb but after I get tapped and everything, I do not put on my pads until 5 minutes before we walk out to warmups, not really a ritual but something I do before most if not every game. Other than that, I write the same stuff on my tape and stay away from everybody before the game. 

Going into your senior season, what are you looking forward to? Just leading the underclassman really, that is about it honestly. I have my opportunities at the next level, so I just look forward to reaching a higher level in leadership in the school. 

Do you have a quote or anything that pushes you daily? “If it was easy everybody would do it” “days are long, but weeks are short” 

What do you think a college would get out of you as a player? Smart player doesn’t have to worry about me going to class and getting good grades. I tough player due to the work ethic I show in the wight room and in the classroom. Also, a reliable player, due to the leadership and how I play under pressure. 

What motivates you to get up and train every day? Myself, I am trying to get paid for doing this one day and I grind every day to do so. My mom as well, hopefully I can get her retired early. 

What do you think makes you a good teammate? Pushing people in the weight room, because that is where everybody is made and that is where everybody will grind surrounding you, so it helps to mainly lead by example when in the weight room. 

Who has pushed you most in your football journey? My parents, and just the drive to want to be great at what I do in the longer run. 

What do you think sets you apart from other athletes? I mean I work out twice a day like everybody, but most of these “ranked” kids do not got the schoolwork I have and get it done, get good grades, and some of the colleges I have offers from I could get into the school without football. I think that alone sets me apart due to not many being able to do that alone.  

What do you think the best part of your game is? My get off and my hands, due to my training I think I am well at this, although still working on it every day. 

Would you consider yourself a speed, power, or finesse rusher? All, if you look at my film, I can do all and have done all, more finesse and power at the end of the day. 

What’s your go-to move to get past the Oline? Jab in with foot and swipe outside, beating them off the ball. 

Which technique do you prefer to line up in? 5 or 6 

Which defensive scheme would utilize your skills best? 4-3 because I could play inside or outside 

What are you thinking pre-snap? Running back position, o lineman’s knee, and where everybody’s eyes are. 

Would you consider yourself a hard hitter or more conservative? Depends on who I am hitting, so both, qb I’m hitting hard, running back in open field I make sure I am under control. 

What’s your favorite part of playing defensive end? It’s the best position on the field and most athletic, we jump 37-inch verts, run 4.5-4.7 40s and move a lot of weight, and we are 265+ pounds.