Linebackers tend to come in two flavors.
The first is the one you notice immediately. He’s the player flying around the field with his hair on fire, barking at opponents and teammates alike. He’s the center of attention.
The second is more subdued. His contributions tend to show up in results far more than displays and boasts. Either type can be effective. Think Ray Lewis versus former Miami Dolphin Zach Thomas. Both were tremendous linebackers but went about their business in very different ways.
Elkhorn South’s Bo Wieseler happens to be the second type. A man of few words, as described by his head coach Guy Rosenberg, Wieseler is concerned mostly with results.
“There are plenty of people in the world who can talk about it,” Rosenberg said. “There are a limited number of people who can go out there and do it. He’s one of those guys who can go out there and perform.”
Chasing those results prompted a position switch for the young Wieseler. Entering his sophomore season, he’d mostly been a running back, an angry runner with a penchant for punishing tacklers. Rosenberg and staff took that physicality and turned Wieseler loose on the defensive side of the ball.
“I learned to like it a little more,” Wieseler says of his switch to linebacker. “It’s actually pretty fun. I like to hit people.”
His impact was nearly immediate. As a sophomore, Wieseler saw plenty of playing time at middle linebacker and on special teams. Two years later, he’s an experienced leader on a talented defense that should be one of Class A’s best.
But Wieseler isn’t all physical talent. There’s a mental toughness and confidence about his play. Rosenberg recounts a story from the 2018 offseason about Wieseler that exemplifies his mentality.
Moses Bryant, Elkhorn South’s all-everything running back, had just graduated. He’d left in his wake a number of accomplishments, including a career record 105 touchdowns scored and his name on four All-State teams. His number seven jersey carried weight.
“As coaches, during that offseason, we were wondering who was going to pick number seven,” Rosenberg said. “Well, Bo took number seven.”
The weight of history bore no burden for Wieseler. There was no fear of expectation. As life so often does, it comes full circle in Wieseler’s final season. The player wearing number seven for Elkhorn South will again carry the football. The short yardage formation in Elkhorn South’s offense is called “Rhino.” It’s almost too on-the-nose, given the way Wieseler plays the game. He plays the tailback position in the formation, his physicality on full display as he hammers the ball between the tackles.
“It’s been fun getting back to running the ball like I used to do,” Wieseler said.
Wieseler is known by his coach as very much a team-first guy. Rosenberg says Wieseler has never approached him about getting more carries. It was a nonchalant affirmative response when, in the run-up to the 2020 season, Rosenberg asked if he’d like to play in the Rhino package.
But his selflessness isn’t a lack of motivation. Wieseler still has personal goals. At the top of the list is playing college football. He’s getting some attention from area colleges, too.
“A couple of schools are around,” Wieseler said. “Augustana, Southern Missouri State, Wayne State.”
Wieseler says he’s holding out for a better offer. He wasn’t able to make it to camps as planned over the summer, so he’s banking on a good senior season to turn the eyes of recruiters his way. He feels one offer from a bigger school could get the ball rolling in his favor.
Wieseler’s bet on himself is all too appropriate. He’s done it exactly the same through a position change, taking the jersey number of a legend, and now in his quest to play high-level college football
The confidence and determination are things Rosenberg loves about his senior leader. “I would never bet against Bo Wieseler.”
Catch Elkhorn South’s Bo Wieseler Friday night as they take on Millard North at 7:00 pm CT. Free on YurView Omaha (Cox Ch. 13) or the Cox Contour App.