Name: James Euscher
Hometown: Beaverton OR
Position: Offensive lineman
High School: Aloha High School
2010 statistics: Aloha 2010 OSAA 6A Football State Championship. Euscher was an All-State tackle for an offense that rushed for 4,452 yards (318.0 per game) and 52 touchdowns. On defense, he had 40 tackles and 6 sacks.
James Euscher is another bright and directed guy in a recruiting class full of them. During daily doubles last year at Aloha High School, he told oregonlive.com, “We need to win state this year, just come together. That’s my main goal.” And that’s exactly what the Warriors proceeded to do, 13-1, 5-0 in league, avenging their only loss of the season in the state title game, beating Tualatin 34-13. Euscher (pronounced Usher, like the singer) started both ways, a team leader with an imposing presence on both lines.
Aloha offensive line coach Bill Volk told Jerry Ulmer of oregonlive, “Besides his physicality, and his unbelievable athleticism for a big guy, his leadership and demeanor probably mean way more than what he does on the field. He’s the foundation, the chemistry builder, the guy everybody turns to for leadership in that crunch moment. He has such an aura about him.”
Aloha head coach Chris Casey predicted great things for Euscher as a college player. “He’s got real long levers,” Casey said. “I think he’s just going to take off like wildfire in college. He’s just got a lot of maturation physically to go. He’s going to fill out even more. He’s improved his strength a lot, but he’s not even close to what he’s going to do when he gets to college.”
Euscher took his leadership role seriously. During the championship drive he told Dirk Knudsen of oregonpreps, “We just need to stay together as a team, make smart choices on and off the field.” Steve Greatwood has made a living tutoring and refining lineman who think that way.
Euscher has the tremendous attitude and great raw material, but he’s a project as an offensive lineman. That’s not a knock, just a reflection that he’s still learning, still maturing in a big, growing body. He was a three-sport athlete as a prep, football, basketball and track, and he’s biggest challenge preparing to face elite defensive linemen at the college level is to improve his strength, quickness and pad level. Like many tall guys he has a tendency to get upright, stand up and push rather than fire out and deliver a blow. He’s teachable, though, and committed to improving. As Casey suggested, he’s likely to get much bigger and stronger in the Oregon strength and conditioning program. Above all he’s a motivated, highly-coachable athlete, and with a redshirt year he could become a very solid part of what will be an awe-inspiring athletic, physical offensive line of the future along with Johnstone, Fischer, Yruretagoyena, Jamal Prater, Carson York, Hronius Grasu, Karrington Armstrong and Hamani Stevens.
The best video available on Euscher are the highlights from the 2010 State Championship victory over Tualatin. Here are some notes to accompany the video, which appears below
good seal block at :48 seconds another at :55 with Thomas Tyner running inside him, Euscher drives and uses his arms well. At 1:02 at the goal line he gets a push and Tyner dives in behind him for the score. at 2:20 walls up his man on a long pass play, 2:25 pulls from the guard position on a sweep seals the hole, hits two people, 3:34 solid pass protection as his quarterback has all the time he needs to find a receiver over the middle for a 43-yard touchdown pass. 5:30 he’s the pulling guard as Tyner goes off his hip for 10-yard gain.