INDIANAPOLIS — Levi Leffers was a rare talent to walk the halls at Central Noble.
The six-foot, 230-pound defensive tackle was an absolute menace on the football field for the Cougars, and he’ll get the chance to show off his skills one more time at the 2019 Indiana Football Coaches Association North-South All-Star Classic at North Central High School in Indianapolis on Friday night.
For as loud as he can make is presence be heard on the football field, off it he’s pretty quiet and reserved. But don’t let his demeanor off the field fool you, he’s been known to be a bit of a prankster in the Central Noble locker room.
We’ll get back to that later.
What makes Leffers such a rare talent is his combination of strength and quickness. Even in Class 2A, he might not have been the biggest player on the field every Friday night. But his ability to rack up 109 tackles from the defensive tackle position was very impressive.
“Sometimes people are strong, sometimes people are quick, but that combination of having both of those really is what set him a part from many others,” Central Noble football coach Trevor Tipton said.
Tipton said it last fall and doubled down this past week by saying, “I really believe he was the best defensive lineman in the conference and probably in northeast Indiana.”
When Tipton returned to the sidelines for the Cougars as an assistant for head coach Greg Moe for the 2017 season, he knew right away just how dominant Leffers could be. Then, when Tipton took over as the head coach in 2018, he was even more thrilled about having the chance to coach Leffers for one more season.
“I saw day one just how good he was,” Tipton said. “I was extremely tickled for him to hang around another year when I took over as the head coach. I just knew we could do special things with him.”
Leffers was also a pulling guard on the offensive line and Tipton said he’s athletic enough that he could have played other positions like fullback or linebacker.
“He’s a rare combination. He really is nice to have, especially at a school like Central Noble,” Tipton said.
In a world where every college recruit boasts about every new offer that rolls in on their Twitter and Instagram pages, Leffers decided to keep his decision of playing football at the University of Saint Francis relatively quiet. A quick Google search and his name popped up on the Cougars’ roster for the 2019 season.
“He’s not really what you would call outspoken or outgoing,” Tipton said. “He’s always been sort of quiet and a really strong family person.”
Leffers said he had opportunities to wrestle at the collegiate level, but he has been following the Saint Francis football program for the last few years and wanted to be a part of the special run they are on.
“Hopefully just more experience and meet some more guys,” Leffers said on what he plans to get out of this week in Indianapolis. He said there are seven future teammates who will participate in the festivities this week at North Central.
Leffers is on social media sites, including Instagram and Snapchat, but he said he doesn’t post on there very often. He likes to let his play on the field show people what he’s about. He describes himself as hard-working player with blue-collar mentality and will do whatever it takes to be one of the most ferocious players on either side of the line of scrimmage.
Behind that quiet mask is a bit of a prankster, according to Tipton. And when the following story was mentioned to Leffers, he knew exactly what was coming and said, “Oh man.”
Before the final practice of Week 1 against West Noble last year, one of Leffers’ teammates poured shampoo in Leffers’ helmet and pads. It is believed to be retaliation for some other practical joke Leffers pulled.
As practice wore on, the shampoo started to run down his helmet onto his face and to try and get rid of it, Leffers went over to the drinking fountain to wash the soap away. Instead, what happened was what anyone would expect when shampoo comes in contact with water and a large amount of bubbles started to form all over Leffers and the area around him.
“It looked like a big, overloaded washing machine with bubbles everywhere,” Tipton said with a hardy laugh. “Everything was slippery and slimy.”
Leffers thought Tipton was going to be upset with the mess he just created, but Tipton couldn’t help but enjoy the scene that looked liked a “Three Stooges” skit playing out in front of him.
“He’s always the one to say, ‘Coach, it wasn’t me.’ But behind the scenes it really was,” Tipton said. “Just a fun-loving guy. He really was. There’s not a mean bone in his body.”
Leffers has been the main focus for opposing coaches for a few years and will continue to be at Saint Francis. He plays a position that is in the center of every play but isn’t always the center of attention. And if you would ask him, he wouldn’t mind not being the center of attention. He would probably prefer it that way.