Josh Klecko is the All-Shore Defensive Player of the Year

Josh Klecko is the All-Shore Defensive Player of the Year


Josh Klecko is the All-Shore Defensive Player of the Year


One would think Josh Klecko would feel pressure because of his last name.

Klecko, a senior defensive tackle at Red Bank Catholic High School, is the son of former Jets standout defensive lineman Joe Klecko and the younger brother of former NFL player Dan Klecko.

“A lot of people think it puts pressure on my shoulders, but it really doesn’t because I’m trying to do my own thing,” Klecko said. “Sure, it’s awesome to have a dad that was All-Pro at three different positions. He helps me with everything. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. I’m just trying to do my own thing.”

Where Klecko is because of his own abilities and his father’s help is an excellent place. He has been a three-year starter for a team that has gone 28-5 the last three seasons.

Where Klecko will be next season is Rutgers University. He made a non-binding oral committment to Rutgers last June.

Klecko said his father analyzes film with him. He said the sessions are informative and interesting.

“He (his father) gets into it, does a little bit of yelling, a lot bit of yelling,” Klecko said. “It’s a lot of fun, though. It’s all technique. He’s usually yelling at me about doing something wrong — not using my hands. — the perfect way I should be using them. I know it’s all constructive criticism. I love him.”

Joe Klecko is better known these days as one of the analysts on the Jets Post-Game Show on SNY with host Brian Custer, former Jets quarterback Ray Lucas and Adam Schein. That quartet has become a must-watch because of the way they get emotionally involved in their analysis.

“It’s hillarious,” Josh Klecko said. “I would never expect to see him on TV.”

Joe Klecko was part of a fierce Jets defensive line called “The Sack Exchange” with Mark Gastineau, current Jets radio analyst Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam.

Josh Klecko has been part of an standout defensive tackle combination at Red Bank Catholic the last three seasons. In 2010 and 2011, Klecko’s partner inside was Joe Coscarelli, the 2011 Asbury Park Press Defensive Player of the Year.

This past season, Klecko teamed up with 6-foot-5, 295-pound Quenton Nelson, who has more than 15 NCAA Division I scholarship offers.

“I’ve played with a lot of good players who have helped me,” Klecko said.

Running inside against Red Bank Catholic has been virtually impossible the last three seasons.

“I have to feel that way because I’m usually getting doubled (doubled teamed) or tripled (tripled team) every play, and usually they’re running outside on every play,” Klecko said. “It’s frustrating not getting the big stats, but I think people noticed I did my job.”

Klecko, even though he said he missed three games because of sprained medial collateral ligament in one of his knees, recorded solid stats. He had 48 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 16 quarterback pressures. He also had an interception return for a TD.

Klecko said the Rutgers’ coaching staff projects him as a nose tackle. In 2014, Rutgers will move from the Big East Conference to the rugged Big Ten.

“Hopefully, I’ll put on a little more weight and help them win a championship,” said Klecko, who said he needs to put another 10-15 pounds and currently weighs 265.

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