Toughness and intensity are two of the most important traits a football player can develop during his career, but without intelligence, those two persistent skills mean little.

Good news: Xavier Kolb has all three.

Kolb, a junior middle linebacker for the Lincoln High School Patriots, finds his success on the football field with his physical and intense play. But because of the effort he puts into his craft both on and off the field, his cerebral play at the middle linebacker position pushes him beyond the level of your average high school athlete.

Kolb also exhibits plenty of passion and drive for the game of football, setting lofty goals for himself to incessantly pursue.

"I'd like to reach 100 tackles in a season," Kolb said. "I'd like to get a [NCAA] Division I scholarship."

Kolb's work ethic and love for football developed as a young child.

"It's been a passion since before I can remember," Kolb said. "I just remember growing up every Sunday, I'd watch football all day with my dad, and I couldn't wait to start playing."

Kolb credits his parents as being major contributors to his skill development and improvement as a football player.

"They're always helping me out and critiquing me," Kolb said. "They'll point out the good, but they'll definitely point out the bad, and we'll work on how to fix that."

The physical nature of the game certainly doesn't scare Kolb away.

"I enjoy hitting people," Kolb said. "It's just a lot of fun and a lot of teamwork."

Sounds like a linebacker if I've ever heard one.

After his playing career and graduation from Lincoln, Kolb hopes to attend one of a number of colleges and play football. Beyond football, he'd like to become either a mechanical engineer or an architect.

From creating plays on the field to creating machines or buildings in the future, Kolb's relentless drive will never cease.

Congrats to Xavier Kolb, this week's Athlete of the Week.

Lincoln MLB Xavier Kolb (Used with permission)