When Tche Leroux was looking for someone to sign their name and pledge support for him to earn captain status on the Norwalk football team, he got an answer in the form of University of Toledo offensive line coach Mike Hallett.
"That was a big deal for me and my family," Leroux said.
Leroux, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior defensive end for the Truckers, gave his verbal commitment to UT on Aug. 29 — getting the decision out of the way a couple days before the second game of his senior season. Toledo made the offer on June 25.
"Toledo is a great school," Leroux said. "The coaches always greet me at the door, and there is a 'nothing we can't do attitude' about them — and they've just always been there for me."
Leroux said there were daily conversations with his family about whether or not he should commit now, or continue to let the recruiting process play out during his senior season.
"We were talking day after day, conversations about whether I should or shouldn't commit right now," he said. "We went back and forth, and it just seems like the right place for me.
"Toledo is an elite program and were MAC champs last year," Leroux added. "It's just a really good football program that's also close to home."
The Rockets have finished with a winning season in each of the last eight seasons, and have reached a bowl game in seven of the last eight seasons. UT went 11-3 last season, winning the Mid-American Conference championship before falling to Appalachian State in the Dollar General Bowl.
Current Toledo senior receiver Cody Thompson is from nearby Huron.
Meanwhile, Leroux will make the Division I commitment official in February — and it's quite possible he won't be the only Div. I recruit in his own house. Younger brother Trey, a 6-foot-8, 315-pound junior offensive tackle, took a visit to Ohio State on Sept. 1 — and was with Tche on the sidelines for Toledo's home loss vs. Miami (Fla.) last week at the Glass Bowl.
A visit to Purdue is next for Trey, with more to come.
"It's crazy to say I'm a Division I commit, but there's nothing like it," Tche Leroux said. "Not many get the opportunity to play Division I, and to think we have two prospects under the same roof is pretty special."
Tche Leroux has 33 tackles and five sacks through the first four games for Norwalk, which hosts Shelby Friday night. The Truckers are off to a 3-1 start under first-year coach Todd Fox.
"Every week we continue to grow," Leroux said. "As a team, just the way we play, you can see it. The first two weeks we couldn't put together a third quarter, now we got a shutout (35-0 win vs. Edison).
"Coach Fox is always there for us, every day," he added. "He's talking to coaches, and every day in my ear saying '4.5' over and over as a reminder of my 40 time. He's 100 percent in, and there's not much more you could ask for out of a coach."