Derrick is also trying to become a vocal leader. Normally a quiet, reserved guy, Derrick said he's realized he has to step it up this season and has done so in the offseason.
The interest in Matt from Army has carried over to Derrick; the Black Knights offered Derrick in the winter.
Though many teams expressed interest in Derrick, he made it simple last week by naming his top three: Army, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.
"With Army, obviously, the big factor there is Matt," Derrick Luetjen said. "We've always talked about playing college ball together. The campus is absolutely beautiful.
"I've always been fond of Oklahoma State. They haven't offered yet, but it's so close to home and would be a great opportunity."
Derrick will get a chance to open even more eyes. At 6-3 and 265 pounds, he certainly stands out at left tackle and defensive end.
But he knows it's going to take more than just his performance to get the Eagles a gold ball. He's not worried about that, though, as Derrick said he believes the defense will be twice as good as last year.
And last year was pretty dang good, with Hennessey going 13-1. Derrick had 61 tackles and nine sacks last season.
"It's going to be a tougher district and every game is going to be tight, but it's going to make the season even more exciting," Derrick said.