Last week Scout.com caught up with tackling machine Paul Senescall, a 3-year starter at middle linebacker (303 career tackles) who earned the Greater Spokane League's MVP honor and was also named a First Team All-State selection out of Mead High School (Spokane, WA). Below is his interview.
Scout.com: I'm trying to confirm your commitment to the University of Idaho. Did you commit?
Paul: Oh yeah, I did, last summer.
Scout.com: What was the driving force behind that commitment?
Paul: I have a good relationship with the coaches. It just felt right, you know. I met them 2 years prior, before my commitment, and you know I just like them a lot. It came to an offer and it just felt like home there.
Scout.com: How did you meet the Idaho staff? Was it through camp?
Paul: Yeah, like my sophomore year. Before my sophomore year I went to a boys camp… It was a bunch of little kids. I thought it was supposed to be a camp for me, but when I got there, it was a bunch of little kids. That is where I met them, and then I went to two of their day camps. So that's how I met them. Then I talked to them over e-mail and sent them some film and got my offer later on.
Scout.com: How did the camps go for you? Did you win any awards?
Paul: Oh no. It was just a day camp, as was the second camp… It was just a day where they work with you for a day. They evaluate you.
Scout.com: Have you taken any other visits to Idaho?
Paul: Yeah, actually I've been down a couple of times. About two weekends ago I went down for an unofficial. I went down there because one of my buddies lives down there so I hung out there for the weekend, and got to say ‘hi" to the coaches and stuff and check out the campus again. I've been down there a few times. I went down there this year for a couple of their games. My official is the second week of January.
Paul: Yeah. I still have letters coming in and stuff. My coaches tell me Cal and Louisville are still calling and stuff but I'm really not too interested anymore. I really wouldn't have committed if I wasn't 100% sure, and I'm still 100% sure. Cal, I guess, is still telling my coach they're interested, and I still get mail regularly from Louisville and from some other schools like Wyoming. I really haven't received mail from schools around here.
Scout.com: So have you met a lot of the football players or has it been mostly coaches that have shown you around the University of Idaho?
Paul: You know, I met a lot of football players when I went down there last weekend. I ran into them during the day while they were walking recruits around. They were just really nice guys. That was the first time I was able to meet them because every time I was down there before, it was bad timing. I didn't really want to talk to them during games. It was either before games or after games and it wasn't really good timing. So it was the first time I was able to really talk to them and they were happy I was coming in.
Scout.com: So are you done taking trips or do you have some others planned?
Paul: I didn't really think about it. I didn't consider it. It's not a real big deal.
Scout.com: What about playing time? Do you think you are going to come in there and play immediately?
Paul: Yeah, I do. They say I have a real good chance of starting next year because they're losing their middle linebacker, and that's where they're gonna play me. They say I have the potential to start next year. It all depends on how fast I learn the defense and if I can adjust to the speed. But you know, they said I have a real good chance to start next year. That would be big!
Scout.com: So, no red shirting or grey shirting for you?
Paul: Nope, I'm ready to be thrown into the fire right away I guess.
Scout.com: Was that part of your decision making?
Paul: Yeah, that was a big factor. Like, I looked at the other schools looking at me... and looked at their roster and stuff... there are no [other] defensive positions that I'm gonna play… There aren't a lot of [other] positions I can play. I can either play at fullback or linebacker. I don't think there are too many positions I can play… At Idaho, with the smaller schools, it's not real small but it's a little bit smaller than the bigger universities, and I'd get a better chance of playing, and that was a big factor. I didn't want to go to a bigger school and sit on the bench for four years and not have anything to say about it.
Scout.com: At middle linebacker, what are you biggest strengths, and what do you consider things you need to work on?
Paul: I think my strengths right now are my guard reads. I hit the hole real hard. That and my tackling. But, what I need to work on is my coverage and my pass drops.
Scout.com: How many tackles did you have your senior year?
Paul: This year, I had 106 but I missed three and half games. I have the stats right here, for my whole career.
Scout.com: What was your career total?
Paul: I finished with 303 total tackles, 181 solo, 33 for loss, 12 sacks, 2 INT's, 5 fumbles caused, 6 fumble recoveries.
Scout.com: No touchdowns?
Paul: No, I didn't get one. I was close once. I'd be the guy who makes the block. On offense I scored some.
Scout.com: What awards have you won this year?
Paul: I got MVP of the league for Defense, Defensive Player of the Year, all State Linebacker, just a couple of things like that. I got All State Tacoma News Tribune and All State Seattle Times, and I don't know right now, but I'm almost positive, Mike Warcol hasn't come out yet, but I think I'll get Washington Prep All State.