LB Paul Senescall: Mead's Field General

The second player to commit to Idaho (making his commitment public late last summer), future Vandal linebacker Paul Senescall had a dominant high school career, culminating by being named a First Team All-State selection (by AP, the Seattle Times, and the Tacoma News Tribune) and MVP of the Greater Spokane League. He's also won wrestling titles in districts and regionals in the 215 pound weight classification, and has had his eyes on the Vandal program for years.

Player BIO page: Paul Senescall

Last week 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. I'm trying to confirm your commitment to the University of Idaho. Did you commit?

Paul: Oh yeah, I did, last summer. 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. 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. 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. 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. What about other schools? Do you have other schools recruiting you?

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. 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. 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. 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! So, no red shirting or grey shirting for you?

Paul: Nope, I'm ready to be thrown into the fire right away I guess. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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