2 Minute Drill with Josh Bousman

Redshirt junior outside linebacker JOSH BOUSMAN is one of the projected starters on a Vandal linebacking corps expected to be among the deepest and most talented units on the 2006 Idaho football team. A leader both on and off the field, Josh took a few minutes to speak with VandalVenue.com about the upcoming season.

When Josh Bousman signed with the Vandals in the spring of 2003, it was immediately apparent that he had the speed to compete at the Division 1-A level. What wasn't clear was whether that would be on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. At Tacoma Baptist High School, a Class 1-A western Washington school, Josh excelled on both sides of the ball as a two-way starter at runningback and linebacker.

His speed (4.51 – 40, NIKE Camp) and size (6-2, 205 in high school) helped him to be named an AP All State selection as a senior at runningback, while earning 1st Team All League honors at runningback and linebacker. He was named the Chinook League MVP, and was named to the News Tribune All-Area Team.

He also was the Class 1A 100-meter sprint Champion three consecutive years.

He had the wheels, but could he develop into a linebacker at Idaho?

Obviously the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

Josh started 10 of 11 games in 2005 and is the starting SAM linebacker heading into the 2006 season.
He redshirted the 2003 season, then as a redshirt freshman in 2004 played in all 12 games and finished the year as the eighth leading tackler with 32 tackles, and made a name for himself as a special teams demon. Last fall he became the Vandals starting outside linebacker (SAM) with 10 starts in 11 games played. He finished with 75 tackles (55 solo) including 5 quarterback sacks. His best outing came in the WAC season opener against Hawaii where he registered 13 tackles in the game.

This spring and fall, in a depth chart that has grown significantly both in the speed and size of the athletes competing for playing time, Josh remains poised to be the team's starter heading into the season opener at Michigan State in two weeks.

Larry Johnson caught up with Josh to talk with him briefly about the upcoming season and his expectations for his performance in 2006.

LJ: This is your second season in the Vandal linebacker rotation, and you had a very solid 2005 season with significant starting time and playing time. Describe your expectations for yourself, the linebacker unit, and the defense in general this fall.

JB: My personal expectation is I just want to play to the level that I know that I am capable of playing – go out there and reach my full potential. What that means for me is going out and leaving everything on the field, because sometimes, after a game you just look back and are like, "Man, I could have done this, or I could have done that." As a whole defense those are some of the things that we feel. This year our goal is just to go out there and leave nothing behind. Just go out there and play with everything we have, every play, and have no regrets afterwards.

Coach Nansen heads into his third season as Idaho's linebackers coach.
LJ: Describe coach Johnny Nansen and what it has meant to have him as the linebacker coach for three consecutive years now.

JB: You know, Johnny Nansen, he is the most intense person I know, and I think that that is essential for any good linebacking corps, because the linebackers are the guys that have got to pull the defense together. We're the quarterbacks on the defense, and so we need a coach that reflects that. Coach Nansen...he is one of the greatest persons that I know, and I owe so much to coach Nansen. It's been great just having him everyday, just to make us better men, because that's what he tries to do - come out, and he won't ever let us settle for anything. He's always on us out there. Everything just to make us better people.

LJ: What were some of the reasons you chose to play at Idaho?

JB: One of the biggest reasons was that I thought Idaho was a step to becoming the person that I wanted to become. You know, it's not just about football. I mean, football is a part of it, but in the big picture football is a small part of life. It's an opportunity to become a man, you know what I mean? It's an opportunity to challenge yourself in ways that most people don't. And most people don't realize how much of a challenge football really is. Everyday I look at it like that because 20 years from now I'm not going to be playing football, but I'll have a family, and the things that I've learned at the University of Idaho, all the tough times and all the two-a-days and getting through all the hard times and the first event, those are characteristics that I'll take with me for the rest of my life.

LJ: One last fun question: What's your favorite music band and why?

JB: Oh, my favorite. I listen to a lot of country and I'm always singing, always singing. I listen to pretty much everything. But I guess my favorite kind of music would have to probably be a little mix between Dashboard Confessional and maybe a little Keith Urban. A little country, you know?

LJ: All right. Well, thank you very much.

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