"Diamond In The Rough"

That's exactly how MARCUS PEDRO's position coach Brian Crooks described the 6-1, 255 pound defensive end out of Fullerton College. A mid-year transfer who is expected to join the team for Spring Drills, he has a nice combination of size, strength and speed that may make it possible for him to make an immediate impact on a growing Vandal defensive line depth chart.

PROFILE: Marcus Pedro

There is no mistaking that one of Idaho's primary needs going into this recruiting season is at defensive line. The Vandals have been rebuilding this unit for years, and although depth has dramatically improved since 2003, it's becoming more and more obvious as Idaho continues to adapt to play in the Western Athletic Conference that you can never have enough strength up front.

"The Idaho Vandals are getting a diamond in the rough in Marcus," Fullerton defensive line coach Brian Crooks told Scout.com. "He is strong, fast, and physical."

He also apparently flew under the radar screen, although he was reportedly getting interest from a number of colleges, including Oregon State, UTEP, San Jose State and Idaho State.

His numbers shouldn't disappoint either. In the weightroom his max bench was 425 (one rep), 25 reps of 225, and a max squat at 500 pounds. He also reportedly clocked a hand-held 4.79 second 40.

On the field he finished second on the team with seven sacks and 35 tackles, with 11 tackles for loss and a couple pass breakups. At Idaho is he is expected to project at defensive end, but he has the strength to move inside if needed and the speed/agility to line up at outside linebacker if needed as well. Versatility was his staple at Fullerton, and he should have what it takes to make an immediate impact at Idaho.

Marcus visited the Idaho campus in early December, and although he has friends on the team like junior-to-be defensive tackle Alex Toailoa and grayshirt freshman linebacker Jonathan Faraimo, Marcus was impressed with the campus. "I like the campus, and I liked the facilities. They have a lot of new stuff."

For those new to the site, here's a quick refresher course:

NEW Strength & Speed Center

NEW football lockerroom

NEW SprinTurf practice fields

NEW Aquatic Therapy Room

Recruited to Idaho by Johnny Nansen, a standout at Washington State who will be going into his fourth consecutive season as a defensive assistant at Idaho, Marcus told Scout.com that he will have 2 years to play 2 and that he expects to play defensive end for the Vandals. Although he was recruited before new Vandal boss Robb Akey was named head coach, he remained committed to playing for Idaho and is reportedly on campus now.

Asked if he was excited about playing in the WAC, he gave an emphatic "Oh yeah...that and the schedule next year. We play USC...have some friends that play for them."

With the graduation of part-time starting defensive end Charles Campbell, and the emergence of a young defensive line depth chart at Idaho, Marcus should fit right in this spring.

Described by Fullerton head coach Gene Murphy as a "zone-blitz kind of guy", the head coach went on to simply describe Marcus as "a great athlete."

With a veteran defensive unit at Idaho expected for 2007, and the installation of a new defensive philosophy with the recent coaching change, we will be tracking Marcus's progress closely throughout spring drills.

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