In-State LB/DE to Walkon at Idaho

WITH FALL CAMP STARTING THIS WEEK, players from around the west are preparing to report to the Idaho campus. One player is Idaho Falls High School sack-master JUSTIN SHEARER, who will be walking on this fall and battling for a position on the Idaho roster. With the departure of all three of Idaho's starting linebackers from last fall, competition to rebuild the depth chart will be intense.

It's almost here. With the 2008 football season just around the corner, the team will be reporting for Fall Camp this week and a new group of freshmen and JC transfers will be looking to take the place of Idaho's departing senior class from last season; a group led by NFL draftee David Vobora. No group from last year's class leaves a bigger gap to fill than the linebacking unit, and as expected the last recruiting class is rich in linebacker talent (three linebackers were signed in the last recruiting class).

Among them is invited walkon Justin Shearer (6-1.5, 190), an Idaho Falls High School product looking to fulfill his dream of playing Division 1A college football when he joins the Idaho program this fall. A defensive end in High School that worked out of a 2-point stance most of the time for the Tigers, he will be taking his shot at outside linebacker for the Vandals.

With the graduation of all three senior starters from a year ago, Idaho will be looking to build the entire linebacker depth chart this fall and competition is expected to be intense.

Below are some career stats for Justin:

2nd Team All-High Country Conference Team (2007), DL
1st Team All-District 4, 5, & 6 Team (2007), DL
1st Team All-District 4, 5, & 6 Team (2006), LB

As a senior registered an impressive 15 ½ tackles from his defensive end position. As a junior led the Conference in quarterback sacks (10 ½) and recovered a fumble for a TD.
Justin will be joined out of the IFHS program (which took third in the State Playoffs last fall) by linebacker recruit Brad Marboe (6-3.5, 200).

Below is our recent conversation with Justin.

LARRY JOHNSON: What position do you plan to play at Idaho this fall?

JUSTIN SHEARER: "I'll play outside linebacker."

LJ: Any other University of Idaho alumni in the family – parents, uncles, anything like that?

JS: "Actually, no. I'm going to be the first Vandal."

LJ: Can you walk us through your reasons for walking on at Idaho?

JS: "Well, I've always wanted to play college football. I've had a dream of playing NCAA Division I college football. I didn't have any other real offers until the U of I talked to me, and I really don't mind at all being a walkon - kind of like having a chip on my shoulder…"

LJ: Let's talk about your high school career. What was your high school career like at Idaho Falls High School?

JS: "Well, I played outside linebacker and defensive end – a standup D-end. Sometimes I'd go down to a three-point to play D-end as well. I played a little fullback in there too. Our senior year we did pretty well – we ended up finishing third in the state playoffs; we lost to Meridian in the semifinals. My junior year we didn't do so well. I still started my junior year and finished the year with 10-1/2 sacks [his season total led the Conference], and my senior year I finished the season with 15-1/2 sacks.

LJ: Have you visited the Idaho campus?

JS: "Yes, I have. I went for Vandal Friday which was back in March."

LJ: What do you plan to major in at Idaho?

JS: "Environmental sciences in my plan, but it's bound to change."

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