Idaho sets sights on Oregon standout

It is no secret that head coach Robb Akey has put a premium on quarterback and defensive back this recruiting season. For Astoria standout JORDAN POYER, the Vandals are targetting a versatile athlete with a shot at playing either. Poyer led his team to the Class 4A State Championship and a perfect 14-0 record, scored 60 touchdowns, and was named League Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year.

Try these single-season stats on for size:

- 23 passing touchdowns (vs. 8 INT in 200 attempts)
- 39 rushing touchdowns
- 2,200 yards passing
- 1,800 yards rushing
- Cowapa League Offensive Player of the Year
- Cowapa League Defensive Player of the Year
- First Team All-League quarterback
- First Team All-League defensive back
- School's first ever football State Championship
Sound phenomenal? They are.

These are the 2008 stats for Astoria High School two-way phenom Jordan Poyer, a 6-0, 175-pound athlete (runs a 4.56 – 40) who has seen his stock rise steadily since his "dream" season ended. That dream included bringing home the first ever Class 4A State Championship to the Astoria Fishermen and a perfect 14-0 season, and outscoring opponents by an average margin of 43-16 in 2008.

He was named the Qwest Player of the Game in Astoria's 19-11 State Championship victory at Reser Stadium over the Gabe Linehan led Banks Braves. He scored all three of Astoria's touchdowns in the game, including a 73-yard bomb to give the Fishermen a 19-3 lead with 8:03 left in regulation.

In the State semi-final game a week prior, with his determination to get to the State title game on full display, Poyer fired two touchdown passes and threw for 345 yards, rushed for five more touchdowns while gaining 193 yards on the ground, and led his team to a stunning 56-35 blowout over Central High School (538 yards total offense, 42 points).

"Those are pretty good stats for 4A," Poyer told recently. "I mean, they were pretty good stats. Our team – I couldn't do it without the guys on our team. It [the 2008 season] went perfect. We went 14-0, and everything went the way we wanted it to go. We only had seven seniors on our team, but the seven seniors get to leave with a great memory of high school football."

Reviewing the reports of recruiting analysts, despite some concerns about his size, it is impossible to down-grade his production on the field. He is a competitor – an athlete that brings dedication and competitive fire to every game. You can't manufacture that drive, a player either has it or he doesn't.

Jordan Poyer finished 4th out of 23 at the Oregon Top Gun QB1 Challenge
Obviously his most gaudy numbers were registered on offense, but Poyer considered his performance as a defensive back his "best" position as a senior. "I was more of a strong safety type player coming down in the box on run situations, playing deep cover two on long passing situations. I came up and made plays when they needed to be made. The other ten guys on the team made plays also. That's why we were number one in the state."

A true competitor, he's open to playing anywhere he can get on the field. "It just depends on what type of offense the college runs," Poyer said. "It depends on what type of defense the college runs. It also depends on how they're looking at me, and size-wise and what not. I just want to go play someplace; so wherever I fit the program, that's where I'll play."

"I think I see the field very well," he said when asked about his strengths as a player. "I can read blocks, and offensively I see the field very well. And running the ball, I'm very quick on my feet. I don't wait, I don't hesitate. Defensively I read my keys, either pulling guards, pulling tackles. You read those guards pulling, you get downfield now. My knowledge of the game has really helped me in my recruiting process."

When asked about the recruiting process so far, Poyer said, "It's going great, especially now that the season's over and now that some college teams, their seasons are over. I've got coaches coming to my school that want me to go on visits and I've got a couple of offers on the table. It's going great. I plan on doing some [official visits]. My coach thought that I was not being recruited a lot harder during season with some of the numbers that I was putting up, but now that the season's over and we got tapes out it's going great. I'm trying to enjoy my senior year."

As would be expected, Idaho isn't the only school recruiting Poyer. He currently holds written offers from Eastern Washington and Portland State, and a verbal offer from the Vandals. "My first trip is going to be taken this weekend to Portland State, then the following weekend I'll be going up to Oregon State for three days, and then my next big trip will be on January 16 to either Eastern Washington or University of Idaho."

With Idaho his first look will be at quarterback, but the emphasis will be getting him on the field where he can make the biggest impact. Similar situations hold for the other schools recruiting Poyer right now. "Eastern Washington is recruiting me to play as an athlete. They think that whatever I feel comfortable playing, that's where they want me in their program. [Eastern Washington coaches] they're both great coaches and they told me wherever I feel comfortable playing, whether it's quarterback, wide receiver or defensive back, that's where I can help their program."

At Idaho, where he's being recruited by Luther Carr to the Moscow campus, Poyer would likely get a shot at quarterback initially.

"At the University of Idaho they're looking at me as a quarterback, and coach Luther Carr said that they changed their offense to a spread-type offense where I can get the ball in my hands, I can look up field and if nothing's there then I can run."

An athlete that can make an impact at the next level on either side of the ball. And for a player with such impressive accomplishments on the field, you can expect Poyer to continue hauling in post-season awards.

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