INSIDE SLANT: Jeffrey Bediako, LB

Two weeks ago Idaho received a verbal commitment from JEFFREY BEDIAKO, a raw talent who has played football in this country for just one season. At 6-3 and 224-pounds, and sporting an impressive 4.46 forty, the Boise High athlete could find himself on the field soon at outside linebacker for the Vandals, fulfilling his goal to play college football since his days growing up in the Netherlands.

What do you get when you stand 6-3, weigh in at 224 pounds, and run a swift 4.46-forty?

College football recruiting interest.

Such is the case for Boise High senior Jeffrey Bediako (pronounced Bee-Dee-ah-ko) who is fulfilling his goal to come to America less than a year ago and earn a college football scholarship. Despite very limited experience playing the game of American football (soccer is his country's sport of choice), he has had a passion for the sport since growing up in the Netherlands.

"It's not a known sport in Amsterdam," Bediako told "They play soccer there, so football was for the guys that didn't like to play soccer – wanted to do something else, a little bit rougher. I have a friend who plays for Boise High who was friends with me in Amsterdam. He played American football before I did, and he persuaded me to play."

Both in the Netherlands in the United States, his primary positions were tightend, linebacker and wide receiver. When asked what his "best" position was this year as a senior, Bediako said, "Either tightend or linebacker." After a little more thought, he added "I think tightend, because I played that position since I began playing football."

Despite earning significant playing time for the Braves, his senior season at Boise High didn't go quite as well as he had hoped. "In the second game already I got injured, so I couldn't do a lot. I wasn't out, I was just injured – but I could play."

The entire recruiting process was a learning experience for Bediako, one that he thoroughly enjoyed. "It was a big deal, because I didn't really know how recruiting worked. At first I got contacted by Idaho State, and I started talking with the coach. I thought it was like they just offered you a scholarship. But then later on I found out they first wanted to talk with you, a couple of visits and everything.

"I liked the whole recruiting process, especially going on official visits."

Bediako holds official offers from Idaho, Idaho State, and Weber State. Asked why he chose to verbal to the University of Idaho [during his official visit to the Moscow campus], Bediako said, "I like the coaches a lot. They make me feel like I'm at home. I talked to a lot of players, especially the younger players – freshmen and sophomores. I felt good there."

He was recruited by defensive coordinator Mark Criner, and hosted on his official visit by Idaho starting linebacker Joseph "JoJo" Dickson. The Vandals are eyeing Bediako as an outside linebacker, but with his combination of size and speed he will likely get a look at multiple positions. "I'm expecting to redshirt, but I don't know how it will go. If I do good, which I hope, I'll play right away."

"When I'm healthy, I bring a lot of speed to the game. And I play with emotion."

With a 4.46-forty, a 6-3 frame, a bench approaching 300 pounds and a squat approaching 400 pounds, he could earn playing time soon.

Bediako has no immediate plans for any more official visits, and sets his sights on preparing to fulfill his mission to play college football.

PLAYER PROFILE: Jeffrey Bediako, 6-3, 224, LB

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