LaGrone in WAC orbit

With senior All-WAC pick Eddie Williams graduating, the Idaho TE/H-Back depth chart will be top-heavy with juniors and seniors in 2009. Enter McQueen two-way star athlete MIKE LAGRONE (6-2, 225), a First Team All-State selection at DE (led state of Nevada in sacks as a senior), and an All-League and All-Region pick at both TE and DE. Idaho, Fresno State, and Eastern Washington are calling.

The statistics and honors for Nevada senior standout Mike LaGrone (6-2, 225) were jaw dropping. A two-way starter this season for Class 4A State Champion McQueen High School (14–0 record on the season, sixth state championship in school history, and 23-game winning streak over Northern Region opponents), LaGrone was a force on both sides of the ball. For the 2009 recruiting class he has been listed by several publications as a legitimate Division 1A recruit at three different positions: tightend, defensive end, and linebacker. No stranger to athletic success, his older brothers remarkably went on to Division one schools in football and basketball.

"My senior year went exactly as I planned," LaGrone told recently. "That's been my goal, the whole time, and we made it [to the Championship game] twice."

Defensively, LaGrone led the state of Nevada with a stunning 17 quarterback sacks (setting a new school record) from his defensive end position. For the season he registered 54 tackles and 24 tackles for loss. For all his defensive exploits, he was named a First Team Class 4A All-State selection at defensive end, as well as First Team selections on the All Northern Region and High Desert League teams as a defensive lineman.

As a junior he was named to the ( affiliate) All-State team as a First Team selection on the defensive line, and was named Northern Nevada Defensive Player of The Year.

Despite the honors on the defensive side of the ball, it is on the offensive side where he may project best as a college prospect where his hands and speed make him a viable offensive weapon. Statistically, as a senior this year he had 22 receptions for 250 yards and a nose for the endzone. As a junior he recorded 13 receptions for 227 yards and one touchdown. The stats aren't eye-popping, but his impact was substantial and he was a weapon for opposing defenses to reckon with. As a senior he was selected a Second Team All Northern Region tightend, as well as a First Team All High Desert League selection.

Considered by some publications among the Top 40 players in the state of Nevada, LaGrone is a gifted athlete with 4.64 speed and a solid frame. The Vandals are recruiting him as an H-back / tightend, and are looking to replace graduating First Team All-WAC tightend selection Eddie Williams who led the Vandals is receiving this year.

"Speed," when asked what he will bring to his college team next fall. "Everything I do has been at a fast pace. Even though the college game is a whole different level, speed in the WAC – I'll bring that defintely."

So is redshirting in the cards for LaGrone this fall? Not likely, if he has anything to say about it. "I'm gonna play," LaGrone said "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna play." With his resume, few would expect otherwise.

LaGrone has taken one official visit (Idaho), and has two more planned for January (Fresno State and Eastern Washington). On the weekend of December 13th he visited the University of Idaho campus and took in the atmosphere that a true college town has to offer.

"It was real fun actually," LaGrone told "The school [University of Idaho] has a lot to offer. I'm not sure if I'm going to go there yet, but it's pretty good. It was my first trip, and it was a great experience. Certainly the whole college life. They have a lot of programs that are real good. I'm thinking about music as one of my majors, or sports medicine. They put the whole music thing in my view, so it was cool. The team was real cool too."

Idaho offensive coordinator Steve Axman is running recruiting point with LaGrone, and he was hosted during his visit by junior starting tightend Peter Bjorvik.

He wasn't friends or former teammates with any of the players on the Idaho roster before his visit, but he is very familiar with the Idaho program. His brother used to coach at Idaho, and all the coaches out there knew Mike well. "They all welcomed me in."

This weekend he will continue his Western Athletic Conference tour with a visit to Fresno State (1/9/09). Then, the following week he heads to the Big Sky and a visit to Eastern Washington. Both Idaho and Eastern have offered LaGrone, and an offer from Fresno may be on the horizon.

Academically Lagrone is fully qualified for college and is ready to take his game to the next level. Check back with and for more updates.

Player Profile: Mike LaGrone, 6-2, 225, TE/DE

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