BREAKING: H-Back of future verbals to UI confirmed this evening that Nevada All-State selection MIKE LAGRONE made a verbal commitment to Robb Akey and the University of Idaho. LaGrone led the state of Nevada in sacks this year with 17 as McQueen High School won the State Championship with a perfect 14-0 record. Pegged as the next generation H-Back for the Vandals, he's in the mold of First Team All-WAC pick Eddie Williams.

The loss of First Team All-WAC tightend Eddie Williams will be a blow to the Vandal offense. A two-year starter at H-Back, the graduation of Williams means the team must find a replacement both with his timely receptions and - more importantly - his ability to move defenders out of the way and pave a path for Idaho's tailbacks.

Yesterday the Vandal coaching staff got the call they had been waiting. "I committed to Idaho," McQueen High School star Mike LaGrone (pronounced LA-GROWN) told this evening.

LaGrone led the state of Nevada with 17 sacks.
An absolute carbon copy of Williams as a freshman, LaGrone (6-2, 225) brings an aggressive brand of football to the Vandal football team. A two-way starter at defensive end and tightend for the 14-0 State Champion Lancers, LaGrone earned his highest honors defensively. Among his top honors, he led the state of Nevada this year with 17 sacks from his defensive end position, and backed it up with 54 tackles and 24 tackles for loss on the year. For the effort 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.

But it is on the offensive side of the ball where the Vandals have their sights set on LaGrone. Offensively he was a force for his team, and was selected a Second Team All Northern Region tightend, as well as a First Team All High Desert League selection for his 22 reception senior season.

In short, he rarely left the field.

"I know I'm going right in at H-Back, but I would love to get my shot at defense," Lagrone told "But I'm just going to step in wherever they need me."

He had a chance to sit down with Williams during his visit to Moscow in December. "I actually hung out with [Eddie Williams]," LaGrone said. "I was with him for awhile one night. It was cool. He's a real good mentor - an inspiration. The guy had 56 catches and was out for the last two games. That is the position I'm stepping into."

THE FUTURE SPORTS MEDICINE MAJOR enjoyed his trip to the Idaho campus. "It was good man. I loved the trip, and I love the position I'm gonna play."

"It was real fun actually," LaGrone said in a previous interview. "The school [University of Idaho] has a lot to offer. 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."

LaGrone earned All-Region and All-League honors at TE, plus All-State, All-Region and All-League DE.
In classic Robb Akey fashion, LaGrone's verbal commitment was met with excitement on the Idaho side of the phone. "They were excited, real excited," LaGrone said with a chuckle. "Especially coach Akey. I haven't talked to coach Axman yet, but I told Coach Akey yesterday and he was real excited. He was real excited for me to come up there."

The rebuilding effort Akey embarked on two years ago has been a hefty challenge, as the team has been filling its depth chart almost exclusively with freshmen athletes each of the last two years. But the results are slowly becoming evident. "I thought the coaching staff was great, and the team - it was like a family. My high school is basically a family - the coaching staff and team were all together, like a one.

"Coach Akey is doing a real good job rebuilding the program and keeping everybody right."

LaGrone had a trip planned this weekend to Eastern Washington, but has cancelled the visit and has no more trips scheduled.

Academically Lagrone is fully qualified for college and is ready to take his game to the next level.

Player Profile: Mike LaGrone, 6-2, 225

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