"Idaho's the place to be"

ORIGINALLY A MEMBER OF IDAHO'S 2007 RECRUITING CLASS, the Vandals gained a commitment this week from hard-hitting linebacker KOREY TOOMER (6-2, 213) following a two-year stint at Arizona Western College and a busy recruiting season this winter. He pledged on his official visit last weekend, and will join the team after classes wrap this spring. Tonight Toomer talked to Scout about his decision.

One of several anticipated prospects back in the 2007 class, Korey Toomer was expected to compete for serious playing time right out of the gate at Idaho. A two-way starter for Shadow Ridge High School at linebacker and tightend, Korey earned First Team All-Northwest Division and First Team All-Sunset Conference honors from his linebacker position.

The Vandals would have to wait a couple years though, as Toomer took a brief detour to the JC ranks.

This season, as a true sophomore at Arizona Western (and a former teammate of current Idaho safety Jeromy Jones), Toomer settled into the outside linebacker position in the Matadors' 4-4 defensive alignment after playing inside linebacker as a freshman under a different coaching staff. "This year I had three interceptions (good for fourth in the league), had a couple of forced fumbles and fumble recoveries," Toomer told Scout.com. "I had pretty much a good season throughout the year. It really wasn't a bad season for me. I did pretty well."

The Matadors went 5-5 this year in Coach Thomas C. Minnick's first season at the helm. In 2007 they went 2-8 under a different coaching staff, so the improvement was significant.

"Korey's a kid that can run, he can chase you down," said coach Minnick. "The good thing about Korey is he can cover. He did well in our scheme covering people. As an outside linebacker you need to find some players that can cover the spread, and he's a kid that can do that. He's a good football player."

The son of a former NFL player (Kyle Toomer, former free agent with the 49ers) and the cousin of a current New York Giant runningback Amani Toomer, you could say the game is in his blood.

Last weekend Toomer again committed to Idaho with an offer from Colorado State and interest from Nevada, among others. "I don't think anything else would be better than Idaho," Toomer told Scout.com this evening. "I think that Idaho's the place to be."

Idaho never lost touch with Toomer, and it paid off for the Vandals. He's being recruited to Idaho as a WILL 'backer, and the junior who has 3 years to complete two years of eligibility is anticipated to make an immediate impact defensively this fall. "I'll be playing the WILL 'backer, but they're going to make me know all the linebacker positions in case somebody goes down."

Below is a summary of Scout's conversation with Korey Toomer

About how everything is going right now on the recruiting front: "Everything is going great. I think that Idaho's the place to be. I made my verbal commitment, but I don't think anything else would be better than Idaho - what Idaho offers. So that's where it stands right now."

About why he ultimately picked Idaho over his other offers this year: "They were just great - great hosts - and they showed me a good time. They showed me what the program would be like, and what it is like. I like the program throughout, the whole thing. Academic-wise they've got counselors that will work with me 24-7, and that's the most important thing for me right now, my grades, other than football. They really impressed me. Academic-wise, they really impressed me."

Any more trips planned? "There are no more trips."

About who the decision came down between: "I had an offer from Colorado State, and I was in talks with Southern Miss and Reno. Reno was offering, but I like Idaho more than anything right now. I'm coming in in the summer."

How the coaches reacted when he made his commitment: "I verballed [initially] over the phone, and then I confirmed it on my visit. [During the visit] they made an announcement at dinner letting everybody know that I was committed, and then they showed me a good time and stuff like that - let me know what I was going to be doing, what position I would be playing, the number that I'd have, and all that good stuff for football. It was great."

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