Prior to his trip to Stanford for one of the many combines
held throughout the country this year,
After all, that's what the offers were coming to him to play,
so why not think that, and Cheadle didn't argue.
There's a lot about playing O-line he likes. "I love to run block," Cheadle said. "In our offense, we run all the time, so I get
to pull a lot. And there's nothing better than getting some DB, who doesn't even
know you are there."
"You just want to light that guy up," Cheadle continued. "When I get one of those small guys, I
try to throw them into the bleachers."
Well, with his mindset, yeah, I'd say offense suits him. He's
got the disposition, but for the next level, he's especially got the frame to
play. Currently, Justin stands close to 6 foot, 5 inches, but his weight is only
around 260 pounds. For Division 1-A, that would obviously have to
Off of a recent showing at a combine at Stanford, it was
Cheadle's prowess on the other side of the ball, which
turned heads and suddenly, those coaches recruiting him for one side of the
ball, suddenly changed their tune.
"The coaches say I should be on defense now, because of what
I was doing in the one-on-one drills," Justin said. "I got in those and I was
just killing guys. It was a lot of fun."
And at his current weight, Cheadle
is certainly closer to what he would need to weigh for that position at the next
level, making Justin like the idea even more.
Suffice it to say the kid is
You have an offensive lineman with defensive end-like
quickness. You have a defensive end with offensive lineman-like strength. And
wrapped up within that impressive shell, you have a kid, who while angry, nasty
and all that on the field, is a casual-fun-loving-3.8-GPA-sporting student off
You can imagine what one of his biggest criteria is for the
college he will eventually attend. "If I had to choose a school based on either
athletics or academics being their strength, I'd go with academics first,
because that's what you need when you don't have football anymore," Justin said.
"I've thought about taking business, but I also would like to look at
There's certainly a bevy of schools on his side of the
country, who have excellent reputations in that area.
At this point of the year, Justin is
obviously loving the attention, but he's loving even more the potential
of an increase in that over the next few months. "It's just about having choices
and opportunities, and the more I have, the more I know I will be at a place,
which is perfect for me," he said.
I'll leave it to you the fan to figure out which of those
schools above offer Cheadle the best opportunity to do
It's not just them, though. There's
schools like Cal, who we mentioned earlier. Oh,
and then there is this team, also close to him, called USC. When you have grown
up a Pac 10 homer, getting some of them is nice, but getting them all would be
"I love the Pac 10, because that is what I grew up watching,"
Cheadle said. "They have good schools and most of them
are at places close to my home. My parents want to see me play and I want them
to see me play too. So, if I can, I'd like to stay closer to
With all that in mind, the only thing left for Cheadle is to continue on doing what he does. And unlike
last year, he'll have a full-time role on defense this season. Last year he
served as a situational player, and the situation Justin described pretty
simply: "If we needed a play on defense, they sent me in," he said. "I'm
thinking that if I can come in, in situations like that, I should be in there
all the time. But they know what's going on and I just play. So, tell me where
to go, and that's where I'll go."
Cheadle said that he's already
visited USC unofficially and, of course, he's now seen the campus of the
While Justin said that he would ideally like to know where his future school is by the mid-point of the season, he said he'll take as long as it needs to take. This is only May, so he knows he's got the time. "I'm in no hurry if I have to take more time to think about it, because it's a big decision to make," he said. "I know I have a lot of great choices right now. It just takes time to figure out who fits me the best."