AFTER A BLITZ of official visits over the last seven days, highly sought junior college linebacker Joey LaRocque had seen all he needed to see. The College of the Canyons defensive enforcer gave his verbal commitment to Linebacker U on Saturday night, becoming the JUCO 'backer the Beavs had been seeking for their 2006 class. BF.C talked to The Rock moments ago.

"Last night, I committed to Oregon State," said LaRocque. "Coach Riley came to our house and next semester, I am going to Oregon State."

A mid-year transfer eligible to sign Wednesday, LaRocque will enroll at Oregon State in January and participate in spring ball. The mid year signing period for winter term junior college graduates runs from Dec 21 - Jan 15. LaRocque said he will send in his LOI to Oregon State Dec. 21.

The 6-1.5, 228 pound outside linebacker chose OSU over offers from Missouri, Boise State, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah State and others. LaRocque ended up canceling his planned visit to Boise State due to the Broncos' coaching change this past week.

In the end, it came down to Oregon State and Mizzou. LaRocque said it was a very tough call to turn down Missouri. But that it was also the right call.

"I got there to (OSU) and it just felt right," said LaRocque. "I love the atmosphere there. It's a small town, everyone loves football there. In particular, I loved the coaches, coach Riley, coach Banker, and everyone else there.

"I really, really have a lot of respect for Missouri and what they have to offer there. It was a really tough decision for me."

Another media outlet reported Friday morning LaRocque had already verbally committed but the linebacker, at Missouri on an official visit Friday afternoon and with a spare moment, said that report was not accurate and he hadn't yet committed to anyone. A little more than 24 hours later though, he ended up making the call on OSU.

LAROCQUE RACKED UP 103 tackles (68 solo) on the season for COC, with 17 tackles for loss that included 11.5 sacks. Of his two fumble recoveries, he took one in for a touchdown. LaRocque had a pair of pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which he took to the house. He tied for the team lead with two defensive TDs.

The book on the tackling machine is he's a sideline to sideline 'backer with 4.5 type speed and plenty of persistence, as evidenced by the double digit sacks. He clocked a 3.9 flat in the pro shuttle recently.

As a senior, at Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, he was named first team all-league, area and CIF. He was a partial qualifier out of high school due to missing one core class. He will have three to play two at the next level.

Joey LaRocque

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