On July 28, Glenn and his staff were at it again, landing a verbal commitment from one of the top linebacking prospects in the state of Iowa, Ben Durbin. And with at least 15 other offers currently extended to linebackers for 2008, it seems Wyoming is hot on the trail of yet another great group of commitments for the middle of its defense.to watch his junior season highlight film.
Yesterday CowboyBlitz got a hold of one of the Pokes' premier prospects at the position, Las Vegas native Colin Shumate, to find out what the three-star standout thinks of his offer to play for Wyoming.
"I was really excited to hear from Coach (Bill) Cockhill (Offensive Coordinator)," Shumate said. "He sent me a text telling me about (the offer). It was exciting."
Wyoming's offer was just the second one Shumate received this off-season (the other was from Colorado State), and the senior-to-be said he is impressed with the tradition of the Cowboys' program.
"It was cool just because of the…winning that they've had in the Mountain West, like beating UCLA a few years ago," he said. "It was good to have a bigger program step up (and offer a scholarship)."
At 6-foot-2, 221 pounds, Shumate prefers to anchor the middle of the field on defense and said Wyoming's three-four scheme suits his abilities well.
"I just like…how they use linebackers," he said. "They like to blitz. They like to move it around. It's not like you're just a coverage guy. There's been a few good linebackers out of there, and just their defense as a whole, it's always on the top of the Mountain West. That's definitely important to me. I don't want to go somewhere that doesn't know what they're doing."
"I play middle linebacker," he added. "When a defense is like that (three-four), I can play a true position. You're not all of the sudden changed to a rover. You get to actually play in the middle which I like to do. I feel like I'm versatile enough to play wherever, but to have that option is very appealing."
A terrific blocker with 4.75 speed, Shumate is being looked at by some schools as a fullback. He bench presses 300 pounds and squats 400, with a vertical leap of 34 inches. His athleticism is complemented by great balance, and he has played everything from tight end to stand-up tackle, and now linebacker, which seems to be where his future will lie.
"I like stuffing the middle and stopping the run," he told Scout.com earlier this year. "I get to the quarterback well and like blitzing…I love hitting people and making them think twice about coming back my way again."
Shumate ended 2006 with 94 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles, and his hard-hitting style and sure tackling would fit nicely into the middle of the Cowboys' linebacking scheme.
With Nebraska, California, Boise State and Stanford also pursuing Shumate, along with offers from CSU and San Diego State, however, the Cowboys will need to impress the big-hitting backer with their performance this season--both on the field and in their communication with the senior.
"I want to get a personal relationship with the coaches and see what's happening in the future," he said. "I'm not so worried about how things have been. I want to know about how things are going to be. Based off of that, that's why I don't necessarily have a favorite (school)."
Shumate said he didn't have enough money to attend many camps this off-season, and if it weren't for family members funding a trip to Nebraska earlier in the summer, he would only have attended a team camp at nearby UNLV and the Nike combine at Stanford.
"It was really cool to get out to another campus," he said of the Nebraska camp. All I had really seen was UNLV.
"Just to see some state-of-the-art facilities and a place that was about football was cool."
Shumate said his experience at the camp and the excitement he showed afterward may have given people the impression he was leaning toward Nebraska, but he set the record straight yesterday on the phone.
"I really like the program, but I'm not necessarily leaning any way because I can't really lean toward a school that hasn't offered," he said. "I'm open to anything, and I don't take away from any of the programs that are looking at me."
"I don't really compare it to anything because I haven't been to other schools, and that's why I'd like to take my official visits," he added.
Shumate said he doesn't have a timeline on a decision about where to go and said he would like to visit every school that has extended a scholarship offer. He will likely wait until the end of his 2007 season before making those visits, however—a move that will give other programs the chance to see some of his senior film before deciding on whether to offer the talented linebacker a scholarship.
Shumate reports a 3.8 cumulative GPA, a 1700 SAT score and a 25 on the ACT.
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