Halas commits to UTEP, but with a catch

Victor Valley LB Justin Halas (6-3, 248) did the expected a couple of weeks ago and re-committed to UTEP following a big season in the middle for the Rams. He's pretty firm on his commitment to Miners, but there were two exceptions that could lead him to another school.

"I committed to them about two or three weeks ago," Halas told JCFootball.com. "I'm pretty much set on going there, but if anyone from the Pac 10 or the Big 12 offers me, then I can de-commit and head there. The coaches were fine with that."

Halas said that Colorado and Utah are both schools that have intimated they may offer him and would like to set up visits.

"Nothing has really been confirmed with them, but it may happen soon," Halas said. "If Colorado offers I'll definitely check them out."

Halas originally went to UTEP out of high school, but ran into some academic troubles so he headed to Victor Valley and the move paid off with an All-American performance.

He posted 115 tackles and an incredible 18 sacks – including seven in one game – from his middle linebacker position.

"We ran a 3-5-3 defense that had a rover," Halas said. "Our defense really confused a lot of offenses so there were times when I went unblocked on my way to the quarterback."

Halas runs a 4.59 forty and with his size, he said that the combination is what really allows him to succeed.

"Because of my size, I can take on blockers pretty well," Halas said. "A lot of linebackers aren't as big as I am so the linemen are surprised when I hit them and then shed their blocks. I can be more physical than a lot of other linebackers."

Johnson will have three years to play two wherever he ends up and said he expects to be there for spring practices.


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