With the 2009 class about to be signed, sealed and delivered, it's time to look ahead a little to…
Top Idaho QB Discusses UI Commitment
LINK: JUSTIN PODRABSKY, 6-6, 220, QB
In February of this year, Scout.com released their 2010 Northwest Hot 50 list, ranking the top prospects for the upcoming recruiting class in the region of the country that includes Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Alaska, western Canada, Montana, and Hawaii.
A total of two Idaho high school prospects made that list; quarterback Justin Podrabsky (No. 15, the top rated recruit in Idaho and No.3 quarterback in the region) and his teammate, offensive lineman Spencer Beale (No. 45 in the region, and No.141 tackle in the nation).
Last week GoVandals.net confirmed that both athletes had verbally committed to Robb Akey and the University of Idaho, giving the Vandals a tremendous foundation to continue building the football program.
Asked about how the recruiting process was going, Podrabsky – who was offered a scholarship to Idaho last spring, and carries offers from Utah State and Idaho State – was succinct in his commitment to the University of Idaho. "It's going good now," the 2008 Inland Empire League Offensive Player of the Year told GoVandals.net. "I'm glad to finally have it over."
And the same can likely be said for an Idaho coaching staff that is certain to be breathing a sigh of relief to have the process over too, and a verbal pledge from an athlete of Podrabsky's caliber.
So how does he grade out with the experts? Here is a snippet of what ESPN had to say: "Podrabsky is a big, strong, athletic quarterback who shows flashes of BCS level talent. Has awesome size and measurables with his height and well-built frame. Has enough footwork and athleticism to move around the pocket and buy extra time. Can throw accurately on the run and change his launch points. Appears to read the field well and does not force a lot of bad passes. Shows good trajectory on his fade ball and touch on underneath checkdowns. He can change ball speeds and take something off when needed. Has a naturally live, strong arm and can lead receivers on deep routes."
And what did Greg Barton of the Barton Football Academy and Next Step College Sports have to say? "Justin is very coachable and he is intelligent, both in the classroom and on the football field. He has good feet and he will improve dramatically in this area over the next couple of years. He has a strong arm and he throws the ball with accuracy. He understands what his coaches want and he does a nice job of running the show from a leadership standpoint. Most important to me is that Justin wants to learn the game and he wants to improve each and everyday. This guy is a competitor, no question about this."
His accolades as a junior last year were astounding. Podrabsky was named the Inland Empire League Offensive Player of the Year and an All-North Idaho selection following a junior season in which he led Lewiston to a 10-1 record. The effort included completing 160 of 252 passes (63.4 percent) for 2,733 yards and 34 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He also rushed for 169 yards and nine touchdowns.
And his senior season is looking like another outstanding year, having already engineered one come-from-behind, last second victory over rival Pullman High School a couple weeks ago. "We're getting better as the weeks go by, and I think it will be a good year for us."
Podrabsky is the third verbal commitment for the class of 2010 that GVN has confirmed, joining standout offensive linemen Mike Marboe (ranked the No.18 center prospect in the nation) and Lewiston teammate Spencer Beale (ranked the No.45 prospect overall in the Scout.com northwest region).
"He was pretty excited about it," Podrabsky said of Coach Akey's response when he made his pledge. "He said congratulations many times to me."
As one of the northwest's top quarterback prospects with outstanding instincts, Podrabsky confirmed that he is being recruited to the Idaho program as a signal caller. "I have a strong arm and I'm able to make good decisions," he told GoVandals.net when asked to describe his strengths. "I'm somewhat able to get out of stuff in the pocket – I'm able to scramble a little bit."
Asked about his plans for next fall, the future Idaho business major said he will likely redshirt, "but they [Idaho coaching staff] said I will fit well into the stuff they're doing right now."
Being close to the University of Idaho, he is a prospect that is familiar with the Idaho program and what head coach Robb Akey is building in Moscow. "I've been up there taking a look, I've been to a few games. I went up for their junior day, and I watched one of their scrimmages this fall.
"They're a great coaching staff," he told GoVandals.net. "They're all excited to be there and it just seems like everyone just wants to play from them - they make you want to play. I take that from watching practices, and everyone's excited up there."
The trips to Moscow also allowed him to watch the transformation of the program's facilities in recent years, and he was on hand for the atmosphere in the Dome for Idaho's thrilling win over San Diego State earlier this season. "I like their facilities a lot," he told GoVandals.net. "The practice field is nice, and the renovation to the Dome looks awesome – and I think it can get even better."
When asked if he considers the recruiting process done, he said, "Yeah, definitely."
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