January 24, 2010

Defensive line gets three-star commit

When it came down to it, Snohomish (Wash.) defensive tackle John Froland couldn't deny he was more comfortable in the relative open spaces of Colorado than the north side of Chicago. After visiting Fort Collins last week and giving himself a week to mull it over, Froland called the Colorado State coaching staff on Sunday to give them his verbal commitment. Froland had committed to Northwestern in August.

"I left Fort Collins last week and while I was flying home I thought, that (Fort Collins) was the place I wanted to be, so I decided I would give it a week to see if that is where I wanted to be. This weekend I still felt like it was the place for me and so did my parents, so I decided to commit," Froland said late Sunday night.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Froland played both left tackle and defensive tackle at Glacier Peak High School, but will play on the defensive side of the ball at CSU. Froland was named the Area's Defensive Player of the Year this season, in addition to being named to the All-State team as an offensive lineman and honorable mention as a defensive lineman. He was also All-Conference on both sides of the ball. Rivals.com rates Froland as the number 60 defensive tackle in the country and the ninth best player in the state of Washington regardless of position. He is the second highest ranked prospect in the Colorado State Recruiting Class of 201, according to Rivals.com.

"Coaches really like my speed," Froland said. "Not really top-end speed, but quickness off the ball. I am always the first off the ball on both sides of the ball. My first two steps are really fast."

Froland said he was solid in his commitment to Northwestern, but was interested in seeing another college campus to compare the Wildcats to. He said after he committed in August, Colorado State's coaching staff would send a letter or make a phone call once-a-month to see how he was doing, but didn't recruit him very hard. This month Froland took Colorado State special teams coordinator Larry Lewis up on his offer to see the Fort Collins campus.

"I don't want to say I decided to open up recruitment," Froland said. "When I committed to Northwestern I was fully into it, but I always had questions of curiosity again about what was out there... Colorado State called and said if I wanted to come out and visit, I could take an official visit and just to look around. It was fine with them. I thought it was more information to make me more knowledgeable about the process. I decided to go out there and really, really liked it."

Froland said coming from Snohomish (population: 8494), he has been drawn to the outdoor sports like hunting, fishing, skiing and snowboarding. Once he got to Colorado, it seemed like more of a fit for his personality.

"I've always been more of an outdoors person," Froland said. "Northwestern is right in the city. There were a lot more things I had in common with the people at Colorado State and I fit that personality type of more outdoors and country living. I also fit in with the coaches and with all the kids. We all had more things in common.

"When I went to Northwestern, hardly any of them skied. I went to CSU and all the kids are skiing and things like that. I fit in there a lot better."

Froland said the Colorado skiing was a draw, as was the hunting scene in the state. In the past, Froland said he has hunted deer, elk, duck pheasant and even bear.

"We've gotten close a few times," Froland said of his bear hunts. "We came up on a mom and cubs and stuff, but we've had slim chances of seeing them in the woods because the woods are so thick. The only time you see them is when you are crossing a road."

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