January 25, 2009

California linebacker ready to be a Ram

With the graduation of starting middle linebacker Jeff Horinek, a starting spot in the linebacking corps opened up and Norco, Cal. linebacker Jared Koster
hopes to make it his. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder committed to Colorado State last week, picking the Rams over scholarship offers from Air Force, Arizona State and UCLA.

"I am an undersized middle linebacker, but I have a lot more speed (4.60 in the 40) than a lot of other linebackers and I feel my reads are pretty good," Koster said. "I have been working my tail off to try and take that middle linebacker spot this year. My goal is to start as a true freshman at middle linebacker."

This season Koster averaged 14.6 tackles per game and six total sacks for a Norco team that started off slowly, only to make it to the state semifinals, dropping the top-seed along the way. Koster's tackle total of 132 could have been even higher, had he been able to avoid a hip pointer that cost him two and a half games.

Koster said he was in Fort Collins two weeks ago on a visit and said it was the support of CSU athletics that he saw around town that turned him on to the Rams. Koster was hosted by Ram receiver Matt Yemm and said there was a theme through the visit that made him feel at home.

"I really liked the support of the town for the players," Koster said. "In every restaurant I went into there was some sort of CSU memorabilia flying, like a flag. It was really cool and I had that feeling like this is where I am supposed to go."

Larry Lewis has been in charge of recruiting Koster for Colorado State and offered Koster a scholarship last Sunday. Koster said he jumped at the chance to be a Ram same day. He was told by Lewis to hold off on his decision until he could get back to California and then call back, which Koster said he did.

Koster, who scored an impressive 1860 on the SAT, was originally talking to UNLV when Colorado State came into the picture. He said after another linebacker committed to the Rebels, he was asked to visit Las Vegas and commit to the Rebels as a greyshirt prospect, which he balked at. Since his commitment, he has been offered scholarships from Arizona State and UCLA, but he says he is solidly a Ram.

"I am not interested in going to either of those schools," Koster said.

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