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Kurtis Karstetter, left, was one of three Ferris players to sign letters of intent with Idaho State. (Jesse Tinsley)

Ferris trio headed to Idaho State

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for Ferris standout defensive end Drew Sharkey.

On Sunday, Sharkey gave an oral commitment to Eastern Washington University. On Monday, a late offer arrived. On Tuesday, Sharkey changed his mind and decided to go to Idaho State University sight unseen.

The major reason Sharkey chose the Pocatello school over EWU was the difference in offers. EWU offered tuition and books and ISU offered a full scholarship.

“It’s been crazy. It’s definitely been a stressful 24 hours,” the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Sharkey said.

Sharkey’s father, Ferris coach Jim Sharkey, sat back and let his son make the final decision.

“It was really a surprise to both myself and his mother,” he said. “His college choice changed four times in the last week. I kind of watched him grow up in front of me (Tuesday). I was impressed with how he made the decision and thought it through.”

Ferris has started a pipeline of sorts to Pocatello. Sharkey, a first-team all-state selection at defensive end, was one of three Saxons to sign letters of intent Wednesday. Joining him at ISU are linebackers Kurtis Karstetter (6-2, 195) and Cole Lemer (6-1, 190). All three were first-team all-Greater Spokane League picks.

It was a Big Sky Conference theme in the GSL this year. Mt. Spokane wide receiver/defensive back Chase Naccarato (5-8, 160) signed with Montana and Gonzaga Prep offensive lineman Max Kelly (6-7, 260) is also headed to Missoula. Both were first-team all-GSL selections.

Drew Sharkey’s change of mind means his parents now face about a 10-hour drive to go watch him play instead of 10 minutes.

“I talked to the Karstetters and we’ll be caravanning to Pocatello,” Jim Sharkey said. “I told Drew that the difference in money shouldn’t be a deciding factor. But he did his research.”

Early in the recruiting process, the Air Force Academy offered Sharkey. But his college entrance tests were just short of what was needed.

“I was very, very close,” Sharkey said. “All my test scores were good, but my math score wasn’t quite where they wanted it.”

Just before EWU offered, Sharkey was leaning toward Central Washington.

Things changed in a hurry, though.

“I feel really good about Idaho State,” Sharkey said. “I think it’s the best fit for me. Having three teammates there was more of a cherry on top than anything else.”

The Saxons will join 2011 Ferris graduate Cody Sorensen.

• As expected, two players off two-time 5A state champ Coeur d’Alene signed letters and they’re headed to the same school – 85 miles south on U.S. Highway 95. Quarterback Chad Chalich and wide receiver/defensive end Deon Watson signed and faxed letters to Idaho.

• In other area football signings, Matt Miller of Gonzaga Prep is headed to CWU and Carlos Martinez of CdA is going to Montana Tech.

• A handful of area soccer players signed letters.

They are: Shayla Weiler of University and Amanda Bliesner of East Valley (EWU); Josie Greenwood of Lewis and Clark (Idaho); Julia Moravec of LC (Seattle University); Christina Tombari of G-Prep (Gonzaga University); Cody Lang of LC (Seattle Pacific); and Jessica Bennett of G-Prep (Gonzaga).

• In basketball, Cassie Anderson of G-Prep signed with Carroll College.