Senior LB Jarom Baldomero found an unlikely home at Utah State

LOGAN, Utah – Growing up in Hawaii, Jarom Baldomero never thought he’d one day be playing college football in Utah.

But that’s exactly what happened.

“It just happened and ended up being the right place for me,” said the 5-foot-11, 235-pound senior linebacker. “It was a good fit. I never expected to come to school in Utah, but it actually ended up being a great fit for me with finding great friends, being around great people and in a great environment.”

The fact Cache Valley is very family oriented is a plus for Baldomero, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a two-year mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 2009-11.

Following a successful prep career at ‘Iolani School in Honolulu, Baldomero took his talents to Sacramento State, where he redshirted his first season. He then transferred to Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, Calif.), where he was tabbed the Owls’ Defensive MVP and earned California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) all-conference honors after recording 109 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in his only season.

Baldomero then walked on at Utah State, where he has been a fixture on the defensive side of the ball since the 2013 campaign.

“He’s been a very helpful guy that maybe isn’t one of the stars that you notice every day,” said first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Clune. “He’s extremely intelligent and he picked up the system and the things we wanted him to do very quickly, and was able to be a very productive person early on with things you may not notice.”

Baldomero saw action in 13 games for the Aggies as a sophomore in 2013, recording eight tackles, including a season-high five against Weber State. The son of Tony and Hena Baldomero played in all 14 games last season and finished the year with 13 tackles. He tallied a career-high six stops against Wyoming, as well as returned his first kickoff 18 yards.

Though he’s listed as a linebacker, Baldomero spends the majority of time on special teams for the Aggies, which suits him just fine. He’s happy to contribute any way he can.

“I’ve definitely had a great time here,” Baldomero said. “I’ve enjoyed my role as a player here. I’ve tried to do my best to contribute with what I could, especially on special teams for the past two years. This is my third year starting on most of the special teams and I have tried to do my best with contributing on those and making plays where I could.”

Baldomero also takes care of business in the classroom. After all, he is a two-time academic all-Mountain West honoree. He also earned Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors following the 2013 season.

“He’s extremely intelligent and able to adapt,” said Clune, referring to Baldomero’s smarts on the gridiron. “He understands the concepts as well as anybody. When it takes other guys two or three years to figure it out, it took him two or three months. Not a lot of things will confuse him, so out on the field that’s a good thing, especially on special teams where you have to make decisions quickly.

“He’s a tremendous guy, a fun guy,” Clune continued. “He’s a great teammate and a good student. He’s a guy that just takes care of business.”

Senior nose guard David Moala agreed.

“Jarom is there when his number is called,” Moala said. “If a guy goes down on defense, he’ll be there to fill in. He doesn’t complain with the playing time he gets. Whatever time he gets, he makes the best of the opportunity on the field. If the coaches want him to be great on special teams, he does those things and gets the job done, and he doesn’t complain about it.”

Baldomero is majoring in account and is on track to graduate in the spring of 2016.

“After this year, I would like to try and get an MBA,” Baldomero said. “I don’t know if I’ll stay here in Utah or go home to Hawaii, but I want to have a good job. I try to handle my studies so I can have something to fall back on because football is definitely not something I’m going to pursue. I want to have a good career and raise a family.”

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Posted in USU