Not a bad weekend for the Idaho Vandal football program.
With National Letter of Intent signing day fast approaching (Wednesday, February 4), the 2015 Idaho Recruiting Class is quickly taking form. The Vandals already signed 11 JUCO athletes in December (most are mid-year transfers joining the program for spring drills), and will see the addition of three grayshirt athletes that signed with Idaho a year ago who will also in for spring.
The 2015 Class got a solid boost Saturday when three high school athletes made their pledge to the University of Idaho via Twitter. With these three, the number of known verbal commitments to the Vandal program stands at 25, and more are expected.
Below is a brief introduction to Idaho's newest commitments:
Jack Bamis - Gonzaga Prep (Wash.) tailback Bamis (6-2, 210, 4.6-40), the second leading rusher in the Greater Spokane League as a junior with 1,257 yards, may be switched over to the defensive side of the ball as a collegiate athlete (projecting anywhere from rush end, to outside linebacker to safety) where his speed may possibly be best utilized. Fluent in three languages (French, English and Spanish), Bamis and his family have lived abroad for much of his life. He grew up playing soccer and made a name for himself on the track. Those experiences, coupled with what the multi-sport star brings to the gridiron (1,381 yards rushing and 6 TDs as a senior), not to mention the enormous 7-foot wing span he possesses, makes Bamis a tremendous raw talent that could make an impact in the years ahead.
Denzal Brantley - Rated a 3-star prospect by Scout.com, Brantley (6-0, 203) gets it done on both sides of the ball. He was named to the 2013 All-Sunset League First Team (OLB and RB) and the Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Second Team (LB) as a junior. Then as a senior last fall he helped lead California powerhouse Los Alamitos to a 9-2 record. Defensively he played linebacker and defensive back (he projects as an outside linebacker in college) and recorded 134 tackles, picked off a pass, forced a fumble and recovered three more. As a runningback on offense he gained 1,036 yards on 148 carries (7.0 yards per carry), scored 10 touchdowns and six times gained over 100 yards in a game. For his effort Brantley was named the 2014 Sunset League MVP (RB). With offers from Nevada, New Mexico and Montana State, the future Vandal could be poised to make an impact on either side of the ball.
Kareem Coles - This is looking like an opportunity for former Madison star wide receiver Michael Garner (a grayshirt that will join the Idaho program this spring) to reconnect with standout quarterback Kareem Coles. A three year starter and two year captain, as a sophomore back in 2012 Coles led the Warhawks to the California Division III State Championship, a thrilling 38-35 victory that included a 38-yard touchdown strike to Garner. As a junior he was named the Western League Offensive Player of the Year after completing 62% of his passes for 1,174 yards, 11 TDs and 1 pick. As a senior Madison fielded a much less experienced team as he completed 57.1% of his passes for 2,215 yards, 27 touchdowns and one interception. On the ground he rushed for 926 yards and scored another 15 touchdowns. As a senior, capping off a high school career loaded with honors, he was named a 1st Team All-CIF Football selection. With offers from Utah State, UNLV, Montana and others, Coles picked Idaho intent on his goal to be a starting QB at the FBS level. At Idaho Coles will get that opportunity as he joins a Vandal program with just three scholarship quarterbacks in the system (with junior backup Chad Chalich reportedly transferring), on a unit that will be led by returning starter, sophomore Matt Linehan.