Week 1 of Spring Drills In The Books

Spring football on the Idaho campus started with a bang last week as Coach Nick Holt and his staff began implementing a new work ethic, attitude, and schemes. Practices are conducted in the manner that the players are expected to perform each week: Loaded with intensity and at full speed.<br> <br> Week 2 begins Tuesday afternoon, and ends with the team heading to Coeur d'Alene for a srimmage Saturday at 11:00am on the field of Lake City High. A "MUST SEE" event for Vandal fans in the area.

LINK: Official Site Main Football Page Report Links

LINK: Spokesman Review Article (Free Sign-Up Required)

VANDAL OFFENSE

Co-Offensive Coordinators Joel Thomas and Nate Kaczor (pronounced cat-sir) began laying the foundation this week for the single-back set, which will be the base for next year's offense. Two of Idaho's top returning tightends (Keith Greer and Luke Smith-Anderson) are practicing with the team but will be held out of contact drills, while one of Idaho's top returning receivers, Jeff Stowe, continues to recover from a late season injury and will miss spring drills.

But competition throughout the roster is intense for starting duties across the board. Whether it be offensive line, wide receiver, runningback, or tightend, redshirt freshmen and sophomores are stepping up and pushing the upper classmen. Or, as is the case for most of the offensive line, youth will be the name of the game (albeit with some starting experience under their belt).

The links above shed some light on how practices have been going so far, while the photos below introduce some of the younger players competing for playing time this spring and next fall.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Junior quarterback Michael Harrington (6-4, 197), who started 5 games in 2003, is perched atop the QB depth chart and has put in an impressive effort throughout the winter and spring.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Backup quarterbacks #11 Chris Joseph (6-3, 190, GS-Fr) and
#10 Brian Nooy (6-2, 185, RS-Fr) are taking aim at Harrington's job.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Sophomore Wendell Octave (6-1, 180) is currently the #1 Split End and could be one of Idaho's top targets for 2004. Sophomore Ace Davis (6-0, 200) is currently the #3 quarterback in the rotation, behind Harrington and Nooy.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
RS-Fr Pat McLaughlin (5-11, 190) is currently the #2 Split End and has looked solid this spring. Senior Jimmy Labita (5-10, 173) is currently at the top of the Slot Receiver depth chart, building on a 2003 season in which he averaged 16.8 yards per reception on 26 catches, including 2 TDs and a long of 92 yards.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
RS-Fr Akeem Anthony (5-5, 160) is fighting for playing time and is currently the #2 runningback. True-soph Cliff Mason (5-10, 205) is currently the #1 RB, coming off a True-Fr season in which he averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 28 attempts, with 2 TDs and a long of 42 yards.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Senior guard Tony Kiel (6-3, 317) is one of just 2 seniors in the offensive line depth chart for 2004. RS-Fr Eric Nave (6-3, 263) has been looking sharp at center for Idaho.


VANDAL DEFENSE

For 2004, the Vandal defense will be getting a significant overhaul with regard to scheme and philosophy. And intensity. The unit will also be young, with a number of sophomores and freshmen likely throughout the rotation next fall.

Position changes from last year are relatively few (with some movement between DEs and DTs, and between CBs and Safeties). The most noteworthy change is the move of linebackers Mike Anderson (6-3, 238) and Curtis Bibolet (6-3, 230) from the SAM linebacker spot in last year's defense, to a position closer to the defensive line that is a hybrid between defensive end and linebacker.

Regardless of the player changes, this defense will be quite a bit different than what Idaho ran the last 4 years...and in fact will be a throw-back to Idaho's defensive schemes of the '90s.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
The future of the Vandal linebacking corp could play a prominant role this fall. Sophomore WILL #54 Jaron Williams (6-1, 225), RS-Fr MIKE #44 Sam Tossie (6-1, 230), and RS-Fr SAM #45 Josh Bousman (6-2, 215) have been getting solid reps.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
RS-Fr strongside linebacker Josh Bousman hones in on the ball carrier during drills Friday afternoon.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Senior nose tackle James Coley is working on breaking into the Vandal rotation. Senior Michael Togafau (6-3, 292) is at the top of the NT depth chart this spring.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
RS-Fr Kyle Williams (5-9, 170) has been impressive this spring at cornerback. Sophomore Nathan Zody (6-0, 225) has been battling for playing time at middle linebacker this spring.


MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com

MARLIN SMITH / VandalVenue.com
Sophomore Robert Davis (6-4, 225) is the top Weakside Inside Linebacker (WILL) and is coming off a 25 tackle 2003 season as a redshirt freshman. RS-Fr cornerback Eric McMillan (5-9, 173) is currently the top cornerback opposite senior J.R. Ruffin.




ALL Vandals Top Stories