Sprinting Into The Holt Era

Not only are the Vandals bringing in an entirely new coaching staff this fall, but more and more sophomores, redshirt freshmen, and true freshmen look like they will be seeing playing time this fall. Among the top early performers is incoming freshman runningback <b>Rolly Lumbala</b>, the Canadian standout who signed with Idaho in February, who is battling another freshman, Idaho native Jayson Bird for playing time this fall. Both performed admirably, as has the team overall.

Sunday afternoon the Vandals took the field for their first scrimmage of spring. The team obviously has alot of work to do to meet the challenges of the upcoming season, but one thing is for certain: this team is starting to get the hustle thing down. Overall, this will be one of the youngest Vandal teams in recent memory, particularly throughout the depth chart. But this is also one of the most athletic groups Idaho has on campus in years. What they lack in experience they will have to make up for with intensity, and the staff seems to be doing an impressive job conveying that message.

Incoming true freshman linebacker Ben Alexander (#58, back to camera), huddles up the Vandal D, including (left to right), #29 Curtis Bibolet, #94 James Conley, #92 Jeff Edwards, and #86 Brandon Kania (behind Alexander) on the defensive front.

As far as scrimmage "stats" go, the rushing attack was led by 2 true freshmen in Rolly Lumbala (19 carries for 76 yards), and Jayson Bird (13 carries for 48 yards). Rolly (6-2, 227) is a little bigger than Idaho native Jayson (6-0, 220), but both appear to be determined to see playing time immediately this fall. Senior Justin Wall had 6 carries for an impressive 32 yards, Cliff Mason added 5 carries for 18 yards, and JC Transfer (and Borah High School graduate) Ashanti Hicks rounded out the attack with 2 carries for 9 yards.

The passing game struggled a bit with Harrington and Nooy each giving up 2 picks, but Mike certainly had the most productive afternoon connecting on 9 of 14 passes for 109 yards and a TD. Nooy went 5 of 16 for 31 yards, and grayshirt Chris Joseph completed 1 of 9 for 9 yards.

Wendell Octave led all receivers (in yardage) with 2 catches for 36 yards.

The defense certainly dominated the scrimmage, recording 4 sacks, an impressive 14 tackles for loss, and hauling in 4 interceptions (2 by senior CB J.R. Ruffin, one by incoming JC transfer Lawrence Guynes, and 1 by freshman safety D.J. Dykes). Five of the TFLs were by linebackers, and 4 were by freshmen on the defensive front. RS-freshman CB Eric McMillan also broke up a pass, to make the defensive performance a little more complete.

Below are some images from the scrimmage, with a few images also from last week's practices. There are alot of new faces to this Vandal team, many of whom will be making serious contributions this fall.

#51 Marcis Fennell, OC
6-2, 280

#79 Antonio Lindsey, DT
6-2, 275
True Freshman

#48 Ashanti Hicks, RB
6-0, 201
Junior (JC Transfer)

#32 Rolly Lumbala, RB
6-2, 227
True Freshman

#51 Marcis Fennell, OC
6-2, 280
True Freshman

#7 Mike Harrington, QB
6-4, 210

#10 Brian Nooy, QB
6-2, 189

#68 Nate VanderPol, OT
6-6, 296

#17 Robert Davis, ILB
6-4, 220

QB Coach Jonathan Smith instructing Harrington.

#50 Jade Tadvick, OG/OT
6-5, 320

#32 Rolly Lumbala, RB
Had a team-best 19 carries for 76 yards in the team's first scrimmage.

#86 Brandon Kania, DE
6-3, 225
Senior, Captain

#19 Chris Nathan, CB
5-10, 169

#49 D.J. Dykes, SS
6-3, 180

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