Freshmen Make Impact on Offense

Kickoff against Washington State is just a few days away, and the list of freshmen expected to see action in the Vandal OFFENSE is beginning to take form. The number of "true" freshmen expected to play is relatively small (likely only H-Back #29 Eddie Williams), but the list grows to 8 or 9 if you factor in redshirt, grayshirt, and true freshmen combined.

So far, compared to last fall, the list of TRUE freshmen expected to play serious roles this fall is quite a bit smaller than the '04 team. It's a sign of growing depth, and a testament to the talent currently on the team.

But, as always, there are a few on both sides of the ball who can be expected to play a role Thursday night. Below, we look at ALL freshmen impact players, including true freshmen, redshirts, and grayshirts.

#65 Kris Anderson
#65 Kristopher Anderson, Right Guard
6-3, 285, Redshirt Freshman
One way or another, expect to see Kris in the game against Washington State. The #2 right guard behind sophomore Desmond Clark, if virtually any starter is out across the line Kris will move into the starting right guard role. If not, he'll get his share of reps rotating in with the starters. He's run with the #1 offensive line throughout fall camp and has been impressive.

#89 Peter Bjorvik, Tight End
6-4, 245, Grayshirt Freshman
Seen primarily working the #2 offense this fall camp, Peter could see playing time at some point this fall, and it could be as soon as the season opener. The former Oregon All-State selection has only been with the team since the beginning of spring drills (enrolled in January), but he's progressed well and could see playing time immediately.

#15 Tracy Ford
#15 Tracy Ford, Slot
5-7, 170, Grayshirt Freshman
The #2 slot receiver, you can practically take it to the bank Tracy will get his reps against Wazzu. He has great wheels, plays with serious intensity, and is just too good to keep on the sideline all game. At the very least, expect to see Tracy on special teams where his jets could be a major asset.

#95 Rick Harrison, Tight End
6-5, 240, Redshirt Freshman
Believed to be the #1 tightend given the injury to starter Luke Smith-Anderson, Rick will get significant playing time against the Cougs. A big target with good hands, Rick made the transition from DE to TE during his redshirt season and has performed well.

#72 Adam Korby, Center
6-2, 280, Redshirt Freshman
The kid out of Colorado has done it...he's busted into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman, and has been Idaho's #1 center since spring drills began. The 2004 Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year has shown some grit throughout drills and is poised to make his first start of his career Thursday against Washington State.

#86 Lee Smith
#86 Lee Smith, Split End
6-0, 180, Redshirt Freshman
Not bad for a walkon. Lee joined the team last fall, redshirted, had a solid spring 2005 camp, and so far this fall has been getting some serious looks. He will be a factor in the split end rotation. He has wheels, runs good routes and has nice hands.

#29 Eddie Williams, H-Back
6-2, 238, True Freshman
The youngster out of northern California has been impressive throughout fall drills, and is battling for the #2 H-Back position with Tim Bertalot to backup junior Keith Greer. He has shown a nice combination of strength, hands and speed for the position and will be a force at Idaho in the future. Expect to get a nice look at Eddie Thursday night.


#71 Billy Bates, Left Tackle
6-5, 275, True Freshman
Of the true freshmen in the offensive line camp for the Vandals right now, and there is an impressive group, Billy has been seeing the most time with the #1 unit. He worked at left tackle with the starting unit during the night scrimmage last week (starter Nate VanderPol and versatile guard/tackle Desmond Clark were held out of drills), and has earned his reps in fall camp. Obviously the preference is to redshirt the linemen to give them the immense value of a year in the Strength and Speed Center. But if a true freshman is ready to play in Holt's system, they're going in. At some point this fall look for Billy to suit up and be ready to play this year...if not the season opener, then potentially at some point later in the season (NOTE: Current starters Adam Korby and Kris Anderson were listed #2 in the depth chart for the latter part of last season, but both retained their redshirts and this year are either at or near the top of the depth chart).

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