The Gargoyle Gazette

Introducing a new vehicle we're going to try out to deliver news and "rumors" buzzing around the Idaho campus. What better mascot (other than our unique "Vandal") then the guardians that adorn Memorial Gym? In this issue is a brief follow-up on Saturday's scrimmage, and a section we'll call "Odds & Ends".

The impact of Head Coach Tom Cable's off-season hire of Special Team's Coordinator Gary Coston is already starting to pay dividends in the kicking game. Senior Keith Stamps of Colbert, WA is showing a significant increase in leg strength and control. During Saturday's scrimmage he popped a 47 yarder near the end of the day (which in the stagnant air of the Dome had plenty of distance) and was perfect on PATs. His improvement since last season was plainly evident, and its obvious Coston (himself an All-American kicker at Arizona) is having an impact.

Throw in a more accurate Brian Pope (junior) and redshirt freshman Sam Parry, and the position suddenly has significant depth. Its not out of the question that one kicker may handle field goal duties, while another handles kickoffs. Regardless, this is going to be an interesting competition this year.

The team did not appear to attempt any punts on the afternoon. Based on our observations throughout the past 2 weeks, however, 2 year starter Ryan Downes continues to improve an already strong leg. Ryan, a junior, on several occasions has nailed punts 50 yards long, and equally high. Barring an injury, this should be a position of strength for us this season.

Senior defensive back Tim Sams is getting some reps at wide receiver, and had a successful outing, including 2 receptions for 18 yards in Saturday's scrimmage at the Dome.........Idaho's new new strength coach, Jon Francis, has done wonders for the team in just a few short months. We've heard nothing but praise for the guy. When discussing Keith Stamps' new found range, someone close to the program mentioned Jon. When discussing recent graduate Brad Rice's increased size (weighing in at a stout 235 pounds), Brad pointed to Jon. The guy is a real find for Idaho.....Speaking of Brad Rice, he says he did very well at a recent NFL combine. He was clocked at 4.5 for the forty, and recorded a 36 inch vertical jump. We think he's got a great chance to make an NFL roster. If not, he's in the process of getting an accounting degree to go with his finance degree. He's also been admitted to law school!

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