2 Minute Drill with Jade Tadvick

There is no doubt about the success and creativity of the offense that Dennis Erickson is bringing back to Idaho. However, that offense starts with a disciplined and powerful offensive line. In 2006 one of the cornerstones of the Vandal line will be senior left guard JADE TADVICK, a 4-year starter picked by Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook as a preseason 1st Team All-WAC selection.

JADE TADVICK came to Idaho as one of five monstrous offensive linemen signed in 2002. The class included Matt Newell (6-8, 285), Hank Therien (6-7, 322), Nate VanderPol (6-6, 304), and Geoff Zuber (6-4, 290). This group was considered the foundation for the future of Idaho's offensive line, and expectations were enormous for the group.

Jade has started every position on the Vandal offensive line except center.
Five seasons later, just two of the class remain (VanderPol and Tadvick) as Idaho begins its second season in the Western Athletic Conference (the Conference Idaho spent four years working to gain an invitation into) under its third head coach - legendary Dennis Erickson - during that same time span. Newell left shortly after his first season at Idaho, and the careers of Therien and Zuber ended this off-season.

At 6-5 and 315 pounds, Jade was neither the biggest of the class, nor was he the most touted of the group. A native of Stevensville (Mont.), as a high school senior he was named to the Montana Super State Team (all classifications) as an offensive lineman, and was named a 1st Team All State (Class A) selection at defensive line. He played in the Montana East-West Shrine Game and Montana-North Dakota All-Star Game.

What he has been at Idaho, though, is productive.

Jade has started 28 games for the Vandals since his redshirt freshman season in 2003.
He's been a starter on the Vandal offensive line every year since his redshirt freshman season. Although his primary position is left guard, he has started at every position on the offensive line except center during his career. In 3 years he has been named a starter in 28 games, and has started virtually every game except those few in which he's been injured and unable to perform (including 4 games missed in '05 due to appendicitis just before the Hawaii game).

Despite three different head coaches in his five years at Idaho, Tadvick has had the benefit of being coached by two of the best O-line coaches at the collegiate level. First he was recruited to Idaho by Tom Cable, who is considered by many to be one of the better offensive line coaches in the NCAA. He played for coach Cable for two seasons. Then, this fall, Tadvick will be coached by Gregg Smith who has been with Coach Erickson at virtually every stop along Coach E's impressive career path. Smith was responsible for building powerful offensive lines with the Miami Hurricanes and at Oregon State, and has ventured into the Pro level twice with Erickson. Coach Smith brings a tremendous amount of experience and respect with him to Idaho, where he started his collegiate coaching career with Erickson in '82, and the impact on the Vandal line this fall should be substantial.

This week VandalVenue.com's Larry Johnson caught up with Jade after a practice for a quick interview.

LJ: You were voted a pre-season All-WAC selection by at least one publication this off-season (Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook). What are your expectations for yourself and the team this fall?

JT: I'd just as soon go out and play the way I can, you know? I mean, the expectation is to always play good - no sacks or anything like that. So the offensive line, we really want a 1,000 yard rusher, to get our sacks down, and to be one of the top units in the league. For the team, we were picked last in the Conference. We think we can really show that we're at the top of the conference and quit being the underdog when we start beating up on some people...we're really looking forward to that.

GREGG SMITH, Vandal offensive line coach and assistant head coach.
LJ: Is the offensive line beginning to gel under new offensive line coach Gregg Smith, and is the line getting more accustomed to Erickson's new offense?

JT: Yeah, a lot. Our first five, we're a really tight-knit group. We hang out a lot now and I think that's a key thing with your offensive line. You know, we've got to be friends - best friends - I think we're really starting to come along and we respect everything Erickson and Smith say...where they come from and everything. It really helps us out a lot...just the little technical stuff is really getting shored up, and it's going to be interesting.

LJ: What is the new offense going to be like in terms of the offensive line? What changes and what stays the same?

JT: What stays the same, I think, is our physicalness. I think we've always kind of brought that, but I think we're going to step it up to another level. What needs to change, obviously, is getting injured and everything. We need to have that first five stay together, because that's really where you work in practice everyday with the same group, then someone [new] gets thrown in there and it's a little tough to get used to that. I think if all five of us stay together we'll be fine...we'll be great.

LJ: Now we have a fun question for you.

JT: All right.

LJ: Who's your favorite band (musical) and why?

JT: Boy...let's see here. I'm mostly a country fan, but I guess we could go John Anderson [Jade is friends with John Anderson's nephew]. I got to meet him over spring break...it was pretty fun to go through his house. He's probably one of my favorites here.

LJ: The big hosses always like country music, don't they.

JT: They gotta love it, you know? It's home...country.

LJ: Well, thank you very much.

JT: All right, thank you.

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