3-Star JC QB picks Idaho

We've known for a couple weeks that Fullerton College quarterback LUKE TRACY was headed north and enrolling for the spring semester at Idaho. Inside, the All-Mission Conference selection talks to Scout.com about his decision to join the Vandal program and his expectations for this spring, summer and fall.

NOTE: This article was compiled with the assistance of several Scout.com sources.

PLAYER PROFILE: Luke Tracy, 6-2, 210, quarterback

Given the magnitude of the rebuilding job begun at Idaho in 2004, there are still few positions that would be considered "stocked" at this point. The depth is dramatically improved across the board, but the redshirts, grayshirts, and many of the athletes in this recruiting class will likely play crucial roles this fall. And the same can certainly be said for quarterback.

The competition this spring and fall should be interesting. We are expecting four quarterbacks to return from last season, none of whom have started a Division 1 game, and none with significant playing experience.

But there is potential in this group, and for the first time in awhile there should be significant competition.

Likely at or near the top of the chart is senior-to-be Brian Nooy (6-2, 200), Idaho's top backup last fall behind senior Steve Wichman. Nooy has played in several games over the course of three years as a backup for the Vandals, but has never started. Chris Joseph (6-3.5, 214) will be a junior (came to Idaho with Nooy's class but grayshirted his first), and was third on the depth chart last season.

Two touted redshirt freshmen will also be competing for the starting job next fall. Nathan Enderle (6-5, 220) was ranked the #57 quarterback prospect last year by Scout.com. He graduated from Platte High School (Nebraska) a semester early with a 4.0 GPA and enrolled at Idaho last spring, and participated with the team in spring drills.

Jon Tobin (6-4.5, 215) had a stunning high school career in Arizona, leading his team to a staggering 26-2 record as a 2-year starter. He led the Cobras to two state championship appearances, including a second place finish as a junior, and a state championship as a senior. He picked Idaho over a scholarship offer from Mike Price at UTEP.

We expected the battle for starting duties to be significant this spring and fall, and the battle just got a little more intense.

Luke Tracy will be coming to Idaho as a junior and a 3-star JC walkon quarterback out of Fullerton College, the same school where Vandal defensive end recruit Marcus Pedro played last season. Remember the name! Since he is walking on, you won't see him listed in our commit list this spring when the LOI signees are announced.

But he could make a significant and immediate impact under center this year.

Luke visited the Idaho campus this winter and was hosted by Idaho starting right tackle Kris Anderson, and was recruited heavily by Johnny Nansen and quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith. He was actually offered a scholarship under former Vandal head coach Dennis Erickson, but with the coaching change and the hire of Robb Akey, the recruiting landscape changed. Asked to describe the situation, Luke told Scout.com, "Coach Akey called me and said, 'We can't really offer you a scholarship right now but we want you to walk on.' He wanted to talk about scholarships this summer, see how things go, so that's what I decided to do."

Although he will be joining the Idaho program as a walkon this spring, the possibility is there that he could be given a scholarship by next fall. This is significant, given he was in the recruiting process with Eastern Michigan and North Dakota State, and had a couple Division II offers. Nevada had been recruiting him as well, but backed off late in the process. Despite numerous options, he chose to walkon at Idaho and will compete immediately for a starting job at quarterback.

What kind of quarterback is he? Fullerton Head Coach Gene Murphy described Luke for Scout.com as a "mobile quarterback with great arm strength – he may throw best under duress." He also described Luke as a "competitor", a phrase that has been used to describe Luke since he was in High School.

As a senior in 2003 at Irvine High School (CA), Luke finished the regular season ranked 16th in the country in passing yardage with 1,433 yards, completing 52% of his passes for seven touchdowns. He led his team to a share of the Sea View League title, and earned first team All-League honors.

He signed with UC Davis in 2004 out of high school and spent the '04 and '05 seasons there. In 2006 he transferred to Fullerton College and immediately hit his stride. As a sophomore last season he earned 2nd Team All-Mission Conference honors despite going down in the 8th game with a season ending injury (the injury did not require surgery, and he's ready for spring drills at Idaho). Even more intriguing is the fact that the dual-threat QB was named an All-Conference RUNNINGBACK. Statistically, Luke was outstanding. Through the air he completed 57.5% of his attempts for 1,024 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. On the ground, although he only played in 7.5 games, he finished the year as the team's leading rusher with 486 yards (5.59 yards per carry), 7 touchdowns, and a long of 58 yards.

He earned Offensive Player of the Week honors for a nearly perfect passing effort in Fullerton's 37-34 win at Pasadena. Tracy competed 13 of 15 passes for 231 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for two touchdowns, totaling 98 yards on 21 attempts in the victory.

Asked what he brings to the Idaho team, and the QB competition specifically, Luke stated, "You know, I can throw if I need to; I can sit in the pocket and throw. If I need to, I can run the ball. If I need to get out of there or scramble, I can. I can do whatever they ask me to do. I mean, I think I'm good at everything. I'm not the best passer in the world, I'm not the best runner in the world, but I'm good at everything. That's what I'll bring."

Asked to describe his trip to the University of Idaho campus, Luke said, "First of all, I really like the players up there. Of all the schools I visited, I like the players the most. I like Idaho. It's still on the West Coast, or the Northwest. Of all the schools that were interested, it was the closest for me and my family, so they could come watch me play. Division 1, the location, and players… I really liked the school. Nice campus, nice area. I think Idaho would be good for me. I really liked Coach Nansen and Coach Smith. That all played a big part in it."

He went on to say, "I thought the weightroom was really nice. Everything you need is there. The lockeroom was fine, and now they're getting new turf in the Dome, so it should be great."

And finally, what about the Western Athletic Conference? "Yes, very excited [to compete in the WAC]. The WAC is a great conference, and obviously the Bowl games with Boise State, Nevada played Miami very close, and what Hawaii did – the conference is getting a lot better. Good competition. Good challenge."

So there it is. We expect at least five athletes to compete for the starting job this spring, in a battle that could rage throughout summer and into fall camp. Does Luke expect an equal shot at the starting job?

"I talked with Coach Akey, and my Head Coach, Coach Murphy [Fullerton's Head Coach] did too, and he told us both the same thing. He said that everyone will get an equal opportunity to compete. He said he didn't know much about anyone and that everyone would have a chance to compete. He watched my film and said I looked good, so I should be given a chance. All along I've heard that I was going to be brought up there to play, so hopefully that's what I'll be doing. Go for that starting job…"

Given the competition, we expect quite a battle this spring.

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