Spring Football Roster Updates

There have been numerous changes, updates, and switches this winter, and inside is a compilation that we've derived from numerous sources. Some will surprise, some will delight...all will set the stage for an intriguing spring camp as senior safety CHRIS SMITH and the Vandals prepare for the 2007 season.

SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE...for those who will be trekking to Moscow to watch the team train this spring, below is the latest schedule issued by the University of Idaho:

30 (Friday) - 3:45pm
31 (Saturday) - 10:00am

2 (Monday) - 3:45pm
3 (Tuesday) - 3:45pm
6 (Friday) - 3:45pm
7 (Saturday) - 10:00am
10 (Tuesday) - 3:45pm
13 (Friday) - 3:45pm
14 (Saturday) - 10:00am
17 (Tuesday) - 3:45pm
20 (Friday) - 3:45pm
21 (Saturday) - 10:00am
24 (Tuesday) - 3:45pm
26 (Thursday) - 3:45pm
27 (FRIDAY) - SILVER & GOLD GAME, 7pm, Kibbie Dome

THE UPDATED SCHOLARSHIP TRACKER... We've been busy! We've talked to numerous sources, snooped around, and have what we think is an up-to-date chart showing who will be working with the team this spring. Below is a link directly to the tracker:

LINK: VandalVenue.com Scholarship Tracker
We are considering this a "working document" and will continue to update it in the weeks and months ahead. We will begin building a 2007 Roster in the weeks ahead (currently defaults to the 2006 roster). Below are a few of our observations.

HANGIN' UP THE CLEATS...As always, there are several players who will not be playing with the team this spring and fall. Most are kids who took a shot at walking on at Idaho and gave it their best effort, while a few are recruits who will not be participating with the team this spring for a variety of reasons. Below are the recruits who will not be working with the team this spring.

Dan Aizpitarte, DL - Backup defensive tackle
Keith Charles, CB/WR - Backup cornerback, track sprinter
Jon Dominguez, DL - Backup defensive tackle
Tristan Turner, OL - Grayshirted last season

WELCOMING THE GRAY SHIRTS...Most of these kids are athletes we had heard about last fall, but there are a couple new names. We'll be looking into these athletes more as spring drills progress in the weeks ahead.

Steven Brown, WR, (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - A starter for the Raiders, Brown helped lead his team to a final 13-1 record and birth in the Florida Class 5A State Championship game. Brown was second on the team with 27 receptions on the year, 384 yards, and 5 TDs (three receivers had 20 catches or more, Leonard Hankerson signed with Miami and Philip Garner signed with Kent State). He was coached by NFL legend and Aquinas alum Chris Carter as a senior. An honorable mention All-County selection, Brown was one of a whopping 11 Raider seniors to sign with Division 1A programs.
Jonathan Faraimo, LB (Anaheim, CA) - A big hitter at 5-11, 220-pounds, Jon was #1 at the Oregon NIKE Camp where he pumped 35 reps of 180 pounds and ran a swift 4.37 second 20-yard shuttle. Reportedly offered by both Utah State and Idaho as a senior.
Princeton McCarty, ATH (Oakland, CA) - Speed. That's all you need to know with this cat. At the USC NIKE Camp ran a 4.34-40 and a staggering 3.69-second shuttle. It is uncertain whether he will be in for spring, but we will keep our eyes peeled for him at fall camp.
Derek Wieting, DE, (Meridian, ID) - A First Team All-Idaho selection at DE in 2005, he was also named the Southern Idaho Conference Defensive MVP with 14-1/2 sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Bryan Wilson, TE/OL (Milpitas, CA) - Originally recruited to Idaho as a defensive tackle, our sources indicate Bryan is going to get a shot at tightend (a 2-way starter at TE and DL at Milpitas High), and will also get looks on the offensive line, where he's expected to be a dominant force. Bottom line: He could play a number of positions.

WALKONS RETURNING...It's the toughest way to crack a depth chart at the Division 1A level, but every year there are stories of athletes who buck the odds and earn a spot on the depth chart. Some go on to great careers, such as Jake Scott, a walkon lineman out of Lewiston, ID who became a 4-year starter at Idaho and was the starting right guard for the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts this year. There are at least a whopping 25 walkons returning this spring. We won't list them all here (identified in the scholarship tracker), but below is a list of six walkons from last year who will be working with the team this spring who were not listed on our roster on this site last fall. They all redshirted last season, and will be battling with the rest of the team for depth chart spots this spring.

Shane Beach, 6-0, 236, TE, Meridian, ID (Mountain View HS)
Eric Hunter, 5-6, 154, DB, Pasco, WA (Pasco HS)
Kai Jensen, 6-5, 260, OL, Pocatello, ID (Century HS)
Ben Keller, 6-2, 220, LB, Las Vegas, NV (Coronado HS)
Ty Medley, 5-9, 183, DB, Riggins, ID (Salmon River HS)
Jeff Washburn, 6-0, 250, OL, Snohomish, WA (Snohomish HS)

WALKON FOCUS...Last year TWO walkons earned Scout Team Player of the Year awards. Andrew Blevins (5-11, 222), a hard-hitting linebacker out of Mead High School and a transfer from Yuba College will be a redshirt junior this fall. He was awarded the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year award. Offensively, freshman hoss Luke Conklin (6-4, 292) out of Walla Walla (WA) was named the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year for 2006. Look for both athletes to vie for playing time this spring and fall.

UNDER THE RADAR... Last year Idaho signed a recruit well after the regular signing day (several actually, including senior-to-be middle linebacker Jo-Artis Ratti, nicknamed "Sledge" by Idaho fans and a JC Gridwire All-American). Turns out wide receiver Cary Jensen-Madison (6-2, 195) came to Idaho last fall on scholarship out of Encino, CA and redshirted the 2006 season. We missed it last year (we had him listed as an invited walkon), but he'll get our full attention moving forward.

TRANSFER TO KEEP AN EYE ON... It was quiet last fall, but wide receiver Thomas Quarles, a transfer from Prairie View A&M and graduate of Brookside Christian High School (Stockton, CA) transferred to Idaho last fall. He had to sit out the mandatory year, but will be a senior this year and could make an impact at wide receiver this spring and fall.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED... We've heard through the grapevine that safety Chris Smith, a walkon last fall who started four games at Strong Safety for the Vandals and played extensively in 11 games, has been awarded a scholarship. He finished sixth on the team with 42 tackles (38 solo), picked off THREE passes and recovered a fumble. With Freshman All-American Shiloh Keo returning as Idaho starting free safety, Smith and Keo should combine to give Idaho a solid backfield in 2007.

STILL RECOVERING... Wide receiver Wes Williams will miss spring camp, and may miss next fall as well as he continues to recover from a medical condition suffered this off-season. Our thoughts go out to the young man as he continues to recover.

It AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER... We've reserved the same spot on our scholarship tracker for three years now. And, it is possible that 2004 tightend recruit Folau Tuione (6-3, 230) could join the Vandal program anytime this year, having spent the last couple years on a mission. As we hear more about him (hopefully) joining the Vandal program, we'll keep you updated.

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