RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Crunching the numbers

PROJECTING THE FINAL recruiting numbers that will make up the Vandals '08 class is more art than science. For starters, the numbers and positions can and do remain in flux all the way up to Letter of Intent Day. has nevertheless been crunching the numbers and perceived needs and on the offensive side of the ball, two of the priority positions could see a pair of signees on LOI Day. projects UI will take two quarterbacks, and two tight ends, next February.

The normal rule of thumb is for one quarterback every class. And two signal callers plus a pair of tight ends takes on even more significance when you consider the projection also calls for the lion's share of the signees to be on the defensive side of the ball.

The prospects that follow are by no means close to a complete candidates list and illustrate just a flavor of some of the possible future Vandals. And as it cannot be stressed often enough, the projections here serve as a guide -- things can and do change, sometimes markedly, in numbers and needs all the way up until Signing Day on the first Wendesday in February.

QUARTERBACK -- Projection: 2
Among the candidates is the son of NFL legend John Elway but that's not what makes his inclusion significant. What's most striking is that he's from Colorado, the Centennial state being one that Robb Akey fashioned strong recruiting ties throughout the area high schools over the course of his eight-year tenure at Washington State.
Andre Broadous, Portland, Ore., (5-10.5, 189)
Jack Elway, Englewood, Col., (6-4, 190)
Vince Gomez, Anaheim, Calif., (6-4, 175)
Nick Green, Portland, Ore., (6-2, 205)
Justin Morales, Carlsbad, Calif., (6-2, 185)

RUNNING BACK - Projection: 1
The emphasis for the '08 class as a whole figures to be mostly about speed, and a Vandal ballcarrier who also has the ability to either get lost between the tackles, or can power his way for a few critical extra yards, figure to be among the UI targets.
Ryan Bass, Corona, Calif., (5-9, 195)
Andre Hunt, Moreno Valley, Calif., (6-0, 190), (S/RB)
Etu Nicholson-Taufa, Gardena, Calif., (6-0, 239)
Jason Davis, La Habra, Calif., (5-10, 180)
Sam Buckingham, Portland, Ore., (6-0, 198)

WIDE RECEIVER - Projection: 2
Karstetter holds a Vandal offer after an impressive camp showing in Moscow and has forged a good relationship with UI receivers coach Luther Carr.
Jared Karstetter, Spokane, Wash., (6-3, 185)
Attrail Snipes, Bakersfield, Calif., (6-1, 181)
Josh Bigler, Meridian, Idaho, (6-2, 192)
Marlon Johnson, Inglewood, Calif., (5-11, 173)
Reggie Jackson, Colorado Springs, Col., (6-3, 185)

The usual focus of fans on the hosses up front has mostly to do with size but intelligence, athleticism and a solid work ethic will carry the day over size every day of the week and twice on Saturday afternoons. That said, some of the UI targets, like Reynolds who racked up 65 pancake blocks last season, are large indeed. The key is that they also have other attributes to boot. Tenney also holds a UI offer. A decorated prep lineman coming out of high school in '05, he is continuing on his Mormon mission and is expected to complete it prior to LOI Day 2008.
Guy Reynolds, Avondale, Ariz., (6-3, 314)
Matt Bernard, Gig Harbor, Wash., (6-3, 305)
Jon Opperud, Milwaukie, Ore., (6-7, 280)
Stetson Tenney, Show Low, Ariz.,
Steve Davis, Moreno Valley, Calif., (6-6, 280)

TIGHT END - Projection: 2
Tough to find a good one because of the diverse skills set necessary while in a large package, it will be likely be a position of emphasis for '08. Marboe could be a good one here, but he could also be a good one at another position or two.
Andrei Lintz, Bellingham, Wash., (6-4, 220)
Brad Marboe, Idaho Falls, Id., (6-4, 195) (LB/TE/ATH)
John Wright, Riverside, Calif., (6-3, 220), (DE/TE)
Caleb Richardson, Glendale, Ariz., (6-4, 230)
Tyler Carey, Portland, Ore., (6-2, 230)

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