Vandal Seniors To Be Honored Saturday

IN FRONT OF A SELLOUT CROWD in the Kibbie Dome this Saturday (2pm kickoff), the University of Idaho will honor the football team's 17 seniors in a pregame ceremony. Idaho fans are encouraged to wear BLACK to this rivalry game, with the Vandals hosting a Boise State team that is currently No. 1 in the Western Athletic Conference and ranked No. 9 in the nation in this week's BCS standings.

This is it, the last home game for 17 University of Idaho seniors. Collectively, this group has witnessed more change than any group before it. Some of the change was good, such as a complete overhaul of Idaho's workout and day-to-day facilities, the likes of which has never been seen on the Idaho campus. Some of the change was not so good, punctuated by significant coaching turnover in the last five years as Idaho wrestled with the growing pains of overhauling the football program.

Through it all, the members of the senior class highlighted below have stuck it out. Most are leaders on this team as starters, captains, and a group that provides maturity for a team that is otherwise exceptionally young. Some will etch their names in the UI record books. One is a national leader. Several will get their shot at the next level. And most importantly, most - and likely all - will earn their diplomas from the University of Idaho.

We salute Idaho's senior class, and look forward to cheering them on this Saturday afternoon against the team's primary rival - BCS Top 10 ranked Boise State - in a sold out Dome with Vandal fans wearing their black gear in a "Black Out The Dome" event.


Tino Amancio, 5-10, 215 (Fontana, CA)
As a sophomore in 2006 Tino Amancio transferred to the University of Idaho from Chaffey Junior College and earned duties as Idaho's starting kicker when then-senior Mike Barrow was lost for the season with an injury. Since then, Amancio has been spectacular. Currently, his career field goal average of 69.4% makes him No. 1 in the Idaho all-time record books, topping Tim McMonigle's record of 65.4% set in 1982-84. Amancio's long of 52-yards ranks 8th in Idaho's rich field goal kicking history, and includes NFL All-Pro Mike Hollis (Hollis holds the UI record of 56-yards kicked in 1993).

Kris Anderson, 6-3, 294 (Bellflower, CA)
Offensive Guard
Kris joined the Vandals as a freshman in 2004 and redshirted. As a redshirt freshman he broke into the Idaho starting lineup, and has been a starter on the Idaho line ever since. A diverse lineman, Kris has played every position on the Vandal line except center. This season he is Idaho's starting right guard, after starting at left tackle in 2007.

Billy Bates, 6-6, 285, (Beaverton, OR)
Offensive Tackle
Billy joined the Vandals in 2005 as a freshman after an impressive Oregon high school career and an ranking as the No. 6 prospect in the state of Oregon overall for that year. He was forced into action as a true freshman and started three games for the Vandals before a hand injury against Fresno State ended his season early. Bates has started every game for Idaho the last two years, working at right tackle in 2007, and as Idaho's starting left tackle this season.

Andrew Blevins, 5-11, 214 (Spokane, WA)
Blevins transferred to the University of Idaho in 2006, and by 2007 was earning significant reps in the Vandal defense. This year Blevins' role has been enormous, having earned three starts this season (ISU, WMU, and USU) and playing significantly in a backup capacity in all ten games. He's currently seventh on the team with 38 tackles, three tackles for loss and one recovered fumble for the former Mead High School standout.

T.J. Conley, 6-3, 221 (Walla Walla, WA)
Punter, National Leader (yards per punt)
When T.J. joined the Vandals as a freshman in 2004, it was on the heels of a record-setting quarterbacking career at DeSales High School (Walla Walla). Nobody expected the Class B-11 Player of the Year (Washington) who threw for 10,147 career yards, plus 35 touchdowns his senior year alone, would become one of the nation's top punters by his senior year. But that is the path Conley's career has taken, and with two games left he is poised to climb to the top of the Idaho record books in career average yards per punt (he set a new UI record for average yards per punt in a game against Louisiana Tech), and he currently leads the nation in the same category with a powerful leg. For his efforts this year, he was also named to the Ray Guy Award watch list in September.

Rick Harrison, 6-5, 249 (Calabasas, CA)
Tight end
Harrison joined the Vandals in 2004 as a freshman out of Calabasas High School and redshirted. In 2005 he made his first touchdown catch for the Vandals in a game at UNLV, and was a fixture on special teams throughout his career. He is one of two seniors in the tightend depth chart this year for Idaho.

Joel Jones, 6-1, 228 (Longview, WA)
Long Snapper
A former invited walkon, Jones earned a scholarship in 2006 and has been Idaho's starting long-snapper for four consecutive seasons. There is a reason that Idaho's kicking game often goes flawlessly, and Jones is a steady, major factor in that unit's performance.

Chris Joseph, 6-3.5, 207 (Fresno, CA)
Without a doubt, few players in recent years - with the exception of Luke Smith-Anderson - have had a longer tenure in the Idaho program than backup quarterback Chris Joseph. He was signed by former head coach Tom Cable in 2003, grayshirted, then redshirted, and has been a backup quarterback throughout his career, and has experienced every bit of the change the Idaho program has seen.

Adam Korby, 6-2, 295 (Fort Collins, CO)
Center, Team Captain, Rimington Trophy Watch List
Adam joined the Vandals in 2004 in Nick Holt's first class at Idaho. He redshirted, then took over starting duties in 2005 in the season opener against Washington State. He hasn't missed a start, or a game, since then (in fact, he's only missed a handful of offensive snaps during that span). Voted by his teammates the offensive Team Captain two years in a row now, he has been named to the Rimington Trophy watch list for three consecutive years, and for three consecutive years has also been voted the team's Wayne Walker Ironman Award recipient. Last year he was honored as a Second Team All-WAC selection, and he is the leader of a veteran Idaho offensive line.

Marcus Pedro, 6-1, 259 (Anaheim, CA)
Defensive End
Pedro joined the Vandals in 2007 out of Fullerton Junior College and earned immediate playing time in the Vandal defensive end rotation. He has worked at both DT and DE the last two seasons as a backup, and his strength is at strongside defensive end.

Jim Reuber, 6-3, 248 (Plano, TX)
Reuber joined the Vandals as a junior college transfer out of Tyler Junior College (Texas), and has been fixture on special teams and a backup tightend whose strength is as a blocker for the Vandals. Reuber began his college career by signing with Kansas out of high school where he spent two years with the Jayhawks before transferring to Plano.

Vicente Rico, 6-1, 213 (Salinas, CA)
Both Tino Amancio and Vicente Rico joined the Vandals in 2006, and both have played prominant roles for Idaho since. Rico transferred to Idaho from Hartnell Junior College, and has become a kickoff specialist for the Vandals. His strong leg has resulted in numerous touchbacks, and if the kick doesn't sail through the endzone, more often than not it pins opposing return teams deep in their end of the field.

Taylor Rust, 6-3.5, 231 (Boise, ID)
Defensive End
Rust signed with the Vandals out of Timberline High School (Boise) in 2004, and was one of the first recruits to sign with then-first year head coach Nick Holt. Rust redshirted that first season, then played primarily on special teams as a redshirt freshman and sophomore. Then, as a junior, his career took off as he earned the starting rush defensive end position and has not lost the starting role since. He impressed the coaching staff with his work effort last year, and was picked for the Wayne Anderson Coaches Award at the end of last season. This year he is 11th on the team with 29 tackles and four tackles for loss.

Brandon Schulte, 6-3, 306 (Pomeroy, WA)
Offensive Line
The younger brother of former Idaho starting center Jerrod Schulte, Brandon joined the Vandals in 2004 and has worked primarily as a backup lineup throughout his career, and is listed as the No.2 center on this year's depth chart.

Josh Shaw, 6-2.5, 246 (Spokane, WA)
Defensive End
Josh joined the Vandals in 2005 and earned immediate playing time as a true freshman. Idaho for years has battled to build depth across the defensive line, and for the first couple of years Shaw often lined up at defensive tackle. The last two years he has been able to focus on defensive end, and this year has started every game for Idaho as a strongside defensive end. He has really come on strong as the season has progressed, and was named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his stellar 10-tackle, two sacks, and forced fumble performance against New Mexico State.

Lee Smith, 6-0, 189 (Everett, WA)
Wide Receiver
Lee Smith joined the Vandals in 2004 as an invited walkon wide receiver, and by 2006 earned a scholarship as his playing time as a key member of the wide receiver rotation increased. In 2007 he was a starter for most of the year, but was hampered early this season with injuries that kept him off the field. However, his stock has increase dramatically as this season has progressed, and he has been a hot target of late for quarterback Nathan Enderle.

Eddie Williams, 6-2, 240 (San Mateo, CA)
H-Back, Team Captain
He was awarded the Hec Edmondson Most Inspirational award at the end of last season by his teammates, and there is little question why. He leaves it on the field every play, every game, and has been an incredible leader for the team that is maturing around him. He plays H-Back, and that allows him the versatility to line up at tightend, fullback, or in a slot position. He's in on virtually every play Idaho runs, and when this team really needs a play made, more often then not Williams is involved, either as a target, a blocker, or a decoy. This year he leads the team with 687 receiving yards on 54 receptions, good for six touchdowns and a long of 50 yards. He has rushed for 100 yards on nine carries, and plays on several special teams units. A well-regarded NFL prospect, Williams is anticipated to get his shot at the next level.

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