Odds and Ends

The 2002 season is history, and while we look ahead to 2003, we thought we'd try to catch up with the team and ask about a few players. Mainly, we just had some questions about a couple guys, and here is what we found.

Things have been relatively quiet in Vandaland with regard to football lately...quiet unless you have an inside track on recruiting, anyway. Nonetheless, we took it upon ourselves to nose around campus the last couple of weeks and ask some questions we had regarding some players from last season. Namely, there were several guys whom we thought would be playing important roles last fall that never made it onto the football field. We wanted to check up on them, make sure everything was OK and find out about their status for next season. So, here ya go...

1. Shung Peoples (RB, 5-10, 182, Jr). What in the world ever happened with this dude last year? We saw him in spring and fall drills tearing things up, he had some good wheels and he was a nice compliment to Malfred Shaw's more bruising running style. Then, for no apparent reason, as soon as the season started we never saw him play. Well, it turns out Shung was redshirted last season, and should make a strong impact in the running back rotation this fall. We'll keep our eyes, and camera lens, open for him.

2. Johnny Parra (DT, 6-3, 310, Jr). An ex-marine, Johnny was one of a trio of big JC transfers who signed with Idaho last spring to shore-up the Vandals interior defensive line. Unfortunately, Johnny tore an ACL during fall drills, and missed the entire season. We've learned that he was able to redshirt last season, and will be looked to this fall as a cog on what should be a deeper defensive line.

3. Ben Allen (DB, 6-0, 190, Jr). Ben very quietly joined the Vandals last fall as a recruit who transferred to Idaho out of Rick's College (along with DE Kody Kraus and TE Kelly Nead, both of whom started for Idaho last fall). Ben sustained what was originally believed to be a fairly "mild" knee injury last spring, but the injury turned out to be intense enough that he missed all of last season. Fortunately, Ben had a redshirt year available and should be back in the fold next fall.

5. Robert Ortega (DB, 6-1, 200, Jr). We at VandalVenue.com were excited last year when Idaho signed this young man, and by the end of the season proved to be as good as expected as he started 5 of Idaho's last 6 games at Free Safety. He missed the last game of the year for personal reasons, but all indications now indicate he should be back in the fold next fall. We at VV.com certainly hope this young man makes it back to Moscow.

6. Mike Barrow (Kicker, 5-11, 165, Freshman). Mike is one of several recruits from last year's class we expect to start seeing more of soon, possibly as early as this fall. He may be one of the best pure kickers to be recruited to Idaho since Mike Hollis, an All-Pro currently with the Buffalo Bills. There was some question last year whether he would be redshirted or greyshited, and our sources indicate he was redshirted last fall. Regardless, keep your eyes open for this young man.

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