Western Washington Hoss in Vandal Orbit

THE VANDALS ARE CLEARLY PUTTING A PREMIUM ON LOADING UP THE TRENCHES for the 2010 recruiting class, and so far Coach Akey and crew are making a major impact on northwest talent. Idaho already has commitments from Mike Marboe and Spencer Beale, and a third is in the mix. Mammoth tackle DANIEL FLEISCHMAN (6-6.5, 280) carries multiple offers, with Idaho, Wyoming and EWU topping his interest list.

PLAYER BIO: Daniel Fleischman, 6-6, 280, OT

If there is one thing Vandal fans have grown to appreciate in the last couple of years - and especially this season - it is the value of an offensive line that can dominate the line of scrimmage. This year's squad has, at times, shoved opposing defenses up and down the field. Where this is most evident is in short yardage situations, when it becomes, plain and simple, a battle of brute force. In years past, Idaho struggled to convert on third-and-a-yard situations, or fourth and a yard, when everyone in the stands new a run was coming. So many times, the line just couldn't get a push to make the conversion.

Not this year. Outland Trophy candidate Mike Iupati and his mates literally shouldered Saturday night's victory on the last possession, grinding out a 75-yard drive (aided by some never-say-die running by DeMaundray Woolridge and Princeton McCarty) to give Idaho a 29-25 victory.

The Vandal line this year has been impressive, and the enormous value in keeping the pipeline fully stocked for the future is clearly evident.

Enter prospect Daniel Fleischman, a 6-6, 280-pound bull of a lineman who, like the Vandal line of today, at times dominates the opposition. It is virtually impossible to overlook his mauling style on the field in his video clips.

Fleischman has been on the Vandal radar for a long time, and things are heating up. "It's going good," he told GoVandals.net earlier this week. "I've got a couple schools. I need to find out more -- who's the best fit for me."

He currently holds offers from Idaho, Wyoming, Southern Utah, Montana State, and Eastern Washington. Among the offers, he makes no hesitation in listing his top three. "It's definitely between Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Wyoming."

He's been on visits to Montana State and Wyoming, and two weeks ago he was on the Idaho campus on an unofficial visit when the Vandals downed Mountain West opponent Colorado State on ESPN-U. "I loved the energy," Fleischman said of the environment in the Dome. "I didn't get to see the campus much, but what I saw I liked.

"The fans seem really dedicated," he went on to say. "It just seemed like a community effort. It was just really nice – I experienced a college town."

And the future biology major who is eyeing a pre med curriculum definitely isn't taking his college decision lightly. "A lot of it is just like, where do I really feel comfortable spending not only the five year commitment, but -- it impacts the rest of my life, this decision, my education. How it will impact me in the future, and how I will fit in."

A pretty heady analysis from a gifted recruit looking far beyond his time on the gridiron.

From a football standpoint, like most programs, Idaho is recruiting Fleischman to play offensive tackle. How does he expect his playing career to develop at the next level? "Definitely a redshirt year," he said of his plans for next fall. "Probably will play special teams or a backup as a freshman, and hopefully a starter as a sophomore."

Not surprisingly, it is a well thought out a scenario from an athlete who has high expectations for his education as well as his playing career.

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