Big Sky Power Rankings Week 4

Reminder this is a “Power Ranking.” It means different things to different people. Some view it as the best team, some view it as hottest team at the moment. At the end of the year, the team that wins the conference may not be No. 1 in our rankings. We had 15 voters this week.

This week | Team | Point total (First Place Votes)

1. Montana

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs Cal Poly

My Ranking: 1

Still Riding high after the stunner against the puppies on Lake Washington, where I may have been only FCS personality to take the Griz confidently. And Yes! I will continue to toot my own horn about it!

They get a warmup this week against Cal Poly before a top 10 FCS clash under the lights on ESPN next weekend. Rumor has it College Gameday may attend…

2. UC Davis

Last Week:W vs Dixie State 60-27

This Week: @ #14 Weber State

My Ranking: 2

UC Davis having a storybook OOC. Beat a Tulsa team that in 2020 played top ranked Cincinati for the AAC Title. Blow out rival San Diego and then pick up a 2nd FCS win last week vs Dixie State. The Aggies playoff resume sitting at 3.5 games after 3 weeks is huge.

If they can pick up a road win vs #13 Weber State, they will have an argument for the top spot next week.

3. Montana State

Last Week W vs San Diego 52-10

This Week: Bye

My Ranking 5

Bobcats had an impressive showing vs Wyoming (so did Idaho two seasons back…) and then beat up two teams that according to the VS Simulator would lose at home to Central Washington. The wins may count towards the playoffs, when Central Washington does not. But EWUs win over CWU is more impressive than either of Montana States.

As you can tell I am more in the minority here for the Big Sky Podcast Network as I have them as the tail team of the big 5 that should make the playoff, but as a last 4 in type of squad.

Matt McKay does look like an improvement from years past. But a 65% completion percentage against the teams he has faced does nothing to give this team a nod over the teams behind them on this list in my opinion.

4. Eastern Washington

Last Week: W @ Western Illinois 62-56

This Week: @ Southern Utah

My Ranking 4

The farewell tour for this band is off to a great start. The first three tour stops include a big showing in Vegas a gig that people from outside might be suprised by, but those that know the band, know they had it in them. Then they have a small show at their local bar and it goes as expected. Followed up with a bit of a mess last week where show went off, but not without so hiccups and eyebrow raising from its fans.

They get an amphitheatre show this week down in the desert. Should be a pretty tame show, but they can’t get caught looking ahead to maybe their headline show next week.

5. Weber State

Last Week: L vs #3 James Madison 24-37

This Week: vs #12 UC Davis

My Ranking: 3

They have lost to the teams they should have, and dominated the teams they should have. So what are they?

Photo: Chris Hammond

They are likely still going to grab a share of the Big Sky Title. You know you are the king when people start rooting against you, simply to make them feel better about their teams. Ask any Montana fan, they have been dealing with it for decades. But that is where people seem to be with Weber State. Starting to get some irrational takes that seem to be said, simple to try and speak them into existense. And I understand things dont last forever. But with Jay Hill still their, I am a little baffled people have turned on Wildcats so much. But like I mentioned earlier, alot of it feels like people just rooting against them out of either hope, fear or fatigue.

I still believe in this team more than most. They may actually preform better in the undercat role. A win vs a SURGING UC Davis team would probably put them back in the spotlight. a loss to UC Davis and expect them to be on the back peddle a bit and most likely fall out of top 5 next week.

6. Northern Arizona

Last Week: W @ Arizona 21-19

This Week: @ Northern Colorado

My Ranking: 7

This one is tough. NAU has gotten curb stomped by the teams they needed to beat and beat a team that really doesnt do anything for them. Im sure Lumberjack fans will disagree with me, but I would trade the UA win last week for a win vs South Dakota and a competetive game or W vs Sam Houston.

I dont think they are worthy of being this high. But everyone below them has done nothing to justify being at the 6 spot either.

If they lose to Northern Colorado and go 0-3 vs FCS to open the season they could find themselves at 12 or 13 next week.

7. Sacramento State

Last Week: L @ Cal 30-42

This Week: @ Idaho State

My Ranking: 11

It appears others in the Big Sky Podcast Network are coming around to the Sac State is back to being in a building stage, not a competing stage. 2019 was a flash in the pan and a few years early. Kevin Thompson had this team rolling in 2019, and when he went out, they didnt look the same.

Well he is gone now and that trend continues even with STUDS like Pierre Williams and Elijah Dotson.

Just to cement this point more.

Dixie State 7 Sacramento State 19

Dixie State 3 Weber State (& their awful offense) 41

Dixie State 27 UC Davis 60

8. Southern Utah

Last Week: W @ Tarleton St 40-35

This Week: vs #6 Montana

My Ranking: 13

Look, the Thunderbirds were about 1:41 seconds from being undefeated in the Spring Season. La’kea Kaho Ohanohano-Davis is a NFL type guy, Landom Measom is Mr.Realiable and Justin Miller is improving. Yet the rest of the team is just simply not good enough to compete vs middle to upper tier sky schools.

Not to mention they sold away their OOC playing two bodybag games within 5 days to open the season. Like, Why?!

9. Portland State

Last Week: W v Western Oregon 21-7

This Week: vs #13 Montana State

My Ranking: 8

#BarnysBeerGarden was a great pubilicty stunt to get students into the game and give this team a chance to win them over.

Not sure the 21-7 win vs D2 W.Oregon was the result to keep them there. Unless Barney brings this promotion back and adds Dots Pretzles to the mix, I think “Top 5 Big Sky Program” Portland State may be a team with about 500 fans and a .500 record.

10. Idaho State

Last Week: Bye

This Week: vs Sacramento State

My Ranking: 6

People are down on the Bengals, but not his guy.

They may be 0-2 to start the year but those loses are to #10 North Dakota and MWC frontrunner Nevada.

I think others will come around to Vanderwaal and the Bengal-Cats if they can pull off a thorough stomping of Sac State.

11. Idaho

Last Week: L @ Oregon State 0-42

This Week: Bye

My Ranking: 9

Look Idaho has done nothing to earn a higher spot on this list. But much like Weber they are exactly where we thought they would be.

The glass half full outlook is 1-2 with a lower division win (tighter) and P5 blowouts losses (by more) was how the 2016 Vandal campaign started. They ended the year 9-4 on a 5 game win streak with the crown jewel being 2 touchdown dogs and blowing out a MWC side in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

If you want to know more listen to our podcast episode this week.

12. Northern Colorado

Last Week: L vs Lamar 10-17 (OT)

This Week: vs Northern Arizona

My Ranking: 10

Start the year down, put together some road preformance that got people to take notice and then they lose home opener vs a bad Lamar side.

Northern Colorado may just be Northern Colorado still. The hope was fun while it lasted.

13. Cal Poly

Last Week: L vs South Dakota 14-48

This Week: @ #4 Montana

My Ranking:12

I mean, people believe in Baldwin, just not yet.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Big Damm Preview: Game 3 – Idaho vs. Oregon State

One body bag game down, one to go! Idaho heads to Corvallis, Oregon for a face-off with the Oregon State Beavers.

Last Game:
The Vandals went down to Bloomington, Indiana for their first ever game against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana went up 35-0 on their way to a 56-14 victory.

Oregon State hosted Hawaii and led from start to finish, winning 45-27.

Last Meeting:
Oregon State shut out Idaho 38-0 in 2006 and have won 16 of the last 17 matchups in the series, with Idaho’s last win coming in 1984.

Quarterbacks:
For Idaho, it was the Mike Beaudry show as the senior took almost every snap behind center while posting a stat line of 23 for 36 (63.9%), 196 yards, and two TDs. CJ Jordan threw three passes and had one rush for five yards between two drives. Zach Borisch (#LetBorischThrow) ran twice with the read option and lost one yard.
Idaho’s plan was to use the first three games as a quarterback competition – with two games down, has Beaudry taken the lead? Or, will CJ Jordan receive the bulk of the snaps against the Beavers as the contest winds down? Will we ever see Borisch throw? [editor’s note: If you ask the Tubs team, we all believe CJ will get the vast majority of the snaps this week.]

Oregon State has taken a long and windy road to current starter Chance Nolan. Incumbent starter Tristan Gebbia injured a hamstring against Oregon last season and has yet to fully recover. 2020 All-Pac-12 second team QB Sam Noyer transferred in from Colorado over the summer and started in the Beavers’ season-opening loss to Purdue, but went just 10 for 21 with 94 yards and an interception before being replaced in the third quarter by Nolan. Nolan, who started three games last season after Gebbia’s injury, received the start last week against Hawaii and went 21 for 29 with 302 yards and two TDs.

Idaho’s Key Players/Statistics:
The Vandals managed just 261 yards of offense against the Hoosiers. Hayden Hatten was yet again the focal point of the Idaho offense, with ten receptions for 94 yards and two TDs. Terez Traynor had a pair of snags for 36 yards, while Cutrell Haywood made his first appearance of the season with two catches for 16 yards. Elisha Cummings led the running backs with seven carries, while Nick Romano led the team in rushing with 20 yards.

Idaho’s defense was led by Tre Walker’s 16 total tackles, followed closely by Fa’Avae Fa’Avae’s 11. Noah Elliss continued to break out, leading the defensive linemen with six tackles. Charles Akanno threw it back to 2019 with a sack and three tackles for loss, and Nate DeGraw also added a sack.

Special teams struggled against Indiana, with two blocked punts (one returned for a touchdown) and plenty of head shakes from Tubs at the Club’s special teams coordinator Alex Boatman. Outside of the blocks, Caleb Lightbourn (former Oregon State Beaver) averaged over 50 yards per punt with two punts pinned inside the 20.

Oregon State’s Key Players/Statistics:
Yes, this section is for players and statistics, but this article can’t be written without mention of Beaver head coach Jonathan Smith and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren. Smith was the Idaho quarterbacks coach from 2004-2009 under Nick Holt, Dennis Erickson, and Robb Akey, before departing after the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl victory. Lindgren was the Vandal starting quarterback from 2001-2003 and co-owns Idaho’s record for touchdown passes in a game with six. [editor’s note: Lindgren is frequently mentioned on the Tubs at the Club wishlist for next Idaho head coach after Paul Petrino.]

The Beaver offense currently leads the Pac-12 with 460 yards per game, bolstered by the top passing attack in the conference. 2020 All-Pac-12 first teamer Nathan Eldridge and 2020 All-Pac-12 second teamer Joshua Gray block up front for Nolan, while eight different receivers/tight ends have registered multiple receptions so far, led by Trevon Bradford’s 11 catches for 154 yards, and Anthony Gould’s eight catches for 127 yards. B.J. Baylor heads the rushing game, with 27 carries for 197 yards and five TDs on the season.

Defensively, Oregon State is led by All-Pac-12 linebacker Avery Roberts with 22 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. Andrezj Hughes-Murray leads the Beavers with two sacks. Defensive backs Alex Austin, Jaydon Grant, and linebacker Riley Sharp all have an interception on the season.

Key to the Game:
Come out firing, score on the first few possessions, and avoid the special teams gaffes.

Game Predictions:
Producer Dallas: I don’t think anyone is expecting a win or even a close game, but I wouldn’t expect Oregon State to jump out to a 35-0 lead like Indiana did. If the Vandals can score a few times early, they might be able to hang for a bit. Ultimately though, the depth of a Pac-12 school will be too much to overcome, and Oregon State wins 48-17.
Boatman: OSU by 3.5 scores
Brian: OSU 45-24
Chris: OSU 45-20

Big Damm Preview: Game 2 – Idaho vs. Indiana

Fresh off starting the season with a 68-0 beatdown of Simon Fraser, Idaho hits the road to Big Ten country for a showdown with the Indiana Hoosiers. This will be the first time in history that Idaho and Indiana match up.

Last Game:
Idaho shredded Simon Fraser as six different players each registered more than 20 rushing yards on the way to 316 total yards on the ground.

The preseason #17 Hoosiers got drubbed on the road by a different black and gold team as Iowa went wire-to-wire in a 34-6 victory.

Quarterbacks:
Zach Borisch got the start for the Vandals against Simon Fraser, but never threw the ball [editor’s note: #LetBorischThrow] as Idaho alternated between CJ Jordan and Mike Beaudry as the primary quarterback for each quarter, with Borisch relegated to spot duty running the read option.
Jordan, playing the first and third quarters, went 7 for 12 with 161 yards and two TDs, adding another 61 yards and a TD on the ground. Beaudry went 10 for 15 with 116 yards, plus 47 yards rushing. Borisch had 8 rushes for 34 yards, one of which was a botched snap over his head that he recovered for negative 14 yards (if you remove this bad snap broken play, he went 7 rushes for 48 yards.)
Idaho is expected to play all three quarterbacks this week against the Hoosiers.

Indiana returns redshirt junior Michael Penix Jr. [editor’s note: our nonexistent lawyers have informed us that we must stress the pronunciation is pen-icks.] While turning in an all-conference stat line in 2020, at one point leading the Big Ten in passing yards, yards per game, touchdowns, completions, and attempts; Penix suffered an ACL injury to end his season early. Despite the injury, Penix was given Big Ten preseason honors for 2021, and is on the watchlist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Walter Camp, Manning, and Unitas awards. Against Iowa last week, his first game since the injury, he went 14 for 31, 156 yards, and three INTs.

Idaho’s Key Players/Statistics:
The Vandal offense distributed the ball all over the field last week, as 13 players registered a rush or reception. Roshaun Johnson paced the backs with 10 rushes for 87 yards, and one catch for 17 yards. Hayden Hatten led the receivers with 106 yards and a TD off of two catches, while Michael Noil had four receptions for 68 yards. Newcomers Elisha Cummings (six carries for 56 yards), Terez Traynor (three catches for 25 yards), and Mekhi Stevenson (two catches for 22 yards, plus four punt returns for 61 yards) passed the eye test with limited offensive stats and look to be key contributors moving forward.

Defensively, Idaho held Simon Fraser to just 90 yards, and had 27 players register a defensive statistic, led by Noah Elliss’s eight tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss. Hogan Hatten, Malakai Williams, Rahsaan Crawford, Coleman Johnson, and tight end turned linebacker Logan Kendall all registered a sack. Sean McCormick had the Vandals’ only turnover, with a 32 yard interception return.

Indiana’s Key Players/Statistics:
Indiana finished 12th in the AP poll last season, their highest finish in over 50 years, and came into 2021 with their first preseason ranking since 1969. Head coach Tom Allen was named the AFCA Coach of the Year last season.

Offensively, Penix carries the bulk of the accolades for the Hoosier offense, but receiver Ty Fryfogle was an All-American last season, and is on the watchlist for the Maxwell and Biletnikoff Awards this year. Tight end Peyton Hendershot is on the watchlist for the John Mackey Award, offensive lineman Matthew Bedford is on the Outland Trophy watchlist, and running back Stephen Carr is on the Doak Walker Award watchlist. Carr received the bulk of the work on the ground last week against Iowa, with 19 carries for 57 yards. Fryfogle and Hendershot had over half of the receiving output, with eight catches and 110 yards between them. Lou Groza Award watchlist kicker Charles Campbell scored all six points for the Indiana offense last week.

Linebacker Micah McFadden and cornerback Tiawan Mullen also received All-American honors last season, and both players are on the watchlist for the Bednarik and Nagurski Trophies. McFadden is also on the Butkus Award watchlist, while Mullen is on the Jim Thorpe Award watchlist.

Key to the Game:
Avoid injury. Get more clarity on the QB competition. Get out alive.

Game Predictions:
Producer Dallas: Well, last week I was not prepared for Simon Fraser to be as bad as they were. Hand up, I got last week’s prediction wrong. This week, I’m more confident. Indiana is too big, too deep, and too talented for Idaho to pull off the Big Sky over FBS upset that was in vogue last week and I don’t see Idaho containing the Hoosier offense like Iowa did. Indiana wins 45-13.
Boatman: Indiana 52-21 (with the back door cover by Idaho at the end)
Brian: Indiana 45-17
Chris: Indiana 35-18

Big Damm Preview: Game 1 – Simon Fraser vs. Idaho

Less than five months since we last saw the Vandal football team, we’re back with a full fall season! Unlike the spring season which saw Idaho ranked at times, the Vandals come into the fall with considerably lower expectations, not receiving a single vote in any national poll. Idaho was picked to finish eighth in the conference by both the Big Sky Coaches and Media polls. The Vandals kick off their season with a tune-up home game against the hated rivals from Canada, Simon Fraser University.

Previous Matchup:
Idaho has hosted Simon Fraser twice, in 1980 and 1981, the final two seasons of Jerry Davitch’s time as the Vandal head coach. Idaho won 56-16 and 52-7 respectively.

Quarterbacks:
Idaho expects to showcase three different quarterbacks this game, with the plan of naming a starter when Big Sky Conference play begins. Expect Mike Beaudry, CJ Jordan, and Zach Borisch to all see reps this weekend, as all three quarterbacks are listed with an “OR” designation on the two (or three) deep. Listed first on the depth chart is Beaudry, who played in four games during the spring season and went 73 for 123 (59%) with three TDs and three INTs. Jordan is listed next, who went 16 for 27 (59%) in his single appearance. Borisch was a bit of a revelation last spring, starting the year off listed as a special teams running back before starting at quarterback in the second to last game of the season. Borisch went just 6 for 12 with one TD and two INTs, but led the Vandals in rushing yards with 283 in just two appearances.

Simon Fraser has two quarterbacks from the state of Washington competing for the starting job, in sophomores Justin Seiber and Brandon Niksich. Seiber went 105 for 185 (57%) with 1116 yards, 7 TDs and 7 INTs in 2018; but was injured in the first game of the 2019 season. Niksich took over from there and went 150 for 281 (53%) with 1926 yards, 10 TDs and 10 INTs.

Idaho’s Key Players:
The Vandals return the bulk of the squad from the spring season, including Tre Walker and his countless preseason accolades (including, but not limited to, Big Sky Defensive MVP, Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch List, and numerous All-American teams.)

Offensively, the three quarterbacks will have Hayden Hatten and Cutrell Haywood back as the primary pass catchers, as well as new transfers Terez Traynor and Mekhi Stevenson. Traynor is listed as a starter opposite Hatten, with Stevenson listed behind Traynor. Freshman Elisha Cummings breaks into the two-deep at running back behind returning starter Roshaun Johnson, while 2019’s leading Vandal rusher Aundre Carter returns to the team.

On the other side of the ball, Walker leads a loaded front seven filled with studs and depth, even with the departure of Christian Elliss for his NFL dreams. Sophomore Sully Shannon will get the first crack at replacing Elliss. Charles Akanno and Rahsaan Crawford will start in the front seven as the final remaining Vandals from the 2016 bowl-winning team.

Friend of the pod Cade Coffey has finished his career as an all-time great Vandal special-teamer, and will be replaced as punter by Caleb Lightbourn, while Logan Prescott returns as the kicker after handling kickoffs and occasional spot duty in relief of Coffey last season. Nick Romano will once again be receiving kickoffs, while Stevenson is designated as the punt returner.

Key to the Game:
The Vandals must come out firing on all cylinders and build a large lead very quickly. This will be Simon Fraser’s first game since a 51-14 loss to Central Washington on November 16th, 2019. SFU has only won two games since 2015. Idaho must put them away early and get the opportunity to play the vast majority of the roster before looking ahead to the “body bag” games on the road at Indiana and Oregon State.

Game Predictions:
Producer Dallas: Idaho does not blow away an inferior opponent as the offense looks rusty and disjointed, while never finding a rhythm in the midst of playing three quarterbacks. The Vandals win is never in any danger, and a lot of young guys get reps, but fans are left to wonder how this game wasn’t a blowout. Idaho wins 31-17.
Boatman: 48-14
Brian: 45-14
Chris: 80-10

Idaho Preps With FCS Potential

Big Sky Recruiting of The State of Idaho

The State of Idaho has been steadily growing as a High School Football recruiting ground for College Football. Idaho has produced some phenomenal FBS talents in recent times like Taysom Hill, Leighton Vander Esch, Shea McClellin, Taylor Kelly and Tanner Mangum. We also just had a guy like Jonah Elliss out of Moscow High be highly recruited and looks to possibly be the next NFL guy from the state of Idaho.

But for everyone of those guys, there are so many talented individuals coming from Idaho. I worked with Justin Jackson, the founder of Rare Academy ID, to identify some guys that have FCS potential. Even a few I was cautious to post about. According to Justin, there are some SERIOUS sleepers in this years class.

Big Sky schools are starting to notice the talent in the state as well. There are 72 players from the state currently on a Big Sky roster for the 21-22 season. Maybe the more important stat, the blue bloods of the conference have taken notice.

Big Sky Schools # of Idaho Players
Cal Poly0
Eastern Washington2
Idaho19
Idaho State29
Montana4
Montana State6
Northern Arizona0
Northern Colorado0
Sacramento State0
Southern Utah0
UC Davis1
Weber State11
TOTAL72

Weber State has won the Big Sky 4 years in a row now and in 2019 made the FCS semi-finals. They have 11 players from the State of Idaho. This includes 2x All-Conference and current Preseason All-Conference Junior George Taralas from Borah High in Boise.

Montana State also has dipped their toe in the Idaho waters when head coach Jeff Choate was at the helm. The St. Maries kid and former BSU assistant knew the gems in the gem state. Tucker Rovig of Mountain View led them under center to the semi-finals of the 2019 FCS Playoffs.

Another former Bronco, UC Davis head ball coach Dan Hawkins has been recruiting the Treasure Valley pretty heavy since taking the helm for the Aggies. He may not have won many of the recruiting battles, but he offers a healthy amount of Idaho kids.

FCS PROSPECTS

Over the course of a couple phone calls and a few of the RARE Academy Idaho camps we has compiled a list of guys in the state that are FCS Prospects.

RARE Academy Idaho is an all-year training academy for kids throughout the whole state. This is not only physical training, but they do alot to help with the mental side of being an athlete and making the move to the college environment. Like many of you, Justin and his team see the potential growing in this State and just want to help these kids get the offers they are capable of. Then have the tools to succeed physically and mentally once on campus.

If you have never checked them out, you should. Its more of a have to see it to believe it. What they do for recruits in this State is amazing and one of a kind. They are only going to continue to grow and help your sons, nephews, neighbors be recognized and preforming at their peak.

The have a staff of former FBS players including Idahos own Brady Strodtbeck who cleared holes for Vandal running backs during the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Some are borderline FBS guys, others could be PWO/D2 type guys. But this is the crop of dudes to keep your eye on and go see if their team is in your area this season.

PlayerPositionSchool
Davis ThackerWRMeridian
Ethan MikitaWREagle
Kade ThompsonWRRocky Mountain
Trais HigginsWRNampa
Ethan CastilloWRCapital
Garret LavinWRTimberline
Jackson MasonWRRocky Mountain
Gavin CappsWRJerome
Fisher ClementsTEMt.View
Isaiah SawyerTEMt. View
Will VailTEMelba
Gage JonesSEagle
Adam BallRBSt. Regis
Cross AntonnacchiRBMeridian
Taylor MarcumRBTimberline
Brett SpencerQB Weiser
Tiger AdolphoQBRigby
Carter FortinQBCole Valley
Malakai MartinezQBMeridian
Kaimen PeeblesQBSouth Freemont
Owen ToledoOLRocky Mountain
Gunnar ClarkOLMountain Home
Talin TogiaiOLRigby
Seth KnotheLBBishop Kelly
Caden KelleyLBRocky Mountain
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Garrett McKennaLBMountain View
Jackson BergerLBCDA
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Landyn YoungDLRocky Mountain
Liam ReevesDLTimberline
Jaxson WashingtonDLCDA
Deion TawzerDLRigby
Charles JudyDLSkyview
Jackson BeckDLMountain View
Aiden WhippleDLMountain View
Zachary ClarkDBPost Falls
Alameen AbimdolaDBMountain View
Casey CopeATHVallivue
Tao JohnsonATHThunder Ridge

There is loads of talent on this list. But there are a couple guys I want to highlight. Particularly in terms of Idaho going after them. I’m going to spotlight a few in no particular order.

Adam Ball 6’0 200lbs RB #17 St. Regis

I know this could be looked at as cheating since St.Regis the town is technically in Montana. But it is a border town and Adam is attending the RARE Academy Idaho showcases. He is not just attending, he is preforming. When Justin talks about this kid, you hear it in his voice. He is something special. He is the reason something like RARE exists.

If there is one name to take away from this piece. It is Adam Ball. Justin speaks so highly of this guy I am planning on attending a St. Regis game in person this season. (Scroll down for a list of MUST catch games this fall). Ball has been a standout at every event and is still under the radar. Almost, so much so, I just wanted to leave him off the list and just text our coaches about offering this kid. I just couldn’t not mention him, he deserves the recognition and WILL BE the steal of this class.

Davis Thacker 6’3 205lbs WR # 6 Meridian

Davis is the brother of Damen Thacker who just started 23 games for the Vandal hoops team. We know Paul Petrino is always talking about “family”. He loves recruiting sons, brothers, nephews of coaches, former players etc. Damen Thacker did transfer out and was apart of a different athletics program, but this is a move I would not be surprised to see our athletic department make.

Davis currently does not have any offers.

Taylor Marcum 6’0 185lbs RB #21 Timberline

If you follow prep football, this one is obvious. Taylor Marcum is one of the highly recruited guys in the state. In fact on July 18th he committed to Montana State. But, we have seen recently verbals change before NSD. He has an offer from the Vandals and Idaho is building a bit of a pedigree of giving in-state RBs playing time. Lets not forget the first play of the 2019 season against Penn State, Paul put in true freshman Nick Romano RB from Rocky Mountain and threw the ball to him. He is not afraid to say RBs from the state of Idaho are big time.

Garret Lavin 6’1 180lbs WR #19 Timberline

Yes, back to back Timberline guys. But, me myself, I am a Timberline guy. “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

Garrett is another legacy type guy. He comes from a Vandal family and just a guy I would love to see be given a shot. Even if our receiver room is getting crowded.

He does not currently have any offers.

Gage Jones 6’1 185lbs DB Eagle

Likely the best defensive back in the State, Gage is poised to have one heck of a season. With a few seasons now of poor secondary play. Getting this local stud would go along way to sure up the backend.

Jaxson Washington 6’1 260lbs DL #78 Couer D Alene

The kid is just one of those grinders. He has got a gym in the garage at home and from looks of it has spent some time with his second cousin Washington States star RB Max Borghi. He also is a very good wrestler, which is a extra bonus in a lineman. He also won the RARE Showcases events top 6 lineman honors.

The Vikes have put out loads of division one talent in the past decade. It is a program you trust. Our defensive line isn’t getting any younger. We should be looking to add 2 to 3 guys on the line in this class.

He currently has 3 offers from a few NAIA and such schools, some sort of offer from the Bengals in Pocatello. But looks to be getting looks from and Montana. His father is a former walk-on and they are a big Griz Family. They have been exposed to the Vandals and we could get him, but if Montana offers (especially before us) it would be hard to win this recruiting battle.

Malakai Martinez 6’0 180lbs QB #3 Meridian

Maybe a bit under the radar until recently. He is starting to show-up everywhere. He was one of if not the first QB Justin gave me. Then on August 8th he was announced the 6th best QB in The Northwest 9 the QB camp former guest of the podcast Taylor Barton runs.

Right now has no offers, I know Idaho has brought in the likes of CJ Jordan, Gevani McCoy and MacCloud Crowton. But you can never have too many QBs.

Hayden Klincheloe 5’10 215lb RB #23 Homedale

This one is a me pick. I watched Hayden in 3A state semis and final last season. He was hard not to notice. I turned to my friend I was in attendance with and said “this is the type of kid Idaho needs to offer.” I later learn he comes from a deep vandal family.

Feedback I got throught the grapevine is his speed is a concern. Well, if you can’t tackle him it doesn’t really matter does it?!

Hayden Klincheloe in State Playoffs Photo By: Chris Hammond

Games To Catch FCS Talent

For some of you football nuts out there, you want to catch these guys before they may suit up for or against the silver and gold in the coming years. I compiled a list of games to catch to watch some of this FCS talent under friday night lights around this beautiful state.

Week 1

Treasure Valley

Mountain View vs Meridian – Meridian,ID (Mountain View, HS)

  • 9 possible FCS guys

Capital vs Nampa – Boise, ID (Donnar Larson Park)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Eagle vs Bishop Kelly – Boise, ID (Bishop Kelly HS)

  • 3 possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Buhl vs Weiser – Buhl, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Twin Falls vs Vallivue – Twin Falls, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 2

Spokane-CDA Area

Lakeside vs St. Regis – Plummer, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Mountain View – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 13 Possible FCS guys

Nampa vs Skyview – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 3 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Rigby vs Post Falls – Rigby, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Week 3

Spokane-CDA Area

Koontenai vs St.Regis – Harrison, ID

  • 1 possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountai HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Week 4

Spokane-CDA Area

Clark Fork vs St. Regis – Clark Fork, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Post Falls vs Mount Si (WA) – Post Falls, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Thunder Ridge vs Rigby – Twin Falls (Thunder Ridge HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Week 5

Treasure Valley

Skyview vs Rocky Mountain – Nampa, ID

  • 10 Possible FCS guys

Melba vs Cole Valley – Melba, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Week 6

Treasure Valley

Eagle vs Timberline – Eagle, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Meridian v Skyview – Meridian, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS Guys

Week 7

Treasure Valley

Timberline vs Rocky Mountain – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Skyview vs Eagle – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Canyon Ridge vs Mountain Home – Twin Falls (Canyon Ridge HS)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 8

Treasure Valley

Homedale vs Weiser – Homedale, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Vallivue vs Bishop Kelly – Caldwell, ID (Vallivue HS)

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Timberline vs Skyview – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Spokane-CDA

Coeur d’Alene v Post Falls – Coeur d’Alene, ID

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Sugar-Salem vs South Fremont – Sugar City, ID

Week 9

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉