|College Football Madness tabs 8 Vandals|
Idaho junior punter Bobby Cowan is a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference choice by College Football Madness. Second-team selections for the Vandals are tight end Mike LaGrone, offensive tackle Matt Cleveland, cornerback Matthew Harvey and safety Gary Walker. Also earning mention as third-team choices are linebackers Korey Toomer and Tre`Shawn Robinson, and punt returner Justin Veltung.
Cowan, from Vancouver, Wash., continued this year to make his mark as one of the best punters in Idaho football history. In 2011, his 88 punts tied Ron Davis (1970) for the single-season record, while his 4,084 punting yards set a Vandal single-season mark. His average of 46.4 per kick is second best for a single-season. He also has the school’s third- and seventh-best single-season averages. His 2011 average was second best in the NCAA.
He moved to the top of Idaho’s career punting average list at 45.2 – 2.6 yards longer than the previous career mark set by Steve Hunter (1971-72). His 189 career punts are fourth all-time and his 8,552 career yards are third all-time.
LaGrone, a junior from Reno, Nev., caught 21 passes for 262 yards to finish with the fourth-best totals among Idaho’s receivers and the best of from the tight end corps. His three touchdown receptions tied for the top mark on the team.
Cleveland, a senior from Kent, Wash., started all 12 games to finish his career with 38 successive starts after being sidelined as a redshirt freshman with an injury.
Harvey, a senior from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who joined the Vandals after playing one season at Ellsworth College, was Idaho’s eighth leading tackler with 38 total tackles, five pass breakups and one pass interception.
Walker, a junior from Redlands, Calif., notched 109 total tackles to finish second to Robinson. He had 67 solo stops and 42 assists with four tackles for loss and one sack. He also had three pass breakups and one fumble recovery. His 67 solo stops tied for 19th nationally and his total tied for 39th.
Toomer, a senior from Las Vegas, Nev., made his mark throughout the season on defense then opened eyes late in the season when he played a dual role at fullback in short yardage situations. He finished the season with 68 total tackles – fifth on the team, and 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks – both team bests. He also had one pass interception, four breakups, three hurries, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. From his fullback position, he scored one two-point conversion and three touchdowns on nine carries totaling 27 yards.
Robinson, a senior from Upland, Calif., led the Vandals with 117 total tackles (59 solo and 58 assists) and had 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in addition to two pass breakups, four hurries and four forced fumbles. He finished tied for 25th nationally in total tackles and 19th in forced fumbles.
Veltung, a junior from Puyallup, Wash., was tabbed as a punt returner with 11 returns for 185 yards – and two touchdowns. He scored on an 81-yard return against Louisiana Tech and on a 64-yarder against New Mexico State. His 81-yard return tied for 16th longest in the NCAA this season.