|Meet the newest Vandals|
Idaho's coaches identified needs, found the pieces they wanted, then went about signing them to letters of intent for the Vandals, which left the always upbeat Robb Akey jovial as he announced the 2011 football signing class.
"I'm very excited about this class," said Idaho's head football coach as he prepares to embark on his fifth year as the Vandals' leader. "I like it a whole lot."
Many parts of the reason he likes it a whole lot is the fit the 2011 class has with the players returning. What he sees happening this spring, summer and into fall camp is a lot of competition - competition that only will serve to make everyone better.
"We're filling depth that we've been working to do since we took over this program," Akey said. "We have some guys that have the opportunity to help us immediately whether it be in regards to raising the level of competition, coming in to win a starting job or provide depth - however it's going to work itself out.
"Nothing's better than competition to make everyone perform better."
Of the newcomers, three already are on campus - defensive back A.J. Annelus, defensive tackle Ryan Edwards and quarterback Dominique Blackman, who will redshirt in the fall because of the Division I transfer rule. This fall, five more junior college players with the ability to have immediate impacts will join the Vandals. Included in this group are defensive tackles Aaron Lazaro and Dontae Scott, offensive linemen A.J. Jones and Brady Lisoski, and linebacker Sua Tuala.
The high school class includes players at virtually every position from across the western United States. Skill players signed in the form of receivers Camryn Harris, Marquan Major and Ian Silbernagel, and running backs Todd Handley and Cameron McKernan. Cody Elenz out of Texas is the lone high school offensive linemen to join the Vandals with Jared Klingenberg the one tight end to sign.
Defensively from the high school ranks are two ends (Ryan Ena and Quinton Bradley), two linebackers (Elan Richard and Jeremiah Walters), and three secondary players (Bradley Njoku, Dion Bass and Solomon Dixon).
"We filled spots at every position," Akey said. "It's helped us get our depth where it needed to be."
Here is the list of players with links to their bios and videos.
A.J. Annelus, CB, Grandview High School, Santa Monica College, Grandview, Mo.
Dion Bass, CB, Centennial High School, Corona, Calif.
Dominique Blackman, QB, Carson High School, Los Angeles Harbor, Old Dominion, Carson, Calif.
Quinton Bradley, DE, Roosevelt High School, San Antonio, Texas
Solomon Dixon, CB, McKinley High School, Honolulu, Hawai`i
Ryan Edwards, DT, Long Beach Poly High School, Long Beach, Calif.
Cody Elenz, OL, Copperas Cove High School, Copperas Cove, Texas
Ryan Ena, DE, El Camino High School, Oceanside, Calif.
Todd Handley, RB, Martin Luther King High School, Riverside, Calif.
Camryn Harris, WR, Valley Christian High School, Dublin, Calif.
A.J. Jones, OL, Chico High School, Butte College, Chico, Calif.
Jared Klingenberg, TE, Cedarcrest High School, Carnation, Wash.
Aaron Lazaro, DT, Otay Ranch High School, Southwestern Community College, Chula Vista, Calif.
Brady Lisoski, OL, Redmond High School, Butte College, Redmond, Wash.
Marquan Major, WR, Las Vegas High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
Cameron McKernan, RB, Kentridge High School, Kent, Wash.
Bradley Njoku, S, Leander High School, Leander, Texas
Elan Richard, LB, Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Wash.
Ian Silbernagel, WR, McKay High School, Salem, Ore.
Dontae Scott, DT, Leilehua High School (Waianae, Hawai`i), Golden West College, Kileen, Texas
Sua Tuala, LB, Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco City College, San Francisco, Calif.
Jeremiah Walters, LB, McClymonds High School, Oakland, Calif.
Check out these Vandal Scholarship Fund events:
Wednesday, February 2nd
5:30PM - Latah County Vandal Booster LOI reception
University Inn Best Western - Moscow, ID - Free Admission
7:30 PM - LC Vandal Booster LOI Party
Red Lion Lewiston - Lewiston, ID- $20 per person
Thursday, February 3rd
6:00 PM - Kootenai County Vandal Booster LOI Party
The Coeur d'Alene Resort - Coeur d'Alene, ID - $25 per person
Monday, February 7th
Noon - Magic Valley Vandal Booster LOI Luncheon
Herret Center at CSI - Twin Falls, ID - $10 per person
6PM - Idaho Falls Vandal Booster LOI Party
The Zone - Idaho Falls, ID - $20 per person
Tuesday, February 8th
Noon - Ada County/West Ada County Vandal Booster LOI Luncheon
Louie's Italian - Meridian, ID - $20 per person