Seniors Deremy Geiger, Djim Bandoumel and Landon Tatum talk about Saturday’s game against Portland State in the Sears Bracket Buster matchup and their last home game as Vandals
uiargonaut.com profiles University of Idaho women’s tennis player Molly Knox
The Vandals were able to pull out a 70-69 home victory over Seattle University after falling behind by as much as 17 points in the first half. The Vandals will face New Mexico State next on Thursday in the Cowan Spectrum.
This week we talk with Idaho mens basketball coach Don Verlin, forward Stephen Madison and guard Matt Borton as they prep for three home games in five days, starting 2.7 with Seattle U.
Idaho football coach Robb Akey talks about the 24 new recruits that have signed letters of intention to play for the Vandals next season.
Idaho senior guard Landon Tatum talks about this weekend’s road trip to Fresno State and Nevada. The Vandals split these two games at home to start the WAC season and will look for two wins to boost them near the top of the conference.
We’ll be going live from coach Robb Akey’s National Signing Day news conference at 12:15 on Wednesday, Feb. 1. We will also have a full recap and (better quality) video piece up as soon as we can.
In this week’s news conference, Idaho coach Don Verlin talks about the team’s loss to Hawaii, their upcoming games at Fresno State and Nevada, and the importance of Djim Bandoumel.
Sean Kramer | Argonaut
The Idaho Vandal football program will welcome new members to its family Wednesday.
National signing day marks the first day prospective student-athletes for football are allowed to send signed, binding letters of intent to coaches to accept scholarships.
The days, weeks and months leading up to signing day can be the most fun for fans as speculation is non-stop as to where prospective athletes will go to school. By the end of the day, a clearer picture will be painted of the college football world, and the Vandals.
It’s important to remember a few points when speculating about the commitments the Vandals have received from players. For one, even if they are verbally committed it does not stop potential players from keeping their options open and considering other schools. Verbals are spoken understandings between coaches and players, and not binding at all. The world of recruiting is incredibly fluid and athletes change their minds all the time.
Second, most of what the public knows about commitments and scholarships that have supposedly been offered come from the athletes themselves and media accounts. Idaho coach Robb Akey and the Vandal football staff are prohibited from speaking about any athletes that haven’t sent in a LOI to a school. Until then, it is an NCAA violation.
Now, here are the kids that have tentatively agreed to become Vandals.
Ma’ne Maneae – safety – Lakes High School (Lakewood, Wash.)
Commit status: solid verbal
As Washington based prep sports writer Jerry Mercado put it to me, Maneae is Christmas come early for the Vandals. The three-star recruit, according to Scout.com, committed to Idaho after an official visit Jan. 13. Maneae lacks ideal safety size at 5-foot-11-inches but presents speed and could be used anywhere in the secondary. He will be a welcome addition to a defensive back field that lacked closing speed had difficulty containing the deep pass.
Chad Chalich, quarterback, Coeur D’Alene High School
Commit status: solid verbal
Chalich’s recruiting situation is eerily similar to former Boise State QB Kellen Moore. Chalich is fresh off leading his team to the 5A Idaho state championship while pulling Idaho state player of the year honors, and was largely dismissed as a scholarship-worthy athlete to most programs in the Northwest.
Boise State and Utah only offered him a place as a prefer walk-on and Idaho was the only reported team to offer him a scholarship. It will be interesting to see if Akey offers the opportunity for Chalich to compete with Dominique Blackman and Taylor Davis for the starting job or if he redshirts. Chalich told Josh Wright of the Spokesman-Review he would prefer to redshirt his first season as a Vandal. Chalich is one of three quarterbacks committed to Idaho’s recruiting class.
Johmel Charles, fullback, Dominguez High School – (Compton, Calif.)
Commit status: undecided
If Charles ends up in Moscow he could be exactly what Idaho’s running game has been missing. The third and short, goal-line situations were so bad for the Vandals in 2011, that by the end of the year linebacker Korey Toomer was getting carries in order to convert first downs. Charles brings a 240-pound frame to the table and is a punishing blocker. He played defensive end, offensive line and running back in high school and could even translate to linebacker at the college level. Charles has offers from Southern Methodist and Fresno State as well. He is said to be favoring Boise State, but does not have an offer from coach Chris Petersen and the Broncos.
Matt Willis, linebacker, Los Angeles Harbor Junior College
Commit status: solid verbal
With the departure of Tre’Shawn Robinson the Vandals could be counting on Willis to compete for a now-vacant inside linebacker spot. Willis has good sideline-to-sideline speed and is an aggressive run-stopper who fits the Vandals’ defensive scheme well. He was a JUCO all-American at Los Angeles Harbor.
Other names to keep an eye on:
Jayshawn Jordan, cornerback, O’dea High School (Seattle, Wash.)
Commit status: soft verbal
Jordan originally committed to Wyoming but according to Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune, has switched his commitment to Idaho. Rivals.com has him committed to both schools, curiously. We’ll know for sure on signing day.
Cranston Jones, cornerback, West Mesquite High School (Mesquite, Tex.)
Commit status: solid verbal
There is a reason Idaho is attacking the secondary in this recruiting class. The Vandals convinced Jones to resist offers from Houston and Air Force in order to come to Moscow. ESPN ranks him No. 32 best corner prospect in the country. If Idaho is able to ink these potential Vandals, fans can expect them to make an immediate impact in fall 2012 and Akey better hope they do.
Here is our transcript of the interview with Alicia Kramer. Actual date of this interview was in June.Vandal Nation: What is the University of Idaho’s role in all of this?
Alicia Kramer: When I first started this campaign on twitter and stuff, I reached out to the University singularly through a number of different people. I was contacted by the Gallatin group. They contacted the University of Idaho and got the whole school on board. That was just really awesome, to make an official statement. It really meant a lot that they jumped on board. Dad loves that school, went to that school, supports that school. They’ve helped me contact news outlets, set up interviews, all sorts of stuff. It’s really brought this campaign up a few notches. My focus was in Green Bay and Wisconsin, but to have the University and home state behind it, it really took off.VN: Mark Sclereth has joined the campaign. How has he helped?
AK: A lot of people already assume that dad is in the hall of fame. Mark has such a large following, that even for him to tweet out that he supports Jerry Kramer for hall of fame, people will come back to me and say “Your dad isn’t in the hall of fame?” and it starts that conversation so I can let them know what they can do.VN: Where we are in the process?
AK: The voters have met and are meeting right now. They’re widdling down a list of senior selection candidates, announced in August who those nominees will be. I stopped a letter writing campaign at the end of May, but I’ve been encouraged by people who are watching the campaign to keep going, keep sending letters in, all the way until nominations are announced. Nominees have been announced in August and I’m campaigning until they say stop.VN: What have you heard as to why your father isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet?
AK: I’ve heard that there are too many Lombardi era Packers in the hall of fame, the voters who happen to be writers are jealous of his success with “Instant Replay”. That he hasn’t garnished enough support in second round of the process. When he makes it past nominations he has to gain at least 80 percent of support. Voters have changed, some have gone on and done other stuff, some have passed away.
The thing about there being too many Lombardi era Packers is that dad was a star among stars. There was so many guys on that team that did so much that maybe his position wasn’t as glamorous as some others that he didn’t get as much recognition.When the Hall first began they inducted a lot of Packers, Bears and Steelers so they felt like they needed to focus on the rest of the league.
Through social media I’ve been able to talk to some of the voters and some of them have never seen him, heard of him or seen his portfolio in front of him. And what they have stressed to me is that they need to hear from Jerry Kramer’s opponents. From Frank Gifford, Roger Staubach, players he played against.
We have a lot going on now but I’m not confortable enough, I want more, I want to over whelm that hall of fame committee.VN: Are you planning a visit to Moscow?
AK: I love coming up to the University of Idaho but It’s one of my favorite places. I’ve been going up there since I was a little girl, accompanying dad on trips. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to make a trip up there.Another thing is that is a problem is that there is a generation gap. People from my dad’s era, they are the ones who are really pouring out. But if I were going to go up there today, there are a lot of kids who might have heard of him but wouldn’t know much about his football career. I just don’t know how much they would know about his football career or who he is. Vandal history there is part of my tradition in my family, if I can make it up there it’d be great.VN: What is your fathers role in all of this?
AK: Sitting back and enjoying it, and that’s what I wanted him to do. When I started it, he wasn’t too happy with the idea. This will be the eleventh time nominated if it happens. After a while of being nominated and not having this succeed, you just move on to the things in your life that you can control and you can do something about. Your family, your business. Whether this happens or not I think he is in a really good place about it. The support that is coming out from people he played against so long ago is making him feel really humble. He can’t believe that Packer fans, football fans, Vandal fans and all these Hall of Famers are coming to his behalf, he just feels really humble by it. It’s really neat to see.
It’s neat to say “Hey, dad, Roger Staubach wrote a letter of support for you.”
This wasn’t his idea, and I asked him what if he doesn’t get in and he said “this is it” and I had to promise him that.VN: What role has social media played in all of this?
AK: Social media has been really powerful. It’s been exponential in some ways. Having a ripple in the pond impact, if I share something with one person and they like it, they share it with their friends and so forth, it’s exponential.
The response to it has been staggering. I honestly can’t judge it. I have a group of people in my social network that I see and feel and that I gauge from, but I can’t see what they are doing and what their friends are doing so it’s hard for me to judge sometimes how we are getting across.
When it comes to reaching hall of famers and voters, that’s the old fashioned way. That’s writing a letter, that’s putting in a phone call. A lot of them are older, retired and aren’t on twitter. Roger Staubach, Frank Gifford, those guys aren’t on twitter. To general fan people, to people who are excited bout football, that’s how I reach them. Then the support that generates from them gets the world. And that’s been overwhelming. A lot of people have stories.