Former Columbia High football coach Derek Mertz knew he had a gentle giant when he first met Nick Edenfield.
The home-schooled offensive lineman, however, was a little too gentle.
He was a very nice kid that also played nice, and for a lineman, that meant he wasnt very good, Mertz said.
The 6-foot- 4, 270-pound Edenfield has maintained his off-field kindness, sprinkling sir into his conversations with elders, but also has learned to play with a mean streak. Mertz now calls him a brutal run blocker.
The 4A All-Idaho selection will sign a letter of intent with Idaho Vandals on Wednesday, something Edenfield has waited to do for eight months since verbally committing in June.
I just cant wait to get started, Edenfield said. They have a great O-line tradition, and I have always wanted to play in a small college town.
Though he has always looked like a football player, Edenfield, who attended public school classes for the first time this school year, didnt start playing the game until his freshman year.
He started at guard as a sophomore, but was moved to junior varsity after struggling in his first two games.
I didnt get to play varsity again until the last game of the season, Edenfield said. I wasnt going to go any further unless I developed that intensity.
Mertz noticed a change when Edenfield responded to a cheap shot with some never-before-seen aggression in a scrimmage that next summer.
Once he started doing that on game days, he really took off, Mertz said.
Edenfield has not wavered on his commitment to Idaho, noting that he has been in contact with offensive line coach Jon Carvin or head coach Paul Petrino weekly.
Idahos two other known commitments from the Gem State are also offensive linemen Capitals Steven Matlock and Minicos Brett Thompson. All three took their official visits to Moscow the weekend of Jan. 19.
Those guys are great players and its going to be a lot of fun having some of us Idaho guys in that room, Edenfield said.
Petrino will announce his first signing class at 2:15 p.m. MST. The class is expected to be large, with about 30 additions, including seven junior college players whose signings were announced in December.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420,Twitter: @IDS_Southorn