Vandals find immediate help in JC transfers

Idaho signs eight new players, who will join the program next month.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comDecember 19, 2013 

Less than a week before Idaho concluded a 1-11 season, coach Paul Petrino admitted his team needed help “at every position.”

On Wednesday, the Vandals added what they hope are quick contributors with the signings of two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen, two linebackers and two defensive backs.

All eight will have two years to play.

“I think all eight of them will have a chance to come in here and compete to start,” Petrino said.

Petrino said he may add another junior college transfer to enroll in time for the spring semester, and expects to add a few in February, likely at running back, receiver and defensive end, who will join in the summer.

In addition to two or three high school players who signed in February who are expected to enroll in January, Petrino will sign approximately a dozen newcomers in February. He also said some players have left the program since the season ended Nov. 30 with a loss at New Mexico State, but declined to name them.

Adding depth to the offensive line, which allowed an FBS-high 53 sacks, and to a defense that allowed an FBS-high 46.8 points per game, was a pressing need.

“Those were all places we really feel like we needed to improve,” Petrino said.

• Glen Antoine, DT, 6-31⁄2, 325, Highland (Kan.) CC

Antoine had 32 total tackles and two tackles for loss as the 26th-rated defensive tackle in the nation by 247sports.com in 2013.

“He’s your typical great-big nose guard,” Petrino said. “… As much as anything, he’ll be a great run stopper, but he has the quickness to rush the passer on third down.”

• Kato Fawkes, OL, 6-4, 305, Iowa Western CC

A native of the Bahamas, Fawkes started every game for 11-1 Iowa Western and was a second-team all-conference pick. He’ll likely play guard.

“Very big, physical, athletic,” Petrino said. He’s only played football a couple years, has all kind of potential.”

• Max Martial, DL, 6-4, 305 Iowa Western CC

Martial started every game as a senior for 11-1 Iowa Western and was a member of the 2012 NJCAA title team.

“Really has good quickness,” Petrino said. “It’s good to get those big guys inside, I think they’ll help us a lot.”

• Daniel Peterson, LB, 6-0, 175, Mesa (Ariz.) CC

As a sophomore, he was Mesa’s tackle leader with 106 total tackles, which tied for first in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. He also had six tackles for loss and two sacks.

“Most people thought he was MVP of the league, defensively, and he’s got great speed,” Petrino said.

• Irving Steele, LB, 6-1, 220 Ellsworth (Iowa) CC

Steele was a team captain and earned first-team All-Midwest Football Conference honors both seasons at Ellsworth. Last season, had 110 tackles, with 16 for loss.

“A 4.5 guy, can really run and fly, make plays all over the field,” Petrino said. “He’ll bring great speed, which is something we needed to get.”

• Doyin Sule, DB, 6-2, 190 Santa Ana (Calif.) College

Sule was a second-team All-Southern California Conference choice after tallying 48 total tackles, as well as four pass breakups.

“He’s long, has real good range and can make plays, definitely a big-time hitter — he’ll be an enforcer in the secondary,” Petrino said.

• Jeff Travillion, OL, 6-3, 300, Highland Community CC

Travillion was a second-team Kansas Jayhawk Community College all-league choice in 2013 as Highland advanced to the playoffs for the first time in school history. Could play guard or tackle.

“He’s probably as athletic an offensive lineman as we saw out there,” Petrino said.

• Marquis Wallace-Hatcher, CB, 5-11, 195, Diablo Valley (Calif.) College

Wallace-Hatcher recorded 11.5 tackles for loss and had 60 total tackles for Diablo Valley in two seasons. He also had three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

“He’s aggressive, does a good job with his hands, getting after receivers,” Petrino said.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_southorn

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