Idaho football announced the addition of 16 signees Wednesday. Below are their profiles.
Coach Paul Petrino was excited to sign four in-state players, one from Lake City High, one from Lakeland High, one from Century High and another from Rocky Mountain High (Conner Vrba). He also added a pair of players from the Spokane area.
"I'm really happy about that, really happy about getting four really good football players out of the state of Idaho ... we need to keep that going," Petrino said.
The Vandals added 14 high school players and two junior college transfers. Among them were three offensive linemen and three running backs. The Vandals added a quarterback in dual-threat Kareem Coles, who had a Utah State offer, and one of the top JC tight ends nationally in Khalin Smith. Idaho also had four signees from Florida, including safety Trenton McGhee, who Petrino said had interest from the likes of Louisville and Ohio State early in his high school career.
Among the signees was linebacker Mike Linehan, brother of quarterback Matt Linehan, whose father and two uncles both played for the Vandals. We profiled Linehan in Wednesday's Statesman.
A fifth Idahoan, Capital receiver Tarik Littlejohn, is expected to sign and join the program in January once an NCAA clearinghouse issue is resolved. We wrote about Littlejohn's commitment last weekend.
IDAHO FOOTBALL SPRING 2015 SIGNEES
RB Jack Bamis, 6-3, 205, Fr., Gonzaga Prep (Spokane)
As a sophomore at Gonzaga Prep, he carried the ball 17 times for 194 yards and one touchdown before a junior season during which he had 1,095 yards and 12 TDs on 158 carries. That total was second best in the Greater Spokane League. As a senior, he carried the ball 98 times for 684 yards and six touchdowns. He earned recognition as the outstanding running back and receiver at the Northwest Elite Camp and was a first team all-Greater Spokane League choice twice as well as an all-county selection. He was chosen Athlete of the Week twice. He also competes in track where he participates in all of the jumping events. He has been a state placer every year. Bamis was born in France and lived in Spain as a toddler before his family moved to the United States. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French and can speak Italian and Latin.
WR Jante Boston, 5-9, 175, Fr., Riboult HS (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Boston was a team captain at Riboult as well as earning first-team all-Gateway Conference and all-Northeast Florida honors. Addition-ally, he was a third-team all-state selection after catching 33 passes for 616 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. He also punted for Riboult and averaged 39.6 yards on 31 punts with a long of 62. He was the starting point guard on Riboult’s 2013 state championship basketball team.
RB Denzal Brantley, 6-0, 207, Fr., Los Alamitos (Calif.) HS
Brantley earned Sunset League Most Valuable Player honors and fi rst team all-Sunset Conference as well as first team Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team after his senior season at Los Alamitos. As a senior, he carried the ball 148 times for 1,036 yards and 10 touchdowns as Los Alamitos won the Sunset League championship. He also had seven receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he had 17 solo tackles and a total 34 in addition to two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery, which he returned 43 yards. As a junior, had had 38 solo tackles and 41 assists, which includes five tackles for loss. He also had five passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one blocked punt.
K/P Cade Coffey, 6-2, 209, Fr., Lakeland HS (Rathdrum, Idaho)
Coffey played football and soccer at Lakeland. As a senior, he kicked a 57-yard fi eld goal in a state playoff game. He was good on 23-of-25 PAT attempts as well as seven-of-eight fi eld goals. He earned first-team all-state honors as a junior and senior, and was a first-team all-conference choice as a sophomore. In soccer, he was the Inland Empire League goalkeeper of the year as a sophomore. His dad, Travis, played for the Vandals.
QB Kareem Coles, 6-1, 194, Fr., Madison HS (San Diego)
During his sophomore season, he helped Madison to its fi rst state championship. A left-hander, he completed eight-of-21 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game but it was his ability to make something out of nothing that enabled Madison to win. For the season, he had 23 passing touchdowns and scored eight more rushing. He finished his sophomore season with 1,853 yards on 99-of-202 passing with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also carried the ball 123 times for 961 yards and six touchdowns. As a senior, he completed 120 of 210 passes for 2,215 yards and 27 touchdowns. He added 926 yards on 104 carries and 15 touchdowns on the ground. As a three-year starter for Madison, he was 32-7 and was a three-time all-conference choice twice, all-state once, all-California Interscholastic Federation once, Prep Pigskin finalist and a two-time league MVP. He was his team’s captain twice and competes in basketball and track as well.
OL Zion Dixon, 6-4, 289, Fr., Lake City HS (Coeur d'Alene)
Dixon earned recognition as the 2014 Northwest Elite Camp MVP and was chosen a top-10 recruit by Northwest Prep Report. He was a first-team all-Inland Empire League choice as a senior for a team that fi nished 9-2 overall and reached the state semifinals. After playing offensive and defensive tackle, his high school coach Van Troxel had this to say: “Physically, he was the leader on our football team, and played well in big games, and really made us go. When you go back and watch the games, you realize how big a factor he really was.” At this time, he has a 30-6 record as a heavyweight wrestler.
DE Eric Hale, 6-2, 238, Fr., Lake Minneola HS (Orlando, Fla.)
As a senior, Hale had 36 total tackles, which includes 17 solo stops as well as 15 tackles for loss and seven quarterback sacks. He had a game-high of nine tackles in a game against Lake Weir. As a junior, he had 53 total tackles, which includes 31 solo stops, 14 tackles for loss and four sacks. Additionally, he forced two fumbles and had two pass breakups. He was the defensive MVP of the Central Florida All-Star Game and was an honorable mention all-Central Florida selection. He was No. 47 in the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Super 60. He also played basketball and lacrosse.
DL Garren Jackson, 6-3, 225, Jr., Cerritos College (Carson, Calif.)
As a sophomore at Cerritos, he had 19 total tackles as well as two tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed. As a high schooler at Carson, he had 34 tackles and two quarterback sacks as a senior. He helped Carson win the Marine League championship and advance to the Los Angeles City title game. He had 12 tackles in the city title game – despite playing with a separated shoulder. As a sophomore, he had 12 tackles and three sacks and as a freshman he had 20 tackles but turned his attention to offense, too, where he had more than 600 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns.
LB Darius Liles, 6-0, 230, Fr., El Diamante HS (Visalia, Calif.)
As a senior, Liles had 110 tackles, 10 sacks, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and he scored twice. He pulled double duty as a fullback and earned his team’s Most Valuable Player honor in addition to the Visalia Times-Delta/Advance-Register Defensive Player of the Year honors as well as the Quarterback Club Defensive Athlete of the Year. He was chosen to the fi rst team of the all-Tulare County defense and first-team all-conference as a senior. As a junior, he had 135 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one touchdown in earning all-Valley Defensive Player of the Year recognition as well as the all-County and all-conference Defensive MVP and second-team all-state. He also was his team’s and the Quarterback Club’sDefensive Athlete of the Year.
LB Mike Linehan, 6-1, 230, Fr., Highland Park (Texas) HS
A starter all three years in high school, Linehan played in the Michigan state championship game as a sophomore at St. Mary’s. After moving to Texas, he didn’t miss a beat in transferring to Highland Park. Against North Mesquite, he had 17 tackles - nine solo, to earn Dallas Morning News Defensive Player of the Week honorable mention. He earned all-District 10-6A honors. He also plays basketball. His brother Matt is Idaho’s quarterback. His father, Scott, coaches for the Dallas Cowboys and was a stellar quarterback at Idaho. His uncles also played for the Vandals.
FB Jace Malek, 6-3, 240, Fr., West Valley HS (Spokane)
Malek is as acclaimed as a wrestler as he is a football player. He played on offense and defense at West Valley and returned an interception 55 yards for a TD against Rogers. He was a state finalist in wrestling as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He currently has a career wrestling record of 101-8 with 84 pins.
OT Tanner Mauseth, 6-8, 264, Fr., Century HS (Pocatello)
Mauseth was a first-team all-state choice by the Idaho Statesman after his senior season. In addition to football, he plays basketball and throws the discus in track. His throw of 150 feet, one inch in the discus is a Century record. He has a 4.0 grade-point average in AP classes.
S Trenton McGhee, 6-0, 211, Fr., The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Earned second-team all-state 4A honors as well as second-team mention on the Florida Times-Union all-First-Coast team. A varsity player all four years, he was on one state championship team as Bolles advanced to the title game all four years he played. As a freshman, he scored on a pass interception.
RB Calvary Pugh, 5-10, 170, Fr., Forest Hills HS (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
As a senior in 2014, carried the ball 101 times for 773 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also had 17 receptions for 295 yards and one TD and returned fi ve kicks for 95 yards to total 1,163 all-purpose yards (9.45 yards per touch). He was nominated for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was commended by his high school coach for his leadership ability. Forest Hills had its best season since 1986 during his senior year.
TE Khalin Smith, tight end, 6-5, 245, Jr., Bakersfield City College (Vallejo, Calif.)
Earned first-team all-Southern California Football Association National Northern League honors after catching 33 passes for 471 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore. He had a career-best eight receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns against Cerritos as Bakersfield finished 7-4. In high school, he played quarterback and safety. He is the eight-ranked tight end by JC Gridiron.com.
OL Conner Vrba, 6-4, 288, Fr., Rocky Mountain HS
Vrba was a two-time fi rst-team all-Idaho choice after helping Rocky Mountain to the state semifinals as a senior. During that campaign, Rocky Mountain averaged 41.7 points per game. He also was a fi rst-team all-Southern Idaho Conference choice and was chosen to play in the East-West Shrine game. He earned all-conference all-academic honors.