The Bengals announced one of their smallest recruiting class under coach Mike Kramer on Wednesday, including five in-state signees.
Kramer said the Bengals’ class — 14 players and no junior college transfers — is small due to the quality of players in the program, and the fact he plans to award nine scholarships to current walk-ons after spring practice.
“It’s because the bulk, the quality and the quantity of a good football team is on site already, and that includes every position,” said Kramer, whose team went 2-9 overall and 1-7 in the Big Sky last year.
Rocky Mountain High offensive lineman Jake Wilkerson (6-2, 265) is the only scholarship signee from the Treasure Valley. Wilkerson helped the Grizzlies run for 342 yards per game this fall and received second-team All-5A SIC honors.
“Jake’s video is just nothing but pancake, pancake, pancake, drive block, pancake,” Kramer said.
Other in-state scholarship signees include Shelley linebacker Bryon Leckington, the 3A All-Idaho Player of the Year; Highland linebacker Aren Manu, a 5A first-team All-Idaho pick; Sugar-Salem offensive lineman Connor Stanford, and Madison defensive end David Rowe.
Idaho State also secured a preferred walk-on from Middleton in linebacker DJ Hagler, who broke his leg the second game of the season. The Bengals announced Middleton defensive end Chase Downs as part of their recruiting class, but Downs told the Idaho Statesman he has not committed to walk on at Idaho State.
Kramer would not confirm how many of his 14 recruits are on scholarship.
Around the Big Sky, Weber State signed four Treasure Valley recruits and Montana State nabbed three from the Boise area.
Idaho State 2017 recruiting class
- LB Aren Manu, 6-0, 237, Highland HS
- LB Bryon Leckington, 6-0, 187, Shelley HS
- CB Bryson Toles, 6-2, 175, Damonte Ranch HS (Reno)
- OL Caleb Eldred, 6-5, 294, Camas HS (Washougal, Wash.)
- OL Connor Stanford, 6-5, 232, Sugar-Salem HS
- DE David Rowe, 6-5, 211, Madison HS
- LB DJ Hagler, 6-0, 183, Middleton HS (preferred walk-on)
- WR Isaiah Brimmer, 6-4, 200, Kamiakin HS (Kennewick, Wash.)
- OL Jack-Eli Tufono, 6-4, 275, Punahou HS (Aiea, Hawaii)
- DE Jacob Ross, 6-5, 220, Cheyenne East HS (Cheyenne, Wyo.)
- OL Jake Wilkerson, 6-2, 265, Rocky Mountain HS
- OL Pake Taylor, 6-5, 282, Sprague HS (Othello, Wash.)
- WR Tracey Reynolds, 6-4, 195, Lakes HS (Lakewood, Wash.)
- CB Trey Green, 5-9, 154, Diamond Ranch HS (Diamond Bar, Calif.)