All sorts of news came out of today's Idaho football scrimmage. For starters, safety Virdell Larkins has left the program. There are also a host of injuries that have popped up. Keep reading for all the details.
MOSCOW, ID – Before fall camp began, Idaho football coach Robb Akey expressed delight in the sheer amount of talent the Vandals had at a cross-section of positions. The secondary wasn’t at the top of list, but it at least had a stash of veterans.
After Wednesday’s news, a layer of that experience is gone.
Safety Virdell Larkins, last year’s leading tackler and a vocal presence on defense, has left the program, Akey announced after UI's second scrimmage. The third-year coach declined to give a reason for the departure, but did say it was “an unfortunate situation.”
“I’m going to leave it between he and I, not to be rude,” Akey told reporters. “It’s a personal situation, and I wish him the best. I hope it works out for him. The thing is, he did graduate and get his degree.”
Larkins, an Oakland, Calif., product, started every game as a junior for the 2-10 Vandals in 2008. But after being demoted in the off-season, an undisclosed issue arose.
Larkins did not participate in the team’s first scrimmage last week and apparently left Moscow shortly thereafter.
Fellow safety Shiloh Keo said Larkins’ exit is a huge blow for the team, particularly on the leadership front. Keo and a group of Idaho veterans went to Larkins’ house last week to persuade him to stay, but it was to no avail.
“We said what we could, but in the end it was his decision,” Keo said. “We can’t tell him he’s gotta stay.”
The Vandals will continue to use Keo and Jeromy Jones as starters. Brandon Artz, Quin Ashley and perhaps true freshman Aaron Grymes will also see time at safety. Isaac Butts played cornerback last year but is listed as a safety and could switch between positions.
“It’s affected our depth,” Akey said. “It has not affected our starting lineup as this point in time. I (would) like to have him stay and compete and get a job out there.”
Keo said he was unsure what happened to prompt Larkins to leave, labeling it a shocker for the whole team.
“I don’t know if it was maybe the fact that he got put behind somebody or he got in a fight with somebody,” he said. “I am not sure what it was. It was just a big loss for us.”
Larkins’ departure isn’t the only setback the Vandals are coping with nearly two weeks into camp. Running back Princeton McCarty has missed the last week with a tweaked knee, while defensive lineman Michael Cosgrove and starting linebacker Tre’Shawn Robinson left Wednesday’s scrimmage with knee injuries.
Akey said McCarty is expected back to practice today, while he’s been told “to think positive” regarding Cosgrove’s injury and expects Robinson back.
NOTES – The Vandals spread the ball around during the scrimmage. Five running backs took carries, led by Corey White (12 attempts for 86 yards), and 11 players scored. Akey said having so many ballcarriers isn’t a problem. “It’s like having too much money: I don’t think there’s any such thing,” he said. … Akey said Nathan Enderle (7 of 10 for 157 yards) continues to lead Brian Reader (12 of 18 for 117 yards) in the starting quarterback race. … Wideout Marcel Posey suffered a possible concussion after scoring on a 6-yard reverse late in the afternoon session.
WEB-ONLY NOTES -- DeMaundray Wooldridge was uber-impressive during the scrimmage. He barreled for 28 yards on one carry and finished with 57 yards on five carries. ... Akey downplayed Cosgrove's injury, saying hopefully it's only a strain. ... Place-kicker Trey Farquhar also stood out, nailing all five of his field-goal attempts.