Dominique Blackman, Idaho's newly minted first-string quarterback, will not start Thursday's season opener with Eastern Washington, the Idaho student newspaper reported Tuesday. However, Vandals coach Robb Akey told a Boise radio station Tuesday that Blackman was UI's starter, and he referred to Blackman as such to the media on Monday.
We have more below.
Multiple sources within the athletic department have confirmed that Dominique Blackman will not be Idaho’s starting quarterback Thursday.
— Vandal Nation (@VandalNation) August 28, 2012
Blackman is a 6-foot-5, 251-pound junior who sat out last year with Idaho and the year before at Old Dominion. His last game was in 2009 at Los Angeles Harbor College. He originally signed with Washington out of Carson High in Los Angeles, but ended up going the junior college route.
If Blackman doesn't start, the Vandals will likely turn to senior Logan Bushnell, who supplanted Taylor Davis on the depth chart during fall camp. Bushnell, a native of Puyallup, Wash., walked on to Idaho in 2008 and has never started.
Last week first-year offensive coordinator Jason Gesser praised Blackman for grasping the new playbook and his quick decision-making on the field.
“He sees the game very well,” Gesser said. “He understands where things are. He can get the ball out quick. He makes quick decisions. He doesn’t stall a lot. He doesn’t halter a lot. Once he decides something, he’s going. And he’s a smart guy. He understands the defense.”
Blackman was perhaps the most impacted this May by the death of Ken McRoyal, an Idaho receiver who was shot and killed outside an L.A. party. McRoyal was Blackman's second cousin and best friend.
Blackman told The Spokesman-Review that another one of his close friends, Calvin Johnson, was shot and killed this summer. And Fred Matua, Blackman's cousin and a former USC lineman, died in early August.
“I’ve been through so much tragedy,” Blackman said.
A full profile of Blackman will run in the Spokesman's college football season preview on Thursday.