Idaho completed its second two-a-day of the week on Wednesday, and coach Paul Petrino was again happy with what he saw. In fact, he said the Vandals' morning practice session “might have been the best practice we've had since I've been here.”
The second-year coach was also in a good mood because a certain 346-pound defensive tackle has officially joined the team. Read on for more on that, and other notes from Moscow.
Videos courtesy of Idaho media relations.
Alfonso Hampton, one of the key pieces of Idaho's February signing class, has been cleared to play after finishing his junior-college classwork. Hampton is a 6-foot-5, 346-pound nose tackle from San Diego who was ranked as one of the top 2014 JUCO prospects by ESPN.com. He adds depth — and girth — to the defensive line, a position of strength for the Vandals.
“That's great news,” Petrino said of Hampton being cleared. “Anytime you can get a guy like that … . And you know what, great job by him. He busted his butt academically and did his (required) things. So we're proud of him. Glad he's here.”
Hampton had been in Moscow while working out his academics.
- Offensive guards Jeff Travillion, Kato Fawkes and Cody Elenz sat out of Wednesday's final practice with injuries. Petrino said UI isn't sure how long Travillion and Fawkes, both JC additions, will be out. Elenz got “dinged up” in Saturday's scrimmage, Petrino said.
- The depth chart isn't nailed down for the O-line, especially because of the aforementioned injuries, but here's how the first and second teams looked late in Wednesday afternoon's practice:
- First team: Mason Woods and Nik Von Rotz at tackle; Mike Marboe at center; Steven Matlock and Dallas Sandberg at guard.
- Second team: Jesse Davis and Calvin White at tackle; Patrick Johnson at center; Sione Maile and Jordan Rose at guard. (Rose and Johnson are true freshmen.)
- Linebacker Irving Steele (video interview above) has emerged as “a great leader” for the defense, Petrino said. The coach would still like to see clear leaders step up on offense. He mentioned center Mike Marboe, quarterbacks Matt Linehan and Chad Chalich and wide receiver Richard Montgomery.
- Asked how Steele's has performed, Petrino said, “Good. You can't lead if you're not playing good.”
- Defensive end Quinton Bradley (video interview above) said the key for a more effective pass rush — from him and the team overall — is good health. “For me personally, I need to just stay healthy. I had a lot of goals set last year, and I would get hurt the third game and I can't play for four straight games. Come back, get hurt again. So for me, staying healthy because I know what I can do and I know what our teammates can do. So having us all healthy, having us all together, we're going to be hard to stop this year.”