As the Idaho State University football team prepares for the start of spring practice, everything is different.
Head coach Tom Walsh is new. His staff is new. His pro-style offense and 4-3 defense both are new. But the Bengals need to wait to get the new things they need most: players.
Because of injuries and academic difficulties, Idaho State is down to four linemen on offense and four on defense. More than half the team has yet to enroll at the school, and the paucity of players means there will be no spring game.
Walsh, who has elected to build with freshmen rather than transfers, had 59 players at last count. Thirty-six are lettermen, but 19 players on the spring roster will not suit up for workouts, which begin Saturday.
“To be frank, there is not one area on this football team, whether it be depth, skill level, intensity or speed, which does not need to be addressed,” Walsh said. “This is a total rebuilding project with a sense of immediacy and urgency that screams ‘NOW,’ not later.”