Update - I've updated the post with an additional commitment and comments from Petrino on the signees.
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The University of Idaho has announced 16 football National Letters of Intent as of 11:01 a.m. PT. The encouraging thing for Idaho is that all but two are high school signees, spanning a number of needs including offensive line, running back, special teams and the defensive front seven.
Early returns make it clear that recruiting the Inland Northwest and the state of Idaho are important to Petrino and his staff. As is maintaining its recruiting connections in the state of Florida.
Here is the current list right now.
Cade Coffey, K/P, 6-2, 209, Lakeland HS, Rathdrum
- Coffey connected from 57 yards out once in a state playoff game and was 7-for-8 on field goals his senior season. It makes sense for Petrino to bring in a kicker to compete with Austin Rehkow. The junior to be converted only 11 of his 19 attempts last season. Coffey could also wait in the wings to take over the punter duties as well when Rehkow moves on. Coffey is a second generation Vandal. Petrino said Coffey will grayshirt so his eligibility doesn't overlap with Rehkow's.
Zion Dixon, OL, 6-4, 290, Lake City HS, Coeur d'Alene
- A two-star recruit and didn't list any other FBS offers per the recruiting services, but that won't matter to Paul Petrino and his staff. He's a talented, local, offensive lineman and that fills two recruiting quotas the Vandals wanted to hit hard this year. Petrino sees Dixon at guard.
Denzal Brantley, RB, 6-0, 207, Los Alamitos HS, Los Angeles
- Listed as a running back but also played linebacker and defensive back in high school. Spurned offers from Nevada, New Mexico and Montana State to sign with the Vandals. Brantley won't redshirt, Petrino said. Idaho will get him on the field in whatever way it can, but it will most likely be at running back.
Jack Bamis, RB, 6-2, 205, Gonzaga Prep, Spokane
- Played linebacker in high school as well. Ran for 1,095 yards his junior season. Bamis had the largest wingspan of any player who came in for a visit, Petrino said.
Garren Jackson, DE, 6-3, 225, Cerritos College, Carson HS, Carson, Calif.
- The only junior college announcement of the afternoon comes on the defensive line, where Idaho will need immediate impact to replace the production of Quayshawne Buckley and Maxx Forde.
Jante Boston, WR/DB/ATH, 5-9, 175, Riboult HS, Jacksonville, Fla.
- May have the versatility to play both sides of the ball, as well as factor in to punt and kick returning.
Mike Linehan, LB, 6-1, 230, Highland Park HS, Highland Park, Texas
- Yep, that last name is what you think it is. Mike is the son of former Idaho quarterback Scott Linehan and the brother of current Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan. He'll come in on the defensive side of the football, though. "He’s a little different personality (than Matt), he’s a little quieter. But when he gets on the field he can really run around and make plays, that was a great get for us," Petrino said.
Jace Malek, FB, 6-3, 245, West Valley HS, Spokane
- Played defensive end at the Spokane school. Fullback can be an important position in Petrino's offense with the right personnel. Current starter Jake Manley will be going into his senior year.
Tanner Mauseth, OL, 6-7, 270, Century HS, Pocatello
- Held an offer from hometown Idaho State as well. Mauseth holds the type of frame to play the strong tackle position in Petrino's swinging-tackle system. Petrino said Mauseth is the most athletic offensive lineman he's been able to recruit to Idaho. Mauseth will play tackle.
Calvary Pugh, RB, 5-10, 170, Forest Hills HS, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Also listed an offer from Bryant University in Rhode Island, but Pugh took his chance at FBS football. Also has experience as a kick returner at Forest Hills HS. "I’d recruit Calvary at any school I’m at, that kid can really play," Petrino said.
Darius Liles, LB, 6-0, 230, El Diamante HS, Visalia, Calif.
- Recorded 110 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior. Has experience playing inside and outside linebacker. May be counted on to play Marc Millan's pass-rushing weakside linebacker role.
Eric Hale, DE, 6-2, 238, Lake Minneola HS, Orlando, Fla.
- Another defensive get out of the state of Florida. Has a similar build to current Vandal passrusher Quinton Bradley.
Trenton McGhee, S, 6-0, 211, The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Don't put it out of the question for McGhee to get playing time as a true freshman. There are that many holes in Idaho's secondary.
Petrino had a lot to say about McGhee.
"Trenton on defense they don’t come any better there. Early in the recruiting process it was really Ohio State and Louisville that were on him all the way. That scared people off. (Then those two schools backed off). I have a great relationship with his high school coach ... Trenton is going to be a special, special player for us."
Kareem Coles, QB, 6-1, 194, Madison HS, San Diego, Calif.
- Previously committed to Utah State, Coles is Idaho's lone quarterback get of the 2015 class. His weight makes him very undersized for the quarterback position but it's likely he will grayshirt, redshirt or both. Idaho may have been his only FBS offer as a quarterback. Petrino said once Chad Chalich decided to transfer to Montana it became imperative to get a quarterback. Although they may have signed Coles regardless. "We just went out and tried to get the best kid we could and we got him. That’s by far the best kid that was out there," Petrino said.
Khalin Smith, TE, 6-5, 245, Bakersfield City College, Vallejo HS, Vallejo, Calif.
- Justin Podrabsky's graduation means the tight end job is wide open. Eric Lemke is Idaho's only returning scholarship tight end. It's possible Kevin Shelton also moves back to the position. Smith provides immediate competition at the spot.
Conner Vrba, OL, 6-4, 288, Rocky Mountain HS, Meridian
- Vrba will grayshirt and enroll in January, reported the Idaho Statesman. Petrino sees Vrba playing anywhere from center to offensive tackle. He's built like Dixon, center or guard would be likely.