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Ferris standout Tarynce Antolin headlines strong recruiting class for Paul Petrino, Idaho

Ferris senior Tarynce Antolin, center, poses with his family after signing his letter of intent to play football at Idaho on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Stacey Ward / Courtesy)
Ferris senior Tarynce Antolin, center, poses with his family after signing his letter of intent to play football at Idaho on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Stacey Ward / Courtesy)

MOSCOW, Idaho – Before the start of Ferris’ football season last fall, coach Tom Yearout got the kind of pleasant surprise coaches dream about. Tarynce Antolin, who won a state championship the previous year at Hawaii’s Waipahu High School, had moved with his family to Spokane and would play his senior season at Ferris.

At the conclusion of his short career with the Saxons, Antolin was the 4A Greater Spokane League defensive MVP as a cornerback and safety.

Now Idaho coach Paul Petrino may have the same agreeable experience Yearout did.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Antolin was among 10 players to become Vandals on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. They join 12 others who signed in the early period. The class includes Landon Rehkow of Central Valley, the younger brother of record-setting former UI kicker Austin Rehkow, and Colbey Nosworthy, the 5A Inland Empire League MVP from Coeur d’Alene High.

In signing Antolin, Idaho got a player who would have drawn much greater recruiting interest had his career lasted longer at Ferris.

“That was good for us. Nobody knew about him,” Petrino said. “He plays the game of football the way you like to see it played.”

When other schools did come calling after Antolin orally committed to Idaho he honored his commitment, said Petrino.

Antolin started the season as a cornerback with Ferris and finished as a safety.

“It’s a more natural position for him,” Yearout said.

Idaho is also projecting Antolin as a safety, according to Petrino.

“He’s got great instincts as a safety. He’s a rare combination of a terrific hitter and a ball hawk,” Yearout said. “He has an extremely high football IQ.”

Yearout added that Antolin is an adept open-field tackler “and he has the edge you like in a defensive player.”

“(Antolin) plays with joy,” Ferris athletic director Stacey Ward said. “If you are on the other side of his tackles you probably don’t find it so joyful, but he plays with great exuberance.”

Antolin survived the challenges of playing football in Spokane after Hawaii, “practicing with the wind blowing 40 miles per hour, and we had a snow day in early October. He wasn’t quite used to that,” Yearout said, and Antolin fit easily into his new team.

“He never acted as if he was physically better than any of our players who were already in the program,” he said. “Our guys took to him right away.

“The Vandals got a good one.”

In recruiting this year, the Vandals loaded up on offensive linemen and defensive skill players. They also welcome a pair of Division I transfers.

Quarterback Mike Beaudry (6-5, 255) comes to Moscow after appearing in five games as quarterback at Connecticut last year. In 2017, he led West Florida to the NCAA Division II championship game. Beaudry has a big arm and is athletic enough to make plays as a runner, said Petrino.

Dareon Nash (6-1, 185) is a graduate transfer and was a two-year starter at cornerback for Montana. He has five career interceptions. Petrino eyes him as a successor to third team All-Big Sky cornerback Lloyd Hightower.

Idaho also signed Nate Azzopardi (6-3, 275) from Junipero Serra High School in Pacifica, California.

“He’s a huge get. He can run. He’s athletic. He can play center, guard or tackle,” Petrino said.

Rehkow (6-0, 160) earned all GSL honors as a punter and honorable mention as a kicker. He will join the Vandals in 2022, after completing a mission for the LDS church.

Nosworthy (6-0, 190) was a key performer on a Vikings team that made it to the state championship game last year. He earned all-state honors as both a defensive back and wide receiver. Idaho will try him initially at safety. However, “I could see him in fall camp playing on both sides of the ball,” Petrino said.

The Vandals also stayed in their home state for Noah Ormsby (6-1, 200), a wide receiver from McCall-Donnelly High in McCall, and Derek Tommasini (6-1, 232) a linebacker from Eagle High in Boise.

Idaho completed its recruiting class with Elijah Sanchez (6-5, 290) an offensive lineman from Palm Desert High School in Palm Springs, California, and Jermaine Jackson (5-7, 165) a junior college transfer at wide receiver from the College of San Mateo (Calif.).

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