MOSCOW, Idaho — While the University of Idaho has yet to name a new football coach to replace Paul Petrino, who was let go after nine seasons, the Vandals welcomed two new players in the NCAA early signing period Wednesday.
In the past, the early signing was marked by broadcasts with coaches and events across the state. It was an opportunity that Idaho, like other schools, used to build enthusiasm and optimism for the football program. But with a new coach not yet on board, the Vandals chose a more restrained approach and simply announced the signings.
The first to give his vote of confidence to Idaho was Ridge Docekal, of Saguaro High School, in Scottsdale, Arizona. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback, Docekal led his team to the Arizona open division state championship with a 12-1 record. He verbally committed to the Vandals in October and remained steadfast after Idaho announced last month it was going in a new direction just before Petrino completed a 4-7 season. In a video announcing his signing, Docekal said UI running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Pryce Tracy and athletics director Terry Gawlik assured him the Vandals wanted him, despite a regime change. He said they “made me feel so wanted. I feel like I am going to a great new home for the next chapter of my life.”
Docekal chose Idaho over offers from Houston, Furman, Fordham, Appalachian State and Bucknell. As a senior, Docekal completed 107 of 151 passes for 1,577 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran for 52 yards and another score on 21 carries.
Cade Ledesma, a 6-2, 180-pound wide receiver from Ventura High School in California, also honored a verbal commitment he made to the Vandals last September. In addition to Idaho, Ledesma had an offer from the University of San Diego.
Ledesma also played quarterback and safety for Ventura.
“He is an athlete that can play all over the field. We can’t wait to see where he fits in when he shows up to Moscow at the start of the spring semester,” Tracy said in a tweet.
Ledesma’s father, Steve, played basketball for Idaho in 1984-85.
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