MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho completed an already highly regarded recruiting class by signing two in-state freshman prospects Wednesday to join the Vandals in the fall.
Tyler Skinner, at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, from Moscow, was second-team All-Idaho 4A as an offensive lineman for the Bears and also played defensive end.
Brett Tommasini (6-2, 200) was a 5A All-Idaho first-team linebacker for Eagle High School and the 5A Southern Idaho Conference West Defensive Player of the Year. He also played at tight end. Tommasini is the younger brother of current Vandals linebacker Derek Tommasini.
The two new signees join a dozen players who signed with the Vandals in December, including three grayshirts from a season ago and two transfers, who could help immediately as Idaho prepares for a six-game late winter/spring season.
With nearly a week of work in as they ready for the season-opening game against Eastern Washington on Feb. 27, the Vandals are solid up front on defense.
Nobody in the Big Sky has better linebackers and edge rushers than Charles Akanno, Tre Walker and Christian Elliss. Washington State transfer Fa’Avae Fa’Avae could join that group.
Idaho has depth, experience and speed at receiver in senior Cutrell Haywood, junior Jermaine Jackson and others, and at running back, where Nick Romano and Roshaun Johnson drew favorable notice from Vandals coach Paul Petrino. The Vandals have a new quarterback in Connecticut graduate transfer Mike Beaudry, who could make his one season with Idaho memorable, according to Petrino.
“He has a really good arm. He’s very accurate, and he’s smart. Football is very important to him. He puts a lot of time into it,” Petrino said.
For the past three seasons, the Vandals have not finished with one quarterback starting every game. With COVID-19 looming, Petrino said it is more important to have multiple quarterbacks ready to play. Redshirt sophomore Nikhil Nayar and freshman C.J. Jordan might have to step in.
Mostly, though, Idaho will sort through the rotations on the offensive line and defensive backfield during the month.
Logan Floyd, a two-year starter at tackle and center, returns to anchor the line at one tackle and as a team leader, Petrino said. Chad Bagwell, a junior transfer from Sierra (California) College, will start at center. Seth Carnahan, a redshirt sophomore from Sumner (Washington) High School and Elijah Sanchez, a freshman from Palm Desert (California) High, are vying for the other tackle spot.
Matt Faupusa, who started eight games as a sophomore; Riley Straly, a redshirt sophomore; and freshman Nate Azzopardi are competing to start at guard. Darius Archie, a redshirt junior who started three games in 2019 but is missing time while quarantining, is also in the mix for a starting position on the line.
Senior cornerbacks Jalen Hoover and Tevin Duke, from West Valley High, return. But Petrino said there is competition at corner and nickelback with Los Angeles Valley College transfer Awan Parker; Josh Jones, who walked on for a season at UT-San Antonio and played for a season at Tyler (Texas) Junior College before coming to Idaho; redshirt freshman Marcus Harris and freshman Arnell Walker.
Tyrese Dedmon, a senior who made 60 tackles and a team-high two interceptions the last time the Vandals played a football season, has one safety spot nailed down. Jaxon Woodward, a redshirt sophomore from Seattle Prep who also played basketball for Idaho in 2019-2020; redshirt sophomore Mujeeb Rufai, who played in six games for Idaho in 2019 after transferring from Boise State; and freshman Tommy McCormick, younger brother of sophomore wide receiver Sean McCormick, are competing for the other start at safety.
“There are lot of guys competing for those positions. Competition is great,” Petrino said.
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