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Sports >  Idaho football

Confidence resonating around Idaho skill players

Aug. 18, 2022 Updated Thu., Aug. 18, 2022 at 5:01 p.m.

Idaho Vandals running back Elisha Cummings (20) runs the ball against the defense during a college football scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Id.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Idaho Vandals running back Elisha Cummings (20) runs the ball against the defense during a college football scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Id. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Teren Kowatsch Moscow-Pullman Daily News

MOSCOW, Idaho – The question marks about the Idaho offense are still there after last Thursday’s first scrimmage of the fall.

Who will be the starting quarterback?

How will the depth chart for running back and receiver shape up?

How will the offensive line perform?

But there is one thing that isn’t questionable: Players on the offense have confidence. Especially the receivers and running backs.

“I feel like anyone in our running back room can start at any Big Sky school,” redshirt senior running back Roshaun Johnson said. “I feel like everybody could do anything (on offense). We have a lot of veterans in our room and we’re deep.”

Under coach Jason Eck and offensive coordinator Luke Schleusner, the running backs have been used more in the passing game, something Johnson said has been an easy adjustment thanks to the coaching staff.

“They came in and got us used to the system right away,” Johnson said. “Last spring, we took a big leap, and then an even bigger leap this summer, learning the offense and honing in on the little details.”

The confidence is not limited to the running backs.

“I love our receiver room,” redshirt junior receiver Jermaine Jackson said. “I feel like that’s our biggest strength in this offense. We got a lot of athletes that can make plays in our receiver room. So, I feel like if we keep that level right there, we’re good.”

Jackson detailed the preparation that the receivers have put into practice.

“I feel like it all starts in the meeting room,” Jackson said. “We stay locked in the meeting room. And then it translates out here; pay attention to walk-throughs, mental reps are important. All that plays a part in when you get on the field and run it in real time.”

Jackson has been pointed out as a receiver making plays so far in fall camp and has carved a role for himself in the starting offense after suffering a season-ending ACL injury in the spring 2021 season.

The confidence expands throughout the receiver room, including redshirt sophomore Terez Traynor, who cemented himself as the No. 1 receiver on the team this past season.

“I would say the strength (of the offense) is us. The receiver room,” Traynor said. “We have good backs, the (offensive) line is working, good quarterbacks. So really, we’re just all the strength. We work off each other. We revolve around each other.”

Traynor said the receivers have picked up the new offense.

“We just taking it day by day with the new plays and the new offense,” Traynor said. “But we’re used to it now. So it’s really just; tell us once, we go over it and then just do it.”

The team has questions that won’t be answered until the season opener Sept. 3 at Washington State, but confidence is not in doubt.

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