NCF On The Trail: Idaho Vandals

Hogs add DT Armon Watts

August, 10, 2013
Arkansas has received a pledge from 2014 defensive tackle Armon Watts (St. Louis, Mo./Christian Brothers College), according to multiple reports.

Razorbacks defensive coordinator Chris Ash served as his primary recruiter.

Watts' other scholarship offers include Ball State, Cincinnati, Idaho, Kentucky, Memphis, Missouri, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Indiana, Michigan State, Tennessee and UCLA also showed interest.

Arkansas now has 16 verbals and the 38th best class for 2014.
Don’t expect a commitment announcement until after the 2013 football season for running back Deron Thompson (Wichita, Kan./Northwest). Do, however, expect Thompson to fully benefit from his summer training.

While many football players are either going through traditional gridiron workouts or playing 7-on-7, Thompson is honing the one skill that could separate him: speed. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Thompson’s lack of size quickly becomes a nonfactor when the conversation of his 4.28 40-yard dash time is mentioned.

TE Dylan Keeney picks Colorado

July, 3, 2013
The Buffaloes have added a verbal from tight end Dylan Keeney (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay), according to multiple reports.

Eastern Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Sacramento State, San Jose State and Wyoming also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-6, 210-pound rising senior.

Last offseason, he registered a 5.13 40-yard dash, 4.29 20-yard shuttle, 31.7-inch vertical and 78.15 SPARQ.

Keeney is commitment No. 7 for Colorado.

Buffs lands productive LB Gamboa

June, 30, 2013
Rick Gamboa (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade College Prep), the 2012 L.A. Daily News Defensive Player of the Year, has committed to sign with Colorado, the Daily Camera reports.

He selected the Buffaloes over scholarship offers from Idaho and UTEP. Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA and Washington also showed interest in the 6-foot, 220-pound rising senior.

Last fall, Gamboa registered 159 tackles, including two games with more than 20 stops, seven sacks and one interception from his inside linebacker spot. He posted 113 tackles as a sophomore.

Colorado now has five players on board for 2014.

Noble Hall jumps on SDSU offer

June, 2, 2013
Defensive end Noble Hall (Las Vegas/Valley) received a scholarship offer Friday night from San Diego State and the 2014 prospect committed Saturday to play for the Aztecs, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

"Going there is a good fit for me because it is so close to home," he said. "It is a big relief. Now, I can focus on football and keeping my grades up."

Army, Idaho and Northern Arizona also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-3, 235-pound prospect. UNLV showed interest. Aztecs assistant head coach/running backs coach Jeff Horton led San Diego State's pursuit.

He registered 64 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown as a junior.

Hall was previously known as Eric Burrell. This winter, Hall legally changed his name to honor his father, who was shot and killed before he was born.

San Diego State has seven players on board for 2014.

Cougars gain in-state defensive tackle

April, 28, 2013
Class of 2014 defensive lineman Marcus Griffin (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) has accepted an offer from Washington State, according to multiple sources.

Griffin (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) also holds offers from Colorado State, Idaho and Wyoming. Arizona State, Boise State, California, Oregon and Washington expressed interest.

Griffin is commitment No. 2 for the Cougars, who picked up quarterback Peyton Bender (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) in March. Both Griffin and Bender will be included in ESPN's next rankings update.

Western Michigan lands two more 

April, 22, 2013
Coveted wide receiver LaDarian Smiley (Monticello, Fla./Jefferson County) and safety Deontae Brown (Chicago/Mt. Carmel) are on board with the MAC Broncos, according to

Smiley picked Western Michigan over multiple offers from BCS Conference schools including Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Idaho and Troy were among the other programs to offer.

The 5-foot-9, 155-pound talent registered a 4.64 40-yard dash, 4.31 20-yard shuttle and 28-inch vertical at this January's Under Armour All-American Combine.

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It was a big Tuesday for Don'Yeh Patterson (Compton, Calif./Dominguez), as the 5-foot-11, 184-pound receiver added offers No. 2 and 3.

Patterson was in his coach's office when he was told to make a couple of phone calls, which resulted in scholarship offers, one after the other.

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CB Manning impresses at tournament 

March, 25, 2013
NEWBURY PARK, Calif. -- With several standout receivers at last weekend's Gamebreaker Classic passing tournament, cornerbacks had a chance to make a statement with big performances. One of the defensive backs who quickly stepped forward with an impressive performance was Artuz Manning (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga).

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound cornerback displayed his physical nature with receivers throughout the weekend and helped his team into the semifinals.

As for recruiting this spring, Manning has heard from Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Idaho and Oregon State.

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Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande High School was a must-stop location for college coaches last season, as Elijah Qualls wowed onlookers with his ability to play defensive tackle and running back. Qualls eventually signed with Washington, but the attention he earned last spring helped shed some light on John Porchivina, who could be asked to pick up some of the slack left by Qualls' departure.

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Holder twins gaining momentum 

March, 19, 2013
In the 2013 class, San Diego produced a set of twins in Tyrell Robinson and Tyree Robinson that became national recruits before signing with Oregon. In the 2014 class, the region is again home to brothers who have already earned notice from the Pac-12.

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First BCS offer is in for QB Mahalak 

March, 15, 2013
The recruitment of quarterback Morgan Mahalak (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) has proceeded in a fairly usual progression. His first offer came from FCS program South Alabama. His second was from Idaho of the FBS. And his third came on Thursday, as Mahalak broke into the BCS ranks.

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DonYeh Patterson (Compton, Calif./Dominguez) hasn't grown much since he was in ninth grade, but that hasn't stopped him from making an impact on the football field. He's simply moved farther away from the ball.

He's not undersized by any means, but he was a defensive tackle as a high school freshman. But instead of growing into a lineman, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Patterson slid to defensive end as a sophomore, and now wide receiver as a junior.

"I liked d-tackle; it was cool," Patterson said. "But it's way more fun playing receiver. I like getting the ball."

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Georgia quick to offer Watch List RB 

February, 16, 2013
Many high school prospects are evaluated for months or even years before a college program extends a scholarship offer. Highlights from sophomore seasons are compared to those of junior seasons to see progression and potential. Players who make a name for themselves as juniors are visited as seniors to gauge their possible impact at the next level. And then there are prospects like Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) for whom the entire process takes three or maybe four days.

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Sun Devils gain productive receiver 

February, 2, 2013
Wide receiver Cameron Smith (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) parlayed a monster senior campaign into a Pac-12 commitment when he announced for Arizona State on Friday, multiple sources report.

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