Wrapping up the 2007 season

Freshman sensation Deonte Jackson

Five Vandals earned All-WAC honors (one named a 1st Team selection); a senior led the WAC in tackles for the second year in a row; a sophomore set Idaho records for punt return average and longest return; and a freshman - DEONTE JACKSON - set a new UI single-season freshman rushing record (1,175 yards), and a new UI single-game freshman rushing record with 214 yards against Cal Poly. And more...


NOTE: We have updated the weights of all the Vandal football players on our roster. To view our roster click the link in the "FOOTBALL" drop down menu up above, or you can simply click the link below:

LINK: 2007 Vandal Football Roster

Obviously the season record was a disappointment, but considering the way this team battled every week despite losing at least 17 players before the season started (including several anticipated key performers, especially on the defensive front), several young players earned an early chance to play and stepped up to the challenge admirably.

Below we start our 2007 recap with a review of the five Vandals who earned All-WAC recognition, then recognize some of the performances and accomplishments we observed throughout this season.


IDAHO'S 2007 ALL-WAC SELECTIONS (5)

David Vobora
DAVID VOBORA
6-1, 223, WLB, Senior
- First Team All-WAC

Any summary of the 2007 Vandal football season would have to begin with senior linebacker David Vobora, a team captain and two-time first-team All-WAC selection. David's performance in Vandal gear throughout his career was tremendous, beginning with his true freshman season in 2004 and his three years as a starting linebacker for the Vandals. For the second season in a row, he led the WAC - and was among the nation's leaders - in total and solo tackles on the year. For 2007 he recorded 148 tackles, 12.33 tackles per game, and 7.17 solo tackles per game - all tops in the WAC. His 148 tackles ties him for second on the all-time Vandal list with Jason Shelt's mark set in 1993. By our count he has 341 career tackles, which would put him sixth all-time at Idaho, between Chris Nofoaiga (355) and Brad Rice (314).

He is the 23rd Vandal ever to be named a 2-time First Team All-Conference selection, and his honors at Idaho include 2nd on the career tackles list, and his name appears twice on Idaho's single-season total tackles list.

David is projected by NFLDraftScout.com as a 6th or 7th round draft selection as an outside linebacker in this spring's NFL draft selection. He is ranked 18th out of 230 outside linebackers.


Stanley Franks
STANLEY FRANKS
5-9, 178, CB, Senior
- Second Team All-WAC

Few athletes have come in and literally set the world on fire like senior Stanley Franks did in 2006. His nine interceptions tied a UI single-season record (and he set a new UI record with 220 return yards), was named the nation's interception leader for the regular season, earned first-team All-WAC honors (2006), and an honorable mention All-American. This season he earned a second-team All-WAC selection in a season when far fewer passes were thrown his way. He ended the season with 42 tackles, 11 pass defenses, one pick and a forced fumble. His 10 career picks ties him for eighth all-time at Idaho with Mark Tidd ('86) and Rick Linehan ('78).

Stanley is projected by NFLDraftScout.com as a 7th round draft or Free Agent selection as a cornerback in the upcoming NFL draft. He is ranked 30th out of 232 corners.


Adam Korby
ADAM KORBY
6-3, 285, C, Junior
- Second Team All-WAC

Vandal center Adam Korby hasn't missed a single start in last three seasons at Idaho (35 consecutive starts). In 2004 he was the only Vandal lineman that played in every game. He has been named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List each of the last two season, and twice he has earned the team's Wayne Walker Iron Man Award during post-season ceremonies. This preseason he was voted by teammates a Team Captain for the 2007 season.




Shiloh Keo
SHILOH KEO
5-10, 208, S/PR, Sophomore
- Second Team All-WAC SAFETY
- Second Team All-WAC SPECIAL TEAMS

What did Idaho true sophomore Shiloh Keo do to follow up on being named an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American last year? He set a new UI record with a 100 yard punt return for a touchdown. He set a new UI record with a punt return average 16.79 yards per return. He ranked third in the WAC and sixth nationally in punt return average. He finished third on the team in total tackles with 81 take downs. He also finished second in the WAC with 4 picks on the year and second in Conference with 3 fumble recoveries.

For the effort, he was named a second team All-WAC selection at both Safety and Punt Returner.


Deonte Jackson
DEONTE JACKSON
5-8, 191, RB, RS-Freshman
- Second Team All-WAC, RB
- Freshman All-American, Honorable Mention

Redshirt freshman runningback Deonte Jackson was phenominal this season. Despite running on an injured ankle for much of the season, Jackson set a new University of Idaho freshman record with 1,175 yards in 2007, and also scored seven touchdowns on the season. He finished the year ranked third in the WAC and 37th nationally overall (he was fourth nationally among all freshmen runningbacks).

Impressively, Jackson's 1,175 yards ranks him 7th all-time at Idaho, behind Willie Alderson (1,195 yards in 2000) and just ahead of Zach Gerstner (1,157 yards in 2003). Devon Pearce is Idaho's single-season rushing leader (1,393 yards in 1990), followed by Sherriden May (1,370 yards in 1994), and Ray McDonald (1,329 yards in 1966).

He earned second team All-WAC honors this year, and was named to The Sporting News Freshman All-American Team as an Honorable Mention.



Below are some of observations, comments, and tidbits from the 2007 Vandal football season.

Mountainous redshirt sophomore Bryce Sinclair (6-5, 325), an offensive tackle out of Junipero Serra High School (Gardena, CA), earned his first career start, getting the nod against Boise State. Sinclair got the start at left tackle, after working most of the last two years as a right tackle at Idaho.


Idaho native Devon Sturdivant, a graduate of Timberline High School (Boise, ID), earned a starting role this season as the up-back on kick returns, among other Special Teams starting duties. A redshirt sophomore tailback who has battled back from several injuries, his main duty was to provide lead blocking for the kick returner. However, Sturdivant finished the year with three kick returns, 97 total yards, and an impressive 32.3 yards per return average.


Texas true freshman Dewey Hale came up big for the Vandals this fall, earning the starting nod virtually all season as the team's kickoff return specialist. For the season he returned 42 kicks (a new UI school record) for 903 yards (a new UI school record), averaging 21.5 yards per return with a long of 63 yards.


REBUILDING THE LINEBACKER DEPTH CHART

JoJo Dickson
Replacing senior David Vobora, Jo'Artis Ratti, and Brandon Ogletree next fall will be difficult, but a solid foundation was laid this season as freshmen Joseph "JoJo" Dickson, Adam Shamion, and Justin Allen, along with junior Andrew Blevins all saw significant playing time this fall.

True freshman Dickson was solid, registering 34 tackles (10th on the team), four tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass defensed on the year from his outside linebacker position. Idaho native Shamion - a redshirt freshman - finished with 15 tackles in seven games (including significant playing time against USC). And Texas native true freshman Justin Allen, the Texas Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, registered seven tackles in nine games and a recovered fumble.

Mead High graduate Blevins - a junior - logged 17 tackles and significant playing time at defensive end and linebacker, snagging four tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Add redshirt freshman Paul Senescall (two tackles in seven games), plus Andre Ferguson (ranked #39 nationally at outside linebacker as a high school senior in 2006 who redshirted this season at Idaho), and Idaho should have a strong foundation to build on at linebacker.


YOUNG RECEIVING UNIT NUCLEUS

Maurice Shaw
Three Vandal freshmen earned significant playing time at wide receiver this fall, and at times all three were on the field at the same time. Grayshirt freshman Steven Brown was joined by true freshmen Maurice Shaw and Eric Greenwood to make up a unit that had to learn their position largely on the fly. The group was led by Maurice Shaw who finished fourth on the team with 23 receptions for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Shaw proved that he will be a weapon to contend with in the future, hauling in several acrobatic catches last fall. Steven Brown was sidelined for part of the season, but caught 10 passes in seven games for 91 yards. Tall true freshman Eric Greenwood (6-6, 204) caught three passes, including his first collegiate touchdown.

Greenwood also proved to be an impressive weapon on onside kick attempts, hauling down at least two kicks.

Sophomore tightend Peter Bjorvik, a former Oregon Class 4A All-State tightend selection, battled into the starting role for the Vandals this season. In 11 games Bjorvik finished fifth on the team with 17 receptions for 255 yards, two touchdowns and a long of 35 yards on the year.


TAYLOR RUST, 6-2, 231, Defensive End, Jr

Taylor Rust
Congratulations to redshirt junior Taylor Rust, an Idaho native and graduate of Timberline High School (Boise, ID) who became a 12-game starter at strongside defensive end ("Rush End") for Idaho this season. After two seasons working primarily as a special teams demon, Taylor played with an exceptionally high motor throughout spring drills and fall camp and earned his first career start in the season opener at USC (a 38-10 Idaho loss). In that game he recorded Idaho's only sack of the game (an 11-yard loss) while compiling three tackles on the evening. Taylor finished the year with 35 tackles (ninth on the team), six tackles for loss, three sacks, four QB hurries, 1 pass breakup and two fumble recoveries.


DEFENSIVE LINE

Jonah Sataraka
Idaho went into battle much of last season with a defensive line that often consisted of three freshmen...redshirt freshmen Jonah Sataraka (one of the strongest players on the team) and Aaron Lavarias, plus true freshman Fonomano Sekona. Throw freshman defensive end Jonathan Faraimo (reportedly one of the strongest benches on the team who registered 22 tackles this season) into the mix and the youth up front was significant. Lavarias finished with 25 tackles in nine games, Sataraka with eight in 10 games, and Sekona with three tackles in six. They will be battling to replace senior Siua Musika who finished with 46 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks on the year, and an impressive four forced fumbles.

With one of Idaho's recruiting focuses being the defensive line this off-season, don't be surprised to see several of these players (Lavarias and Sekona) move out to defensive end next fall to give the Vandals more size off the edge.




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