(NOTE 1: Tino has been perfect on PATs, going a spotless 79-of-79 in three years at Idaho. His 100% percentage would be No. 1 on the Idaho record books.)
(NOTE 2: Tino's longest field goal made is 52 yards, tied for 8th all-time at Idaho. The longest field goal in UI history is 56 yards set by future NFL All-Pro Mike Hollis in 1993. The second longest field goal at Idaho, 55 yards, was kicked by Hollis in '93 and Ben Davis in 1998.)
Larry Johnson: First of all, how would you describe what it's like to be a Vandal these days?
Tino Amancio: "When I first came it was just a great opportunity for me to come in and I was happy to be here. We've been doing a lot of changing. I've only been through two coaches and a few of the other guys have been through a few more, but it's been a great, great time. It's just the community, the people. With coach Akey coming in he was just a great guy and he's really trying to change this program around. People may feel on the outside like we're not doing too great with our record, but I feel a lot of improvement going on. There are good things happening in the program."
LJ: When you came to Idaho, I believe you walked on your first year and then you got a scholarship for the 2007 season?
TA: "Yes. Correct."
LJ: What does it feel like when you go through all that work and then you earn a scholarship, and now you're gonna graduate as a scholarship athlete. How does that feel to you?
TA: "It's great. I had to work hard to get where I'm at today. Nothing was really handed to me. Life experience is working hard and knowing what I want to achieve, to work my way to get a scholarship and then being able to get one was a great thing. It took a load off my parents, and just helped make it a lot easier up here. It's been great. I'm living the dream, being a scholarship athlete."
LJ: When recruits come on campus, which is this time of year of course, and you might meet a few of them, what would you say to them to describe what college life is like for you in Moscow?
TA: "College life…Moscow is such a great place to go to college. Being a guy from Southern California where there's so much going and you have these big schools a lot of people know about, but you don't really get the real college feel when you're on the campus there. Here it's just a small college town. Everybody knows each other, and it's just a great place to go to college. I've really enjoyed my time here. It's just a great place."
LJ: Robb Akey talks about the Vandal Family and what that's like. Do you really have a sense of family in the last couple seasons?
TA: "Yeah. I mean, it's definitely changed. Coach Akey is more involved with everything. He really kinda excites the family. It really has. There's been a lot of bonding going on. A lot more guys are hanging out with each other. It's a really big clique…a great experience. A lot of good things are going on. You can tell coach Akey's really changing the program here."
LJ: You're graduating in May. What will your degree be in?
TA: "I'm a double major in communications and psychology."
LJ: Like you said, you're from Southern California and you've worked for everything you've achieved and now you're about to achieve college graduation and the possible prospect of kicking at the next level in the NFL. How does that feel?
TA: "It's definitely an awesome time right now, going into my senior year and last few games. It's just crazy how everything's slowly working out, just like things are just kinda happening. It's just really neat seeing the scouts come out to practice and knowing that the possibility is there. It's been awesome. Even if things don't work, I still leave here with a degree and that's the most important thing."
LJ: Oh, obviously, but it's gotta be an exciting time for you. Just a year and a half ago you were at one point in your career, and now you're completely down here at this point in the career, and it's gotta be a very exciting time.
TA: "It's just awesome. Everything's just really worked out good here, and everything's just been really nice. I really can't complain, you know, how everything's just been really good. Everything's really changing. It's the big step in my life that I'll be taking. It's a good thing."
LJ: When you're on the road, who's your Vandal roommate?
TA: "It's Vicente Rico [Idaho's starting kickoff specialist]."
LJ: That sounds like a good combo on the road.
TA: "It was the perfect setup when we found out we were roommates."
LJ: Are you guys roommates at home as well?
TA: "Yeah… all the games. We get along really good because we're always practicing together. It's just hanging out with your buddy."
LJ: Back to the NMSU football game. That was an exciting game and a big win for the Vandals. I hate to bring this up, but you had the one field goal that was missed and it was pretty close. What did coach Akey say to you when you came off the field?
TA: "I kinda knew what happened when I first hit it. When I came off the field coach Akey just kinda looked at me and said: I just thought I'd tell you that you'll get another opportunity. It was early in the game. I didn't want to dwell on it. I knew I would get another shot, and sure enough I did and just knew I had to put it through."
LJ: How did it feel? Obviously the win's exciting and everybody's glad for it, but you know the team won on your leg the last two scores. That had to feel really good. How did that part go for you?
TA: "It was awesome. Just being able to have the opportunity to contribute to the win was an awesome thing. I was just glad that I could come back and do my part to help get this win."
LJ: Well, congratulations on everything and best of luck in the future, and thanks again for the time.
TA: "Thank you. I appreciate it."
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