Despite Idaho's struggles this season, the Vandals placed five players on the ALL-WAC team for the second year in a row. This year, THREE Vandals earned First Team honors. The last time Idaho had three players named to the First Team was in 2006 (LB David Vobora, CB Stanley Franks, and OG Jade Tadvick). This is just the SECOND TIME since 2000 Idaho has had three players or more named to an All-Conference First Team.
(NOTE: During the '90s, Idaho had three or more players on the All Conference First Team - both as members of the Big West and Big Sky - every year except one)
Seniors Adam Korby (Team Captain, four-year starter, never missed a start), Eddie Williams (Team Captain), and T.J. Conley (leads the NATION and set new UI single-season record in yards-per-punt) are the First-Team honorees, while junior Mike Iupati (two-year starter at left guard) and senior Tino Amancio (Idaho's ALL-TIME field goal percentage leader) are on the Second Team.
6-2, 295, C, Senior, Team Captain
Two-Time All-WAC Selection
Fort Collins, Colorado
First Team All-WAC
It will be extremely unusual to watch a Vandal offensive line next fall that does NOT include senior Team Captain Adam Korby. He made his first start in the season opener at Washington State as a redshirt freshman way back in 2005, and has started every single game of his remarkable career since (a total of 47 games). He's battled through injuries and won Idaho's Wayne Walker Ironman award for three consecutive seasons (undoubtedly he'll be a top candidate to win the award again this year). He was named a Second Team All-WAC selection last year as a junior, and he is a three-time member of the Rimington Trophy Watch List, which annually honors college football's top center. This fall, he was voted by his teammates to be a Team Captain, an honor he earned as a junior as well.
6-2, 240, TE/H-Back, Senior, Team Captain
San Mateo, California
First Team All-WAC
Senior TE/H-Back Eddie Williams' role on this year's Vandal team was enormous, and not simply because of the statistical impact he had on this offense. As a receiver, blocker and runner he led the Vandals with 54 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 114 yards rushing on 10 carries. He was the "go-to" receiver for Idaho, someone that could be counted on most of the time to make the tough catch and find a way to get open. But beyond the statistics, he demonstrated for this young Idaho team what giving 110% on every play of every game looks like. What senior leadership looks like. A Team Captain this year, Williams wrapped up his Idaho career with 100 receptions for 1,205 yards and 19 carries for 195 yards to total 1,400 all-purpose yards.
6-3, 221, Punter, Senior, NATIONAL LEADER
Walla Walla, Washington
First Team All-WAC
When T.J. Conley signed with Idaho in 2004 after one of the most prolific high school passing careers ever in the history of Washington football, few could have anticipated that Conley would actually go on to become the Nation's leading punter by his senior year. But that is exactly what happened for senior T.J. Conley, a four-year starting punter at Idaho. In addition to leading the nation in average Yards-Per-Punt for much of this 2008 season - Conley currently leads the nation by almost 2-yards per punt - his average of 47.4 yards-per-punt is a NEW Idaho single-season record. He also set the Idaho all-time punting yardage record with 9,242 total yards for his career, and is second all-time with a CAREER average of 42.1 yards-per-punt. In 2008, he averaged more than 50 yards in five games, with an Idaho single-game record of 52.8 at Louisiana Tech. Like clock work this year, time and time again he forced Idaho opponents deep into their own end of the field to begin drives, often eliciting a chorus of "oohs" and "aahs" for his booming punts.
5-9.5, 214, Field Goal Kicker, Senior
Second Team All-WAC
Although Tino Amancio very quietly joined the Vandals as an invited walkon in 2006 out of Chaffey Junior College, he immediately burst onto the scene in the season opener. On the road in East Lansing against Michigan State, he nailed his first attempt as a Vandal; an impressive 49-yarder that cut the Spartans lead to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Concerns about Idaho's kicking game cooled immediately. Later that first season he earned WAC Player of the Week honors (October 2nd) when he went 2-for-2 and was perfect on 5 PATs in a blowout victory over Utah State. It marked the beginning of what developed into arguably the best kicking career ever at the University of Idaho - quite a statement, considering Idaho has long had a solid kicking game, including former NFL All-Pro Mike Hollis (Idaho '93). For starters, Amancio set a NEW career field goal percentage at the University of Idaho with an average of 70.83% - breaking the old record of 65.4% set by Tim McMonigle ('82-'84). In addition, Amancio didn't miss a single PAT during his three-year career with the Vandals, becoming the first Idaho kicker to achieve a perfect CAREER PAT mark (82 of 82). He ranks second all-time in career field goals attempted (66) and made (43). His 2007 single-season average of 77.8% ranks third all-time in the Idaho single-season record books, behind Brian Decicio (87.5%, 1985) and Mike Barrow (84.2%, 2005).
6-6.5, 341, Left Guard, Junior
Second Team All-WAC
For most Vandal fans who have watched "Big Mike" dominate opposing defensive linemen and linebackers much of the last two years, this honor is no surprise. As far as linemen go, Mike is a walking highlight reel, especially considering his ability to hit with serious force and move opponents out of the way. Mike Iupati is big (6-6.5, 341) and shows no fear on the line - assets every coach and tailback wants leading the charge up front. After starting the entire 2007 season at left guard, he missed the first part of this 2008 season while recovering from surgery during the spring. He came back with a vengeance though, regained his starting guard slot after the fourth game, and never looked back. The lone non-senior representing the Vandals on the All-WAC team this year, he will be an outstanding foundation for the Vandal offensive line in 2009.