[Vandal] Seniors Bring Youngsters Up To Speed
robiegruss at aol.com
robiegruss at aol.com
Wed Sep 1 09:10:55 PDT 2021
>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoWednesday, September 1, 2021
Seniors Bring Youngsters Up To Speed
Dedmon, Hoover return for fifth season in Idaho secondary
By Stephan Wiebe
MOSCOW — Adding up all the games played in a Vandal football uniform between defensive backs Jalen Hoover and Tyrese Dedmon brings the total to 79 since 2017.
The duo still has one season to go thanks to NCAA exemptions for athletes who played in the spring.
Dedmon will start at strong safety and Hoover could play nickel or cornerback this season. The veteran pair will be tasked with bringing up to speed a collection of youngsters at Idaho’s other three secondary positions.
The players each were Big Sky all-conference second-team honorees in the shortened spring season.
“Me and Jalen push each other more than anybody, and then the younger guys see us and just excel off of that,” Dedmon said. “So the harder we go, they see us go hard and they want to go harder too.”
Dedmon said they’ve built a friendly competition with Idaho’s group of new receivers in fall camp. With veteran pass-catchers Cutrell Haywood and Hayden Hatten sitting out in camp, Idaho’s receivers have had to go against guys like Dedmon and Hoover every practice.
“We push each other every day,” Dedmon said. “I know me and (senior transfer) Mekhi (Stevenson), we’ve got a little brotherly rivalry, like, ‘Oh I’m going to get you today.’ We just try to compete against each other and that’s the only way we’re going to get better.”
The other secondary starters listed on Idaho’s two-deep depth chart are sophomore Sean McCormick at nickel, his freshman brother Tommy McCormick at free safety and freshman Marcus Harris at corner.
But Idaho plans to use a plethora of players in the secondary through at least the first few games before settling on permanent starters. Some of those players include sophomore Jaxon Woodward, freshman Colbey Nosworthy and juniors KJ Jarrell, Awan Parker and Josh Jones.
Nosworthy, a Coeur d’Alene High School product, had a standout performance with a pair of interceptions in Idaho’s second scrimmage Aug. 21. Jarrell is a Football Bowl Subdivision transfer from Arizona State.
“We’ve got a bunch of new (guys),” defensive coordinator Mike Breske. “We’re going to play them all — four-to-five guys next Saturday — and see where we end up.”
Dedmon and Hoover’s task? Making sure they’ll all be ready come game time.
“We just help in any way possible,” Dedmon said. “We try to be coaches within the coaches, so anything we can help with, we just bring them through.
“So if we’re on the sideline, we just walk them through every concept and tell them what they should be looking at here and there, just try to train their eyes so they can react better.”
Idaho has a couple of new starters at kicker and punter this year, who are tasked with replacing All-American punter and kicker Cade Coffey.
Replacing him will be a pair of former Pac-12 conference players in Washington State transfer Logan Prescott and Oregon State transfer Caleb Lightbourn.
Prescott, a sophomore, will handle kickoffs and field goals and Lightbourn will do the punting.
Prescott played sparingly in the spring season, going 1-of-2 on field goals and averaging 45.8 yards on four punts.
“They’ve both got strong legs,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “They haven’t been out there in University of Idaho jerseys for us much, but (Prescott) did play (four) games for us last year and did a really good job.”
Lightbourn played all seven games for the Beavers in the spring, averaging 40.2 yards per punt. Before that, he played three years at Nebraska.
The long snapper will be sophomore Hogan Hatten for the second straight season.
“They’ll be a little bit new, but I’m very excited to watch them,” Petrino said. “They’ve got all kinds of talent. Hopefully we use Logan a lot more than Caleb.”
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