[Vandal] It’s All Gravy For Tamba

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Wed Apr 13 08:42:54 PDT 2022

>From The Lewiston Tribune
Lewiston, Idaho
Wednesday, April 13, 2020

It’s All Gravy For Tamba

With degree in hand and a back injury in abeyance, Idaho senior DE takes flight on his senior year

By Dale Grummert

MOSCOW — He’s back on the roster now, with no height, weight or head and shoulders photo. But things are looking up for Leo Tamba, considering how often he gets mentioned by his new coach.

“Some of our O-linemen will tell you he’s (one) the toughest guys to block on our D-line,” Jason Eck said Tuesday after the University of Idaho’s seventh spring football practice.
That’s pretty good for someone whose hypertrophic back had ended his 2021 season and seemingly his college career. A few weeks ago, he was nowhere to be found on the roster. Now, he’s having one of the most productive springs among Vandal edge rushers.

It’s all gravy for Tamba, a senior who owns a degree in broadcast journalism and now is giving print journalism a spin for the Argonaut, the Idaho student newspaper.
“I’ve always liked to obsess over things, and I’ve been told I was a good writer,” Tamba said. “So I kind of put the two together.”

If he keeps his back injury under control, he could be a nice bonus in Eck’s debut season with the Vandals. He started seven times in 2019 (listed then as 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds), then appeared in all four games in spring 2021. His injury forced him to redshirt in the fall, and now he’s trying to move past it.

“He’d had a lot of back problems and had missed a lot of time,” Eck said. “He’s graduated already. But he’s really impressed us. He’s practiced all seven practices He’s been physical. He’s got strong hands, he’s got great strength and he’s competitive.”

The son of immigrants from Cameroon, in western Africa, Tamba helped Mission Viejo High School to a California state championship in 2015, then had successful seasons for the College of Idaho and Saddleback College before transferring to Idaho in 2019.

Of his goals for 2022, he said, “For one thing, just be healthy, and just have the best season I can have. If a leadership role is something that comes to me, I’ll 100 percent take it. But my biggest thing is to have the best season I can and hopefully get a championship with this team.”

CJ Jordan continued as the undeclared leader of the quarterback group, but Macloud Crowton, Gevani McCoy and others still got prominent reps in 7-on-7 and team period. Quarterback Zach Borisch took some reps at wide receiver.

To fend off ennui on a sunny but crisply chilly day midway through spring practice, Eck moved up team drills and split them into three sessions, separated by other drills.
“It’s a lot of moving parts, but I think energy is the biggest thing,” Tamba said. “The optimism is really contagious.”

The Battle Axe Competitor of the Day award went to walk-on defensive lineman Sam Brown, a sophomore from Spokane Valley.

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