[Vandal] Embracing Multiple Roles

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Fri Apr 22 09:31:17 PDT 2022

>From The Lewiston Tribune
Lewiston, Idaho
Friday, April 22, 2022

Embracing Multiple Roles

Borisch already played several positions as a Vandal. His latest stop is receiver

By Stephen Wiebe

MOSCOW — Two weeks ago, Idaho junior Zach Borisch was wearing a gold quarterback jersey and zipping passes to receivers in spring football drills.

These days, the Vandals’ Swiss Army knife wears a black offensive jersey and catches passes as a receiver on those same plays he was throwing at the start of camp.

Borisch’s Idaho football journey also has seen him play linebacker, safety and running back.

“I’ll be doing whatever the coaches tell me to do,” Borisch said Thursday. “If they tell me to go pump footballs, I’ll probably go pump footballs or whatever.”

Borisch spent last season as a backup and run-oriented quarterback, but saw significant playing time with injuries at the position to CJ Jordan and Mike Beaudry. He led the Vandals to a 14-0 victory against Idaho State in the 2021 season finale.

New coach Jason Eck and the coaching staff see fit to continue to use Borisch as a utility player. He’s learning receiver at the moment, but he could also play out of the backfield and in the wildcat.
Borisch sees it as a challenge.

“That’s a lot of positions to learn, a lot of improvements to make over the field,” he said. “If you’re going to play running back, you have to be a good running back, if you’re going to play wide receiver, you have to be a good wide receiver … So just a lot of improvements to make everywhere.”

Eck said the goal is to take advantage of Borisch’s skill as a runner in space, so receiver is just another weapon to add to the arsenal.

“He’s doing a great job of embracing it,” Eck said. “It’s new to him, but it’s a good opportunity for him to get (out) there. We think that’s the best use of his skillset.”

Here are some of the other players doing their best Borisch impression this spring: sophomore Kyrin Beachem from receiver to safety, sophomore Jashon Williams from receiver to cornerback, junior Mujeeb Rufai from receiver to linebacker/nickel, Dalton Cash from defensive end to tight end and sophomore Alex Moore from receiver to tight end.

Borisch’s move to wideout isn’t the only downsizing at the quarterback position this spring — a group that two weeks ago had seven players in gold jerseys. Eck said freshman walk-on Kenji Teramura and sophomore Nate Cisco have elected to enter the transfer portal.

That leaves four regular quarterbacks, down from the original seven: Jordan, Gevani McCoy, Macloud Crowton and Tyler Webb.

Jordan and McCoy split time with the No. 1 offense on this day, and Crowton and Webb worked with the second team.

Jordan had a nice 25-yard, fade-route touchdown pass to receiver Michael Noil during team drills.

McCoy hit receiver Michael Graves for 30 yards on a tough sideline catch. But the defense answered with a Marcus Harris toe-drag interception on the opposite sideline on the next play.

“I thought Gevani had a nice play to Micahel Graves to kinda get us down into scoring position, but then I was happy the defense stiffened up and got a stop there,” Eck said.

Of Note

There was a bit of a snafu with the Battle Ax Competitor of the Day honor, which went to senior defensive back Wyryor Noil. Apparently, somebody forgot to bring the ax out to practice, so the team celebrated with an orange pylon as a flimsy replacement until the real ax appeared.

Beachem and Michael Noil scuffled after physical contact on a Noil route in one-on-one drills. The pair grabbed at each others’ face masks and shoulder pads before being separated by teammates.

Notable non-participants included offensive lineman Logan Floyd, who was out for the day with “a minor thing,” and running back Roshaun Johnson, who helped out his position group with drills but wasn’t dressed down.

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