BOISE, Idaho — In recent years, southern Idaho has become a hotbed for football recruiting.
Players from Nyssa to McCall-Donnelly to Declo have committed to play for programs across the country, ranging from Division-I to NAIA to community college programs.
It's important to note that these numbers do not include the entire state of Idaho, only players within our viewing area (see above photo) from 2015 to 2019.
The total number of commits will not be finalized until late August.
As of February 6, 2019 (National Signing Day, only 79 players had committed to play collegiate football.
That's about a 14 percent decrease over 2018.
These numbers will change as the school year goes on, but historically, most players commit and sign by the first Wednesday in February (National Signing Day).
So how did Idaho programs fare this year?
Nearly 66% percent of local players are headed to the College of Idaho, 14% to Idaho State University, 9% to Idaho State University, and nearly 6% for both Boise State and Lewis-Clark Valley College.
The LCVC Loggers were established in 2017 to give collegiate players in the Lewiston area a chance to compete against other Division III teams in the northwest like Linfield, Whitworth, George Fox, and Pacific University.
College of Idaho
The College of Idaho in Caldwell has increased it's commitment to keeping local talent in the state of Idaho.
Since 2016, the Yotes' coaching staff has increased the number of local commitments every year, the largest increase coming in 2018.
This year, 25 players within KTVB's viewing area accepted scholarship offers to play for the Yotes beginning this fall.
That number does not include two local players who are transferring back to the Gem State, nor does it include the two eastern Idaho players who will also head to Caldwell in the fall.
In total, the Yotes will welcome 40 new players to Caldwell.
College of Idaho 2019 local commits
- Garrett Rehberg (Bishop Kelly)
- Luke McLaughlin (Bishop Kelly)
- Alex Ojukwu (Boise)
- Jack Molesworth (Boise)
- Carson Jones (Boise)
- Chase Burfeind (Caldwell)
- Grant Garner (Caldwell)
- Ryan Hibbs (Capital)
- Deshun Harwell (Century)
- Cade Flint (Columbia)
- Tyson Matthews (Declo)
- Bridger Marboe (Eagle)
- Nelson Russell (Eagle)
- Clayton White (Homedale)
- Mikee Farrar (Horseshoe Bend)
- Cole Owen (Idaho Falls)
- Carson Smith (Middleton)
- Warren Craig (Middleton)
- Austin Steblay (Middleton)
- Dylan Martinez (Mountain View)
- Camille Massaad (Mountain View)
- Grant Roberts (Nampa)
- Declan Smith (Nampa)
- Cameron Foster (Rocky Mountain)
- Kaimana Nawahine (Rocky Mountain)
- Canyon Harper (Salmon River)
- Noah Beltz (Skyview)
- Ed Osterberger (Timberline)
- Kendrick Brasby (Bishop Kelly/Northwestern IA)
- Alex Wright (Middleton/University of Idaho)
Only one local player accepted a scholarship to play football at Boise State: the Idaho Gatorade Football Player of the Year, Keegan Duncan, of Declo High School.
Duncan, who committed last summer before the start of his senior year, helped the Hornets to two consecutive 2A state championships,
Skyview's Tyler Crowe, the 5A Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year, accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Broncos.
Salmon River High School's Leighton Vander Esch walked-on in the fall of 2014.
Boise State 2019 local commits
- Keegan Duncan (Declo)
- Tyler Crowe (Skyview) - preferred walk-on
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
The University of Idaho added four local players in their 2019 recruiting class, their most from the area in four years.
In 2016, the school announced it would be moving from the FBS Division-I to FCS Division-I.
The decision to drop down a classification caused a temporary dip in recruiting. The Vandals had to adjust to a decrease in scholarship numbers that would adhere to the FCS rules; hence the 75% decrease in local commitments in 2016.
Two years later, the program has stabilized, and this year they were able to secure a commitment from the Idaho 5A State Player of the Year in Nick Romano.
University of Idaho 2019 local commits
- Nick Romano (Rocky Mountain)
- Nehemiah Parker (Mountain Home)
- Nick Woods (New Plymouth) - preferred walk-on
- Kevin Eldridge (Mountain View) - preferred walk-on
IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY
The Idaho State University football program continues to snatch up local talent, showing an increase in local commitments in the last two years.
However, it took some time to get to this point.
In 2016, the Bengals went 2-9. That same year the Bengals saw a 63% decrease in local recruits.
Idaho State has bounced back though, and saw better results on the field in both 2017 (4-7) and 2018 (6-5), the latter of which was their best season since 2014 (8-4).
Idaho State University 2019 local commits
- Jackson Lightner (Bishop Kelly)
- Jake McGinnis (Gooding)
- Jojo Sanchez (Nyssa)
- Quade Renfro (Horseshoe Bend)
- Mason Harwood (Burley)
- Dayne Koch (Centennial) - preferred walk-on
- Caden Clark (Centennial) - preferred walk-on