O-Line? No Worries
While Idaho State's offensive line was much-maligned last year, the Bengals apparently feel comfortable enough with the experienced returnees that they recruited only one player likely to see the field immediately -- huge Elijah Rule, who could plug the hole left by departed center Ryan Henry, or switch to tackle, allowing Mark Clampitt to move inside. Either way, the coaching staff is making a big commitment to the four returning starters and their immediate backups, bringing in a bunch of freshmen who are unlikely to contribute next season rather than JC or four-year transfers.
While the Bengals flirted with a lot of Eastern Idahoans and may eventually convince a few of those kids to walk on, they wound up signing only three players from this end of the state: Salmon quarterback Sessions; "legacy" Kole Krosch of Mackay, who hopes to follow in his older brother Kris' footsteps at linebacker; and a surprise signing, Pocatello fullback Wes Howard, who could wind up at linebacker or defensive end. The Bengals did tap the Boise Valley for four offensive linemen (including the McElwain twins, who signed last year and greyshirted); and defensive end Beaugh Meyer, who had 13 sacks while playing on a broken fibula last year, and may be one of ISU's more intriguing signings. ISU added eight in-state players, seven from California.
The immediate need for JC help meant Zamberlin pretty much abandoned his traditional recruiting ground of Washington state: only Rule, who was recruited out of a California JC, played his high school football in the Evergeen State. Montana, by comparison, signed seven players from Washington this year, compared to only three Montanans.