Idaho sifting through talented but inexperienced quarterback group during spring practice

Apr. 14—MOSCOW, Idaho — Ah, the good old days of 2023, when Idaho romped to a 9-4 record and the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

The Vandals were ably led then by redshirt sophomore quarterback Gevani McCoy, the 2022 Jerry Rice Award winner as the nation’s top freshman, backed up by promising redshirt freshman Jack Layne.

At the time, it seemed Idaho was good but awfully young at quarterback. Now, you could wager any amount that the four QBs going through spring ball with the Vandals could not come up with a gray hair among them.

McCoy is gone, transferring to Oregon State. Layne, a redshirt sophomore with all of two starts on his resume, is the heir apparent. Behind him are three redshirt freshmen: Jack Wagner, from Tualatin (Oregon) High; Nick Josifek, College Place High in Walla Walla; and Hogan Carmichael, Summit High in Bend, Oregon.

Layne has appeared in 11 games in the past two seasons, completing 49 of 69 passes for 693 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for 68 yards. He also has two wins against Idaho State when he started in place of an injured McCoy, including last year when he went 20-of-26 for 275 yards and six TDs.

Wagner got into the ISU game last year and completed 4 of 5 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 42 yards.

Barring an injury to one of them, according to Vandals coach Jason Eck, this is a pat hand.

Eck said he is not looking in the transfer portal as long as at least one of the two is healthy.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Luke Schleusner offers an even stronger endorsement. Taking the measure of all four quarterbacks, he said, Idaho coaches decided they are set at quarterback.

“They are doing a great job every day,” Schleusner said.

Eck and Schleusner point out Idaho’s offense is in a veritable youth movement with no senior…


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