Let there be no doubt that the Pacific Northwest has come a long ways in the last decade. When we first started writing literally a handful of kids from each of the major states would get out to college every year. Then in the year 2004 and 2005 we began our work along with people like Chris Fetters from Scout.com. Over time others jumped in, the Internet took off, and the Northwest talent that is here and always has been here was noticed perhaps for the first time in a meaningful way.
We have been able to track both Oregon and Washington over this time and know for a fact recruitment of high school athletes to college is up about 300%. Not bad for a decade that was marked with some great performances and generational athletes. The last couple of years it has become clear the state of Idaho being further off the grid, and just harder to get to, has been left behind a little bit.
That is why this year we have made it our mission to connect with more more kids from the great state of Idaho! Here is a quick look at three of the hottest kids from the great state of Idaho that we have not touched upon too much yet!
Gunnar Amos- Cour d'Alene High School – QB – Class of 2014
Gunnar Amos is a very dynamic young man and the starting quarterback. He has had a number of schools looking at him, has received offers from several including West Point and Idaho State University. He has a host of larger schools like Boise State and Washington state looking at him as well. So we caught up to him to see how things were going and found out that he had a brand-new offer from the Idaho Vandals.
"I did just get an offer from Idaho close at their camp. It feels really great; I competed really really hard," said Amos.
He continued, " I was at their prospect camp which I thought went really really well. The coaches asked me to contact them as soon as I got off campus because they can't offer someone on the campus. So I called Coach Petrino as soon as I left and he wanted to let me know that he was offering me a scholarship. He said that he thought I was the best athlete in the state of Idaho, that I could play quarterback for them, wide receiver, or safety. One way or another he wants me to be a Vandal!"
It was great catching up to Gunnar as he is always a lot of fun to talk with. So we figured we better ask if anybody in the family was connected to any of the schools and of course we found out there is a strong connection to the Vandals program from both sides of his family.
"Almost my entire family grew up in Moscow and attended University of Idaho. My dad played for the Vandals, my grandfather worked at the University, and my uncle is probably the biggest Vandals fan you will ever ever meet! So the connection is really strong and I am pretty excited."
Now don't expect him to commit any time soon because there are a lot of other schools moving in on this dynamic player from Idaho. It's clear he really likes the Idaho Vandals program and coaches. But he said he wants to take his time, and finished his senior season before deciding. He is that good of a player that he can afford to do that which is really awesome!
Don Hill – 6'3"- 240 lbs – Timberline High School
Timberline High School just outside Boise, Idaho may not be a powerhouse football program. But it is the home to one big time powerhouse defensive end. We recently heard about 2014 graduate Don Hill from some other players in Idaho who said we had to get to know this big-time player.
So we made the call to the 6 foot three 240 pound hard charging defensive end. We actually caught up to him at the Washington Huskies rising star camp. It took us a few minutes to update his Rivals page because he has a lot of people in contact with him so once that was out of the way we got onto a short discussion about his future.
Don has a handful of offers and he verbally committed to the Washington Huskies back in May. We talked about how things are going with he and the and the UW.
"I love it here. It's been great being a part of the program during camp and all the guys and coaches here just really made me feel like family and that's why I verbally committed. The coaches want me to be at the defensive end spot and said they really love my aggression, my speed off the edge, and my motor!"
It turns out that none other than the Oregon Ducks have recently offered him and want a shot at getting him to commit as well. But Hill says despite all the interest from other programs he is firmly committed to Washington!
He is reporting a 4.59 40 yard dash, a 4.10 20 yard shuttle, and a 37 inch vertical. It's really easy to see that this young man is not only a big talent when you consider the Pacific Northwest, but a kid who can hang with the best of the nation. The Huskies landed a good one here and you can check out his film by clicking this link.
Richard Bettencourt- 6'3" 288 lbs- Meridian (ID) 2014
The last of the three kids were to talk about tonight is Richard Bettencourt. This is a big powerful kid as well and he hails from Meridian, Idaho. He is 6'3" and 288 pounds right now and looks lighter than that which just tells you how muscular this athlete is.
Richard recently returned from the Wyoming Cowboys football camp and he picked up a nice offer as the Camp came to an end.
"Once the coaches ended the the camp and had a chance to watch my film they decided that they had to make me an offer. They told me I was the one of best player they saw at camp needed to just confirm that my film was strong as well. I just got back from camps at Wyoming, Boise State, Utah State, Idaho,and Washington State University. So it's been a wild ride!"
He says all of the other schools seem to like him equally well and like his aggressiveness his footwork and his ability to finish his blocks and move his hips. That was something the Boise State coaches had mentioned to him a year ago when he was at their camp. Like a lot of kids he appeared to stiff didn't move his feet and his hips well enough.
Richard says he trained hard and working on his flexibility, his hip movement, and just becoming more agile overall. Surely it paid off with the offer from Wyoming and it would appear that schools like Boise State and Washington State are very interested in him as well.
These three outstanding Idaho players join a growing list of kids we have covered this year from Idaho. Truly the Pacific Northwest includes the State of Idaho and therefore the football players out there are going to benefit from the growing interest in the region and the brand of player that we are producing. Smart powerful kids, who handle their business, can play with the best, and who are well worth taking the time to get to know better.
Look for more coverage of Idaho athletes as a summer moves along and the start of another season gets closer.