Even though the Boise State and Idaho football teams have not played in more than seven years, this will surely add a new twist to the rivalry.
Idaho senior linebacker Tony Lashley will transfer to Boise State this summer as a graduate, allowing him to play this fall, according to sources from both schools. Boise State made it official Tuesday.
Lashley was a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection last season as he led the Vandals with 123 tackles and was tied for second with 14 tackles for loss. His 10.25 tackles per game ranked No. 11 in the Football Bowl Subdivision, three spots ahead of Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch. According to Pro Football Focus, Vander Esch was No. 1 in the nation with 47 run tackles on gains of 2 yards or fewer, while Lashley was fifth with 39.
“One thing I love is a good running back,” Lashley told the Spokesman-Review last year. “There’s a good vibe between us, pushing over and over, getting tough as the game goes on.”
A Kansas City native, Lashley (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) is married with four children, including two stepchildren. He is expected to graduate this spring with a degree in organizational sciences.
Lashley had 107 tackles as a sophomore in 2016, a season after he was given a redshirt for a season-ending injury he suffered three games into 2015. He played in seven games as a true freshman in 2014. In his time with the Vandals, Lashley blocked three kicks on special teams.
Last month, inside linebackers coach John Graham told the Lewiston Tribune that Lashley is “probably going to be one of the best, if not the best, inside linebackers in the Big Sky next year.”
Boise State recently lost a linebacker in redshirt freshman Breydon Boyd, who left the program, but the team still has 11 scholarship linebackers currently on the roster. Only two of those 11 are seniors, and only Blake Whitlock has seen major playing time. Idaho coach Paul Petrino told the Spokesman-Review last fall, “When he speaks, other players listen.”
Coach Bryan Harsin tweeted his customary “Go Broncos” when the team picks up a new recruit on Monday, with the 2018 hashtag, implying the player was not part of the upcoming recruiting cycle.
Idaho is moving this season from the Sun Belt to the Football Championship Subdivision and the Big Sky Conference.
VANDALS TO GET NFL LOOKS: A handful of former Idaho players will get rookie mini-camp tryouts — quarterback Matt Linehan (Vikings), running back Aaron Duckworth (Jaguars), offensive lineman Jordan Rose (Chiefs), wide receiver Jacob Sannon (Raiders and Lions), and defensive lineman Aikeem Coleman (Raiders).
DHAENENS TO GET TRYOUT: Boise State tight end Alec Dhaenens agreed to a rookie mini-camp tryout with the Tampa Buccaneers on Tuesday. He joins linebacker Gabe Perez (Chargers), long snapper Brock Barr (Falcons), center Mason Hampton (Cincinnati) and running back Ryan Wolpin (Buccaneers) as former Broncos getting mini-camp shots. Tight end Jake Roh signed a free-agent deal with the Falcons, while linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson were drafted by the Cowboys.