11-Man Football Player of the Year Josh Finley


11-Man Football Player of the Year, former Gooding linebacker and running back Josh Finley, signed at the College of Idaho on Wednesday. 

GOODING • For Josh Finley, blitz is bliss.

Nirvana is the precise moment of a perfect collision, a reckless ecstasy.

“It feels like everything falls into place,” Finley said. “There’s not a better feeling... I just like hitting people. It’s something fun to do to explode your aggression.”

Not much of a talker and far from a prima-donna, Finley is a walking third law of motion.

“He doesn’t want to be seen,” Gooding head coach Cameron Andersen said. “He just wants to play football. He just wants to hammer people.”

The second four-year varsity starter under Andersen (the other Cole McGinnis, who’s signed at Weber State), Finley finished his Senators career with 2,800 all-purpose yards and 28 touchdowns (primarily as a running back), along with 79 tackles (five for loss), two sacks and five interceptions as a linebacker.

But Finley isn’t a numbers guy. Or a media guy. Or a rah-rah guy.

“The kid hates press,” Andersen said. “He’s not about showing anybody anything. He doesn’t want any recognition at all. He’s so humble. I think a lot of people look at him and see the long hair, the good-looking kid, and he’s been in the paper for four years and is a cocky-headed guy. He hates it, he hates all of it. Those are the kind of guys that you want to build programs around.”


Just as Finley’s body follows him through his pads and the opponent, his teammates followed him through brick walls. His first-half hits against Shelley the last three years gave the Senators the jolt to stay competitive in the state tournament the last three years.

“Josh leads,” Andersen said. “He never gave our team a speech in his entire career. He’s never had to rally the troops. Josh didn’t have to. We would just hand him the ball, and everyone would watch and feed off that energy. he shows leadership by example. Players and kids respect someone who is doing it. He just goes and does it.”

Finley (who is being recruited by Weber State), the leader of ‘14 class, much like McGinnis was the leader of the ‘13 class, has helped cast the Gooding football player mold.

“I’m confident the program will stay as it is,” Finley said. “We definitely laid the pipes.”

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