MOSCOW, Idaho – When you have players who have been in a system for 12 months and you add an influx of talent, you have a football practice that is light years different than it was about 365 days ago.
"It's a lot different," said coach Paul Petrino after the University of Idaho Vandals opened spring football Sunday afternoon. "It's a lot more of a comfort level with all the players – them understanding what's going on; they know how we do things."
Petrino had high praise for the effort, attitude and performance Sunday.
"It's nice to know where we're at and what we have," he said. "Let's just keep improving."
The addition of a strong junior college class this semester has driven up the level of intensity.
"You don't have to get on them as much about effort," he said. "You can handle that by putting in the next guy."
One battle that will be watching closely – as it will on my college campuses this spring, is the one at quarterback between sophomore Chad Chalich and redshirt freshman Matt Linehan. Both drew praise from Petrino.
"We're light years ahead of last year," he said about the position. "They've both been in the offense for a year. They both did some really good things."
The Vandals return to the practice Monday at 3:30 p.m. with 4 p.m. practices set for Wednesday and Friday this week with a 10 a.m. scrimmage Saturday.