By David Krueger Herald Writer
Jake Luton had a feeling for a while that he might end up playing for the Idaho Vandals.
Tuesday night, he made it official.
The Marysville Pilchuck quarterback announced on Twitter he will attend the University of Idaho next year. The Vandals were one of the first college football teams to talk to Luton, and made it very clear to him how much they wanted him to come to Moscow, Idaho.
“I’ve always really liked (Idaho),” Luton said. “I like how they approached it. There was no playing games. They offered me a scholarship right away. They never pressured me to commit and let me take my time.”
Luton liked that Idaho showed interest early and maintained that during the recruitment process. He said throughout his senior season that he hoped to make a final decision before the prep playoffs started.
He cut it close — the Tomahawks take on Glacier Peak in the Wesco 3A championship on Friday night.
“I’ve kind of thought Idaho for a while,” Luton said. “The last couple weeks it’s been pretty set in stone. This week I just stuck to my word about making a decision before playoffs and today (Tuesday) seemed like the right day to do it.”
In the Tomahawks’ run-heavy offense, Luton has completed 53 of 101 passes for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns while helping Marysville Pilchuck to the No. 3 ranking in the most recent Associated Press high school football poll. The 6-foot, 6-inch quarterback had drawn recruiting interests from a number of college teams, including Portland State, Idaho State, Wyoming and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Luton said he liked the University of Idaho’s proximity to his home and the environment at the school.
“It was just a cool atmosphere,” Luton said. “I went down there for the game against Northern Illinois (on Sept. 14). I got to check out the campus and it was beautiful. The atmosphere for game day is awesome.”
The Vandals are 1-7 overall to date this season, but after talking with the coaches, Luton likes the way the program is heading.
“The coaches know what they’re doing, and they’re going to be building a good program in the next few years,” Luton said. “The football team is a program on the rise.”
Luton also talked a little bit with the coaches about what his role will be. He would like to come in and make a contribution to the Vandals right away. According to Luton, Idaho’s starting quarterback has begun sharing some time with the backup, who the coaches are thinking about moving to wide receiver. The third-string quarterback is a senior.
“It looks like a good situation for me,” Luton said. “… (The coaches) said that I could probably have a role there pretty early. I’d like to come in and do as much as I can.”