The 1976 Big Sky Football Player of the Year wasn’t a flashy quarterback or running back, he was a gritty, tough warrior of the trenches. He was Idaho center John Yarno. The 1976 AP first-team All-American was the first interior lineman to earn the Big Sky honor and also the first unanimous winner of the award.
He helped lead the Vandals to a 7-4 overall record, their first winning season in five years, and a second-place finish in the Big Sky. After the season, he earned Idaho’s Offensive MVP award. The Seattle Seahawks took Yarno in the fourth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. He played six NFL seasons and appeared in 74 games for the Seahawks. His #56 jersey was retired by the University of Idaho in 1977.