When running back Aaron Baltazar, who is 5-11 and 215 pounds, signed with the Broncos many fans barely took notice even though he was perhaps the highest ranked recruit to ever sign with the Broncos. That is because most freshmen at Boise State are redshirted and allowed to mature where they warm the bench for a year or two before seeing any playing time. Such could have been the case for the new recruit who was behind starting RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 215 pounds, and backup RB Jack Fields, 5-9, 194 pounds on the depth chart.
But every once in a while along comes a talented, standout player like Baltazar to shake up the natural order of things.
Last year at Eastlake High in Chula Vista, California, Baltazar rushed 218 times for 1,855 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was a 3-star recruit and the #53 RB in the country and ESPN even ranked him at 4-stars. He had offers from Arizona, UCLA, San Diego State, and Cincinnati before making a verbal commit to Washington. But by the beginning of his senior year he was having second thoughts and turned down the Huskies to accept an offer from Boise State. He graduated this past spring and left for Boise at the beginning of fall practice. Baltazar barely had time to get his locker assigned before he found himself on the practice field so the Broncos coaches could give him a look over.
And they liked what they saw. It was obvious from the get-go that Baltazar was going to be a playmaker.
It is almost ironic that Baltazar's first game would be against the very team he had declined a scholarship from. And although Boise State lost that game, Baltazar himself didn’t disappoint. He outperformed both Ajayi and Fields, carrying the ball 10 times for 49 yards, averaging 4.9 yards out of a backfield that was under constant pressure from the Husky D-line and defensive backs. That is not bad for a rookie playing his first game of college ball. He also caught 3 dump-off passes for 7 yards showing he has good hands as well as an ability to run.
The coaches threw him into the UT-Martin game for seven plays on Saturday to see what he could do in tough yardage situations. His longest run was five yards.
So is he the RB of the future? The next Boise State football superstar and NFL prospect? Who knows. But considering the confidence the coaches have in playing him in Seattle and this past week at home, running back Aaron Baltazar could be a very bright spot in Boise State's future.
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