Kicking off our Class of 2018 breakdown coverage is the number one team in our MWC rankings, Boise State.
This should come as no surprise as the Broncos have consistently out recruited the rest of the conference since they joined the Mountain West. This year, Boise State secured one of the best rated recruiting classes ever by a Group of 5 school. Their historic class is ranked 49th in the country by the 247 composite rankings, and was rated higher than 18 (!) Power 5 schools, including: Utah, Arizona, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, and Boston College (their bowl foe that never was). Read more about their class below.
- 18 recruits signed
- 10 offensive, 7 defensive, 1 special teams
- 6 were listed as 4-stars by at least one recruiting site.
- 11 others listed at 3-stars by one of the major recruiting sites.
- Breakdown by state: 8 California, 3 Texas, 2 Arizona, 2 Nevada, 1 Utah, 1 Idaho, 1 Canada
- #49 in the 247 Composite Rankings
QB Hank Bachmeier
- First and foremost, Bachmeier is one of the highest rated recruits to ever come to the Mountain West. He’s a real game-changer at football’s most vital position. The first thing to notice is he has a cannon for an arm and displays nice touch on his throws as well. Bachmeier is exceptionally mobile, both throwing on the run as well as gaining yards with his legs. He throws a very nice deep ball, and although his tape doesn’t show it as often, he can make the throws on more common routes as well. Hank is a big-play threat more often than not and has the ability to make the rest of the offense better when he is on the field.
QB Kaiden Bennett
- Kaiden Bennet is the other QB in this class, but he isn’t “the other” QB in this class. He’s actually one of the more talent quarterback recruits in all of the Mountain West this year. He’s a true dual-threat who excelled in his high school system. Bennett has a strong arm and make quick reads combined with accurate throws. He passes well on the run and is a threat with his legs so defenses have to respect him, which keeps the passing lanes open. Kaiden’s athletic ability provides him a role in any offense, as he can be a weapon in a variety of ways.
RB George Holani
- George Holani is a complete back in every sense of the word. A tough runner between tackles, with breakaway speed, once he gets into the next level. He displays excellent vision while also being able to make one cut and taking off. Holani is a steady presence as a receiver out of the backfield, which will allow him to be a versatile threat on the field. George will be getting carries next season and has the potential to have a significant role.
RB Keegan Duncan
- Keegan Duncan simply dominated in high school. He is huge for a running back but looks like he moves effortlessly because of his athleticism. The main traits Duncan shows on film that stand out are his ability to break tackles due to his size and his break-away speed that allowed him to make big play after big play at the high school level. He is a polished pass-catcher, which will serve him well as the college level. In addition to this, Keegan’s best strength is probably his versatility. He can run between the tackles, take a pitch in the option, run some wild-cat, catch out of the backfield and in the flat and also run routes. Any offense would benefit from him.
WR Shea Whiting
- Shea Whiting is a wide receiver who can fill a variety of roles at the next level. His film demonstrates him being used in the deep passing game, where his size and speed are utilized. Whiting was also a main target in the red zone, where his length and ability to high point the ball came in handy. He can probably be a returner is college as well, as he was used in that role for his high school team. It will be interesting to see how Shea is used in college; will he be a deep threat, possession receiver, red zone target, or a combination or all of them?
WR Khyheem Waleed
- Khyheem Waleed is a big-time talent who dominated Arizona high school football. Looking at his film, his skill in running deep routes and adjusting to the throw is clearly evident. His speed allows him to create separation both while the ball is in the air and after the catch. Waleed’s highlights in the red-zone showcase his route running abilities and the highlights of him as a returner put his elusiveness and agility on full display. Khyheem’s well-rounded game as a receiver will cause havoc at the next level, and it will be hard to keep him off the field in the fall.
WR DK Blaylock
- DK Blaylock is high on athleticism and has one of the highest ceilings in this entire class. He’s tall, fast, long, meaning he will be a matchup nightmare for DBs trying to cover a 6’5” WR who can really move. Blaylock put up video-game like numbers in high school and did it just as much on screens and short passes as he did on deep throws where he simply out-ran or out jumped-defenders. Though he will need to add weight to and perhaps add to his route tree, DK figures to make quite an impact for the Broncos when all is said and done.
TE Austin Griffin
- The first thing that jumps out about Austin Griffin is his massive size. He is simply bigger and stronger than most of the other players he went up against, and he uses that to his advantage well. Griffin is a mauler of a blocker in his highlight film, acting almost as a 6th lineman with his size and strength. He can line up either on the line or in the slot when he’s running routes and either way, he’s near impossible to match up with for defenders. Austin doesn’t have a lot of receptions on film but he has good hands and does well on short routes as he makes for a big target.
OL Ben Dooley
- Ben Dooley is a long and athletic recruit along the offensive line. He looks like a future left tackle at the college level for Boise State. His footwork and technique look to be sound, as his film shows how he moves backwards well when pass-blocking and gets a quick first-step when run-blocking. Dooley also is very mobile moving side to side and identifies his blocking assignments quickly. All in all, there’s much to like about Ben and his future as a college offensive lineman.
OL Jacob Golden
- Jacob Golden is another versatile and athletic offensive linemen coming in for the Broncos. He looks especially comfortable as a run-blocker, as he constantly gets into the second level for blocks to contribute to big plays and also is mobile enough to pull as well. Golden predominately plays right tackle for his high school team and it’s easy to picture him at that spot or as a guard when he gets to college. He also played a bit of defense in high school, which speaks to his mobility and quickness which will suit him well going forward.
DL Michael Callahan
- Mike Callahan might be flying under the radar a bit in this talent class, but from watching his tape, his talent is evident. He’s quick off the snap and regularly beats single blockers with ease. Callahan is versatile, paying both inside and outside on the defense line and it sounds like he could do the same at Boise State (think Tyler Horn or Sam Mccaskill). At end, he contains well and shows up his speed when chasing down quarterbacks or running backs. It would not be surprising to see Mike be a solid and dependable starter a few years down the line.
STUD Dylan Hall
- Dylan Hall is an ideal fit for the STUD position (which is a hybrid defensive end/linebacker, a spot gaining popularity in college football). At 6’6 and 230 lbs, he is a long athlete who can disrupt a defense in a variety of ways. First of all, Hall excels at getting off his blocks and causing havoc in the backfield. His best moves appear to be a speed rush and a swim move, allowing him to get after quarterbacks and running backs alike. It does seem like Dylan spent much time in high school dropping back into coverage, but with his size and athleticism, it’s just a matter of getting reps and experience before he can add that skill to his arsenal.
STUD Isaiah Bagnah
- Isaiah Bagnah was one of the top players in Canada this past season, and playing north of the border may be one of the reasons he didn’t have a ton of recruiting action. He is another great fit for the STUD position, combining his size with strength. Bagnah is a punishing tackler, especially when he gets a running start. He has good instincts with play recognition and has experience playing traditional linebacker as well as a bit on offense. All that to say Isaiah is a well-rounded athlete who should transition just fine to football in the States.
STUD/LB Casey Kline
- Casey Kline is an athlete in every sense of the word. He can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball but figures to slot into the outside linebacker and rush end role in college. He projects to excel in that role due to his tremendous combination of size (6’5”) and speed. Kline can tackle in open space, stuff the run, get off blockers to blitz effectively and drop back into coverage. He has the potential to not only play and start from day one but also to be an impactful player immediately.
LB Lolani Langi
- The first thing that stands out about Lolani Langi on his highlight film is he has an incredibly high motor on the field. In many ways, he looks like an ideal outside linebacker. Langi displays the ability to line up along the line or in a more traditional linebacker spot and get into the backfield to stop the run either way. He is a great tackler in the open field and reads the quarterback well, which gives him a step or two when making a play. Also, while not quite as natural as run stopping, Lolani does well when dropping back into coverage and holds his own covering the short or underneath routes.
CB Markel Reed
- Markel Reed is the latest tall cornerback to be recruited by Boise State. He stands about 6’0 and moves fluidly in coverage. His highlight film shows him in zone coverage, press coverage and also shadowing receiving. However, Reed’s most apparent skill as a cornerback may be his ability to close the gap and make a play on the ball when playing soft coverage on underneath routes. He will need to add some weight and strength to compete with the best MWC wide receivers. However, Markel looks to be another great cornerback recruit for the Broncos.
S JL Skinner
- JL Skinner is yet another fantastic pickup for Boise State, as he had numerous offers from Power 5 schools. Like Reed, he will bring big talent and big size to the secondary, this time at the safety position. He played both ways in high school, which will help him understand offenses and comprehend routes. Skinner is a physical presence who sheds blocks from receivers with ease and wraps up extremely well on tackles. He can cover as well, running with receivers stride for stride and uses his size to make plays on the ball. JL is the type of player poised to make an impact on the field for the next three or four years.
K/P Gavin Wale
- Gavin Wale fills a huge need for Boise State, as their special teams was horrendous last season. Right off of the bat, his highlight film demonstrates how powerful of a leg he has on kickoffs. Also, Wale is no stranger to big kicks and clutch situations, as he made a few field goals or extra points to either win the game or send it into overtime. He is able to kick field goals, kickoffs and he punts, so he’s well-rounded as a specialist. Gavin has nice touch on his punts and that area could be how he sees the field first, as well as being a kickoff specialist. He should develop into a strength for the Broncos before his career is over.
Team Writer Thoughts:
This is the most talented recruiting class that Boise State has ever had and one of the best recruiting classes in Group of Five history. Bryan Harsin and his staff have taken it to another level with the past two classes. This class is headlined by six four star players (Bachmeir, Kline, Holani, Duncan, Griffin, and Skinner). Boise State is recruiting better than much of the PAC 12, and with fewer resources. The next few years will be a test the player development of the staff, because they should far and away have the best athletes in the conference.
The four stars all have a chance to play next year, I would also throw Waleed and Reed into the discussion as players who could potentially play in 2019. Waleed is one of the most impressive wide receivers Boise State has ever recruited and has the potential to be special. Waleed has the size and speed to play at the power five level and is already built to compete at this level. I also think Dylan Hall has the potential to be special, he could be the next in line of great STUD’s.
Mike: Bachmeier, Kline, Holani
Zach: Bachmeier, Kline, Holani, Waleed
Talented enough to play right away:
Mike: Bachmeier, Kline, Holani, Waleed, Duncan, Langi, Skinner
Zach: Bachmeier, Kline, Holani, Waleed, Langi, Skinner, Reed
Mike: Running backs, Quarterbacks
Zach: STUD/Linebacker, Running backs, Quarterbacks, Wide receiver
Again, this is one of the best recruiting classes from a Group of 5 school ever. That it is only 18 players makes it that much more impressive. This continues the trend of Boise State functioning as a Power 5 school in terms of recruiting. They filled every major need position wise and it is easy to see future all-conference performers at nearly every position. This class won the Group of 5 on the Mountain West, but now they need to win on the field over the next few seasons.
Coming tomorrow: Colorado State