Welcome to the second piece of our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at Boise State.
The 2021 season did not go as planned for the Broncos. Numerous letdown losses and starting the season 3-4 cast a stormy cloud on the start of the Avalos era. However, they did manage to beat two ranked teams and came within one point of beating a team that ended up being ranked #5 in the country. On a bit of an interesting note, the defense lacked some top talent, but their scheme adjustments helped them improve as the year went on. The offensive side of the ball had evident talent, but a lack of adjustments and OL issues kept the offense from reaching its full potential.
Through it all, the Boise State coaching staff managed to identify their issues and sought to address them in this recruiting class through high school and college talent. To see what was prioritized, read below.
The Road So Far:
In the first true recruiting class for Andy Avalos, things look both the same and different from his predecessor. There are still the signature four-star signings, the players from top high school programs, and some players who project to outperform their recruiting rankings. However, they took players from 10 different states (and two countries), making concerted efforts to recruit Utah and the Pacific Northwest areas. Position-wise, they prioritized both offensive lineman and pass-rushers on the defensive side of the ball, which addressed two significant needs.
Offensively, they added commits at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and the offensive line. QB Maddux Madsen is small in size but huge in production. RB Ashton Jeanty is a dynamic back who is a perfect fit for the offensive system. Wide receiver adds some needed size with seasoned Zamondre Merriweather and project Prince Strachan. And that’s not even including 6’5” TE Austin Terry, who could see the field right away. With the OL, they found a solid pickup in Kage Casey, potential steals in Roger Carreon and Hall Schmidt, and Tyson Molio’o from powerhouse St. John Bosco. Plus, a talented transfer to plug in right away with Cade Beresford.
On the defensive side of the ball, they bolstered the d-line, made big splashes in the edge positions (defensive ends and outside linebackers), added some traditional inside linebackers, added two defensive backs, and a punter. JJ Talo and Braxton Fely bring in some great talent from the state of Utah. The pass rush should be much improved with strong and versatile Jayden Virgin and ready-to-play talents in Cortez Hogans, Deven Wright, and George Tarlas. The linebacker position also has new blood in Cali LBs Jake Ripp and Gavin Hambrick, along with the crown jewel of the class, do-it-all Dishawn Misa. In the secondary, Dionte Thorton and Keenan McCaddy both have great size. Finally, Aussie punter James Ferguson is being brought in to assume duties right away.
Number who signed in December: 21 (plus one grayshirt who will most likely be part of the 2023 class)
Number who will enroll early: 10
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 46th
- Recruiting: 53rd
- Transfer: 19th
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, OL
While most of the work is now finished for Boise State, they addressed their most significant needs of improving their pass-rush and speed along the edges as well as shoring up the protection on the o-line. However, if they want to add to their class between now and February, more depth could be had at a few spots.
The offensive line and quarterback are positions where more reinforcement could arrive, unless a mass exodus occurs at another position following the bowl game. Boise State is losing one QB, leaving only three scholarship players at the position. So one will be added in some form, even if it’s a walk-on. An additional OL player with college experience would really put the finishing touches on their work at the position, as that is the most difficult spot for a true freshman to emerge.
The transfer portal is the most likely place where additions will come from. Although if an under-the-radar high school recruit emerges, they aren’t likely to turn them away. Regardless, the heavy-lifting in this class is now in hand, and with half of them coming on campus for the spring semester, the work can begin right away.
Previous Posts: Air Force
Coming Monday: Colorado State