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2021 Recruiting Breakdown: Boise State

A class filled with top-end talent

Mountain West Football Championship - Boise State v San Jose State Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Welcome to the second post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today looks at the #2 team in our rankings, Boise State.

For the first time since we have been this, Boise State is not number one in our rankings. This is not because the Broncos didn’t recruit well this year, but because other Mountain West teams improved their recruiting efforts. Truthfully, the most significant difference between their class and San Diego State’s class is the lack of a true headliner. There is still a great deal of talent in this class, including many of the conference’s best players, despite it being a bit of a small one. They also had a class that ranked better than a few Power 5 teams. Read more about their class below.

The Skinny:

  • 17 recruits signed
  • 16 high school players, 1 transfer
  • 10 offensive, 7 defensive
  • 16 3-stars per 247 Composite rankings.
  • 6 players with a composite rating of 85 or higher
  • 9 players with a composite rating between 82-84
  • Breakdown by state: 5 California, 5 Texas, 3 Colorado, 1 Arizona, 1 Connecticut, 1 Idaho, 1 Oklahoma
  • 70th in the 247 Composite Rankings

The Players:

QB Taylen Green

Taylen is a physical specimen at quarterback with great size who really improved this past year. He has a rocket arm and appears extremely accurate while throwing on the run. Green goes through his progressions quickly and has nice touch on his deep balls. His long strides allow him to be an effective scrambler and he can even add a running dimension to his game. Taylen appears to have a bright future as a starting college quarterback who can start early in his career.

Transfer RB Cyrus Habibi-Likio

Boise State actually recruited Cyrus pretty heavily out of high school, although they wanted him as a linebacker. His tape shows him to be a power-runner who plows through defenses and is difficult to tackle. Though Habibi-Likio is best as a between the tackles bruiser in short-yardage situations, he displays speed and agility moves in the open field. He is a great blocker and everything he does on the field is physical. Cyrus adds much-needed depth at running back for the Broncos.

WR Jalen Richmond

Jalen is a wide receiver who can be used in a variety of ways. He seems at his best getting the ball in space, where he can utilize his crisp cuts and elude tackles. Richmond also showcases his speed on deep routes and can be a big-play threat with his ability to track and high-point the ball on receptions. He can line up outside or in the slot, and be used in the flat or run routes over the middle. Jalen has a lot of traits that will allow him to succeed at the next level in due time.

WR Kaden Dudley

Kaden is a great talent at wide receiver. His stand-out traits are his elusiveness at making defenders miss and how effortlessly he can change direction. Dudley is a swiss-army knife on offense who can be used as a traditional receiver, in the flat, in screens, jet sweeps, and can even line up as a traditional running back. He possesses tremendous speed and excels with the ball in open space. Kaden’s versatility should allow him to carve out a role in the offense immediately.

WR Eric McAlister

Eric is one of the best signees in the entire conference, putting up ridiculous numbers in high school. He has the size and speed combination to be a go-to wide receiver and knows how to use those traits to be a big-play threat. McAlister can beat defenders on short passes with his wide catch radius and then make players miss with his change of direction ability. He can also routinely beat double teams and simply out jumps defenders on throws; there is no easy way to defend him. Eric should be able to play from the get-go and has the potential to become an elite receiver.

WR Ben Ford

For the second year in a row, Boise State gets a commitment from the Idaho high school player of the year, this one being Ben. The first thing that jumps out in his tape is his plus speed. Ford’s ability to change directions and outrun defenders is top-notch, both at the line of scrimmage and in space. He isn’t all finesse, as he can also lower his shoulder and go through the defense to get in the endzone. Ben played all over the field, including quarterback, and although he is coming as a wide receiver, he can impact the offense in a variety of ways.

TE Matthew Lauter

Matthew is a big play-maker between the hashes as a tight end. He is a polished route-runner who makes sharp cuts and finds the holes in the zone. Lauter possesses excellent hands, routinely making touch catches and he runs well enough to rack up yards after the catch. He is athletic enough to play linebacker on defense, which likely has helped him with both footwork and blocking. Matthew has a chance to really surprise people with his play at the college level.

OL Cord Kringlen

Cord is quick off the snap and explodes out of his stance. His mobility is notable and the offense seems to be built around his blocking ability with their play calls. Kringlen’s strength is apparent on film, as he delivers punishing hits and does not let defenders get off his blocks. He finishes his blocks and gets into the second level on running plays on a regular basis. Cord plays tackle in high school and looks like he can stick there or move over to guard at the next level.

OL Joseph Amos

Joseph is a massive presence along the offensive line. He stays low and uses his lower body to get extra force behind his blocks. Amos delivers pancake block after pancake blocks and at times takes on two defenders at once. He seems to have a good handle on his assignments and simply overpowers players. Joseph profiles best as a right tackle or a guard who excels in runblocking.

OL Mason Randolph

Mason is a smart and polished offensive lineman. On film, his awareness sticks out as he knows where to go off the snap and then keeps his head up once his assignment is complete. Randolph explodes out of a low snap and moves his feet well laterally to block. He’s great in run-blocking and moves the line of scrimmage with his ability to drive back defenders. Mason looks like he has room to add weight at the next level and looks like a natural at a guard spot.

DE James Wilborn

James has a great combination of big-time athleticism with a high motor-mentality. He specializes in getting to the quarterback, featuring an array of pass-rushing moves that gives him an advantage over blockers. Wilborn is physical off the line, and his strength and long arms ensure that he wraps up on his tackles. He is agile enough to drop back into coverage some and he reads the quarterback well. James should develop into a quality pass-rusher at the next level.

DE Ahmed Hassanein

Ahmed is one of the more interesting stories in MWC recruiting this season, hailing from Egypt and having only played organized football the past two years. He is raw but his physical traits of strength and athleticism are apparent. Hassanein is a big hitter who can play in multiple spots along the defensive line. He sheds blocks with relative ease and does a surprisingly nice job using leverage and sound technique doing so. Ahmed is still developing and will require more time but he is a project worth investing in.

LB Jai Jones

Jai brings physicality and tenacity to the linebacker spot. He gets in gaps quickly to plug up the run game and understands his assignments when he drops back into pass coverage. Jones even played some defensive end in high school, displaying his strength and using his speed. He flies to the ball and gets low to bring his legs into hits. Jai has a bright future as a college linebacker and could play right away.

LB Rejhan Tatum

Rejhan is a monster of a player at linebacker. He is fast, physical, and technical when it comes to stopping the run and one of his subtle traits is how he doesn’t over pursue plays. Tatum has an exceptional burst when flocking to the ball, making an open space instantly disappear. Those traits carry over to short pass coverage as well where he can pick up players out of the backfield. Rejhan is another player who will likely see the field right away and make an impact doing so.

LB Marco Notarainni

Marco is a versatile, well-rounded linebacker who is equally skilled in both run and pass coverage. Against the run, he reads the play well to get into the backfield, and uses lateral speed to get into position. Notarainni can be used as a blitzer or in a zone scheme were he can cover the end or middle of the field. He makes plays getting in the backfield, blowing up screens, or deflecting passes. Marco can do a bit of everything and will find a way to contribute whenever he gets on the field.

DB Seyi Oladipo

Seyi may be small in stature, but he is a big hitter who seems to have a knack for making plays. He seems adept at playing as a high safety who can track the ball and cover a lot of ground using great closing speed. However, Oladipo also looks natural playing as a slot corner where he can use his agility and quickness to shadow receivers and get a hand on the ball. He appears to analyze plays in the moment and puts himself in the right position to have an impact on the play. Seyi is the type of player Boise State has become known for developing and putting in the best spot to succeed and there is no reason to think he shouldn’t.

DB Zion Washington

Zion brings size and physicality to the safety spot. He appears at his best up closer to the box where he can step up to stop the run and lay menacing hits on ball carriers. Washington takes good angles to the ball and has no issue finishing tackles in the open field. He hands good hands from his time as a wide receiver and seems capable enough in pass coverage. Zion should develop into a solid college safety in due time.

Team Writer Thoughts:

Zach: This isn’t the star-studded class of 2019, but there is some quality depth and ranks as one of Boise State’s better classes. The Broncos added some much-needed depth at positions of need line linebacker and offensive line. Rehjan Tatum has the size and skill to be an immediate contributor. An underrated player in this class is Seyi Oladip, he could become the next great return man for Boise State. The addition of Oregon Transfer running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio gives some much-needed depth to a running game that struggled after George Holani went down.

Quick Hits:

Headliner(s):

Mike: McAllister, Tatum, Jones

Zach: McAllister, Tatum, Wilborn

Talented enough to play right away:

Mike: McAllister, Tatum, Jones, Randolph, Lauter, Wilborn

Zach: McAllister, Tatum, Wilborn

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: Notaranni, Hassanein

Zach: Oladipo, Richmond

Best units:

Mike: Linebacker, Wide Receiver

Zach: Linebacker, Offensive Line, Wide Receiver

Summary:

As seen above, the Broncos appear as if they will once again reload once again. There is a plethora of talent in this class, spanning numerous positions. The top tier of this class is as good as any in the conference, and truthfully, there really isn’t much of a drop-off at the bottom of the class. Boise State addressed some positions of real need, even dipping into the transfer portal with a player. Several players will likely see the field right away or at least compete for playing time. Though some may see this as a down class for the Broncos, their average star rating is right in line with the previous two years. 2021 was more of the same for Boise State recruiting.

Previously: San Diego State

Coming tomorrow: Fresno State