For the third consecutive year, we are going to preview the top players on Boise State’s roster. To clarify, this is not who we think the top ten players on the roster will be at the end of the season or who we think the most important players are, but the most skilled players entering the season. We will be previewing one player each week heading into the season. This week is number ten.
Zach: The tenth best player on the roster is quarterback Hank Bachmeier who is entering his third season as quarterback for the Broncos. There was part of me that felt guilty having Bachmeier this low, and there was another part of me that thought I should leave him off the list.
Bachmeier is as talented as any quarterback in the Mountain West, but he has taken far too many hits. Some of that is due to poor play on the offensive line, some of that was poor pocket presence. New offensive coordinator Tim Plough’s offense should be an excellent fit for Bachmeier; his scheme is filled with quick reads which should mask some of his deficiencies. Bachmeier has as much arm talent as any quarterback I have ever seen at Boise State, but his decision making will need to improve if he is going to take the next step.
Bachmeier also has to look over his shoulder because he has one of the most talented backups in the country behind him in Jack Sears. Sears looked great in his limited action. But Bachmeier was leader in the clubhouse after Spring ball and should get the start against UCF, Bachmeier also has the luxury of being surrounded by a talented receiving corps that should make his job much easier this year. I am confident that he will finish the year as one of the best players on the squad.
Danny: Leading off the list is Junior Cornerback Markel Reed. If this list were meant to capture the “most important” players heading into the 2021 season, Reed would have been much higher on the list. Even so, he still makes the list on sheer talent/skill.
Reed has impressed from the moment he stepped on campus. He played 10 games as a true freshman and played in all seven games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Even with limited snaps playing behind Avery Williams and Jalen Walker, Reed always popped on the field. For his career he has two tackles-for-loss, has broken up four passes, and has forced a fumble. On top of that, Reed played the 2020 season with a bum shoulder that required off-season surgery.
With Avery Williams and Jalen Walker turning to professional football this year, it is finally Markell Reed’s time to shine. Reed is as good a bet as anyone who ends up on this top 10 list to move up the rankings in 2022.
Just Missed the Top Ten
Zach: Shane Irwin led the Broncos in sacks last year after stepping into a starting role on a decimated defensive line. CT Thomas has been an important part of the receiving corps, and his return for another senior season is a huge boost to the Bronco offense. Markel Reed is expected to be the number one corner for the Broncos. If he isn’t a top ten player by the end of the season, it could be a rough year for the Boise State secondary.
Danny: Just missing the top 10 is CT Thomas. The fifth year Senior Wide Receiver is likely the most underrated player on the Boise State roster. He is probably equally underrated on this list, as well. In 45 games with the Broncos, Thomas has 117 catches, 1,525 yards, and 11 total touchdowns. He also has been invaluable on third downs.
The only reason he just missed the top 10 “best player” list is due to the ridiculous amount of talent coming up the pipeline behind him. Guys like Cobbs, Bowens, and Evans will push CT for playing time. Ultimately, expect CT Thomas to get it done as the number two receiver for the Broncos in 2021.