Welcome to the first post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today will look at the #1 team in our rankings, Boise State.
After a one-year hiatus, Boise State returned to the top spot in the rankings. This class is led by the best recruit in the entire conference, with quite a few other stars surrounding him. The Bronco’s class is full of top-end talent, and even more importantly, they addressed their most significant positions of need, edge-rusher, linebacker, and the offensive line. The only thing in this class worth knit-picking is that there is a bigger drop-off at the bottom of their class than there has been in recent years. To understand how talented this class is class, read below.
- 23 recruits signed
- 18 high school players, 2 JUCO players, 3 transfers
- 11 offensive, 11 defensive, 1 special teams
- 3 four-stars, 17 three-stars per 247 Composite rankings.
- 4 players with a composite rating of 85 or higher
- 19 players with a composite rating of 82 or higher
- Breakdown by state (doesn’t include transfers): 6 California, 3 Utah, 3 Washington, 1 Florida, 1 Hawaii, 1 Mississippi, 1 Oregon, 1 New Mexico, 1 Texas, 1 Illinois
- 247 Composite Rankings
- Overall: 64th
- Recruiting: 60th
- Transfer: 73rd
QB Maddux Madsen
Maddux does not have ideal quarterback size but he put up impressive numbers during his high school career. He is mobile in the pocket and throws well on the run. Madsen has a fluid throwing motion and quick release, allowing him to get power behind his throws. He displays good vision and throws with precision. Maddux may be able to surprise some people with how well he can play moving forward.
Transfer QB Sam Vidlak
Sam comes to the Broncos as a transfer but had a very productive high school career. He is mobile in the pocket and does a good job keeping his eyes downfield so he can make a throw on the run. Vidlak is at his best when he can step into his throws and make a strong, accurate pass, displaying an especially nice touch on deep balls. He has confidence in making any type of throw and is a sneaky good runner. Sam provides an immediate boost in the quarterback room for Boise State and has lots of eligibility left to develop.
RB Ashton Jeanty
Ashton is an impressive running back recruit out of Texas. He is a very balance back, showcasing bursts of speed and sneaky power. Jeanty displays smooth cuts and keeps his legs moving constantly to gain extra yards. He is also a capable receiver and made a huge impact in the passing game. Ashton is a natural fit for the Bronco offense and is a good bet to play early in his career.
WR Zamondre Merriweather
Zamondre has huge size at the wide receiver position, and the skills to go along with it. He has incredible hands and does not give up on throws, which helps him make catches others may not. Merriweather runs clean routes and is shifty after the catch considering how big he is. He can run routes effectively over the middle or on the sideline and is a capable blocker too. Zamondrew looks as if he can play right away due to his size and versatility.
WR Prince Strachan
Prince is tall a wide receiver with long strides. He separates from defenders well and changes directions on cuts easily. Strachan knows how to use his size against defensive backs and turns 50/50 balls into nearly sure things, especially in the redzone. He has good hands and displays nice footwork along the sidelines. Prince is a bit of a project and will need to add weight but has the skills to transition well to the next level.
TE Austin Terry
Austin is one of the top tight ends on the West Coast. He played primarily in a running offense, so his blocking skills are advanced. However, Terry is a huge target with a big catch radius in the passing game. His strength is noticeable in both facets of the offense and he is difficult to bring down with just one tackler. Austin is talented enough to play right away at the next level if he can crack the depth chart.
OL Kage Casey
Kage is a massive presence on the offensive line. His film demonstrates that he understands his assignment on every play, whether it is creating a hole in the run game or picking up a blitz on passing plans. Casey has light feet and appears agile when moving laterally in pass protection. He does a great job staying low and using his lower body to block. Kage seems to have all the attributes of a future left tackle.
OL Roger Carreon
Roger is one of the biggest and best prospects coming out of New Mexico. The thing to notice on his film is how mobile and athletic he is for his size; he even plays on the defensive line as well. Carreon gets himself into great position to square up and makes a hit on a player before punishing them with his strength. He constantly gets into the second level for blocks, which extends players for running backs. Roger lines up a lot at right tackle on film and looks like he could play there or guard going forward.
OL Hall Schmidt
Hall is another offensive lineman in this class. He is a very athletic lineman and quick off the snap, getting an instant advantage over defenders. Schmidt stays low while exploding into his blocks, hitting defenders square in the chest nearly every time. He is quick and regularly makes multiple blocks on a play. Hall has room to add weight to his frame and should be slotted in at tackle.
OL Tyson Molio’o
Tyson comes from a powerhouse program in St. John Bosco. He excels when pulling and has great vision as he comes around the line to make a block. Molio’o moves fluidly whether it’s going forward or backward to block and is light on his feet. He hits defenders with tenacity doesn’t let them get off the blocks. Tyson played mostly tackle but may be a good bet to slide to guard in college.
Transfer OL Cade Beresford
Cade comes to bolster the offensive line after playing at Washington State. His high school film shows him to be a physical, menacing blocker who plays aggressively. Beresford has great strengths and is able to push defenders back with little issue. He squares up nicely on a defender to make a hit and plays through the whistle. Cade assumingly is being brought in to play right away and looks capable enough to do so.
DL JJ Talo
JJ is a two-way player coming to Boise State to play defense. He is a physical lineman who plays through the whistle. Talo has a nice burst off the snap and gets into the backfield with little issue, blowing past blockers with his speed. He is mobile and athletic and does whatever he can to get to the quarterback. JJ should create a nice interior pass rush during his college career.
DL Braxton Fely
Braxton is a strong player coming to play on the defensive line for the Broncos. He regularly pushes blockers around and fights through double teams to get in the backfield. Fely is a high motor player and commits to not slowing down until he can make a tackle. He isn’t just a pass rusher and can shut down the run game with his ability to get in position to make a tackle. Braxton has room on his frame to add weight and the future is bright for him in college.
JUCO DE Cortez Hogans
Cortez comes to Boise State from the junior college ranks. He is an active defender, using every part of his body in order to disrupt the play. Hogans has a wide variety of pass-rushing moves, and he utilizes them effectively to get by blockers. He also plays a big role in the run game, plugging the gaps quickly and keeping running backs from getting past the line of scrimmage. Cortez will bring a much needed veteran pass-rusher to a defense that was lacking it last year.
JUCO DE Deven Wright
Deven is one of the top defensive junior college prospects in this class. He is a high-motor rusher who excels at getting to the quarterback. Wright gets into the backfield quickly but doesn’t over-pursue, which allows him to be in great position to make a play. He stays low in his pursuit and doesn’t give up on plays. Deven should be a great addition to the pass-rushing efforts next year.
LB Dishawn Misa
Dishawn is an elite recruit coming to play for the Broncos. On film, his speed and physical tackles appear on another level. Misa shows great form, hits hard, and wraps up well when he makes a tackle on a ball-carrier. He can also drop back into coverage and guard receivers and understands his assignments well. Dishawn already looks like a college player and should have no issue making the jump to the next level.
LB Jayden Virgin
Jayden is a great two-way athlete who will be taking his talents to the defensive side of the ball. Long and athletic, he sheds blocks with ease and chases down quarterbacks with little issue. Virgin excels at blitzing, gets in the backfield immediately after the snap, and doesn’t let players get away after making initial contact. He displays an impressive combination of strength and speed and is athletic enough to be a focal point in the offense at tight-end. Jayden has all the skills necessary to be a force in college and will see the field early in his career.
LB Jake Ripp
Jake is entering the fold as a linebacker. He plays fast and is able to cover the field from sideline to sideline. Ripp is a hard hitter, diagnosing plays well and plugging up holes before runners can go through them. He is great at tacking in space and is constantly in position to make a play. Jake may need time to continuing developing but shouldn’t have any issue becoming a solid middle linebacker.
LB Gavin Hambrick
Gavin is another linebacker coming into this class. He displays great instincts and is frequently disrupting plays. Hambrick has textbook technique when tackling and doesn’t allow ball-carriers to bounce off of him. He plays fast and also has the capability to drop into short coverage. Gavin has all the makings of a weak-side linebacker and it’s just a matter of when he will get an opportunity.
Transfer LB George Tarlas
George is entering the fold as a transfer after standing out at Weber State. Even in high school, it was clear he was excellent at getting after the quarterback. Tarlas is a physical tackler who is especially disruptive due to keeping his hands active, whether it's pushing off blockers or deflecting passes. He takes good angles to beat offensive linemen and has the speed to blow by them. George should add a needed and experienced pass-rushing presence to the Broncos.
DB Keenan McCaddy
Keenan is a long and lean safety in this class. He tracks the ball well thanks to his time as a receiver and can cover a lot of ground in the secondary with his long strides. McCaddy plays with aggression and is a physical tackler, especially in open space. He can match up well against tall receivers and times his jumps well to high point the ball. Keenan brings a unique dynamic to the defensive back position and has the potential to be a dynamic player.
DB Dionte Thornton
Dionte is another defensive back for Boise State. He has great vision and can play anywhere in the secondary. Thornton looks skilled enough to play in coverage or over the top in a zone, and he can use his size advantage in either role. He looks natural in his backpedal and closes in on tackles forcefully. Dionte the has potential to be an impact player in the future if he keeps developing.
P James Ferguson
James is a punter hailing all the way from Australia. He is a converted rugby player, which gives punting skills as well as an inherit toughness which should translate well to football. Ferguson is adept at numerous type of punts, which means he can turn into a real weapon on special teams. The hangtime he gets on punts is impressive and it’s clear he has enough power in his leg to flip the field when called upon. James has a shot to play right away next season if he can keep adjusting to American football.
Team Writer Thoughts:
This is pretty much the kind of class we have come to expect out of Boise State. It is the top-rated class for a Group of Five school that is not about to join the Big 12. This class is absolutely loaded on the defensive side of the ball with additions like Misa and Virgin. It wasn’t quite what I was hoping on the offensive side of the ball, but Merriweather, Jeanty, and Terry all have the potential to play immediately. This class is thin on skill talent, which means it will likely be a top priority heading into the 2023 recruiting cycle.
If there is one player who is flying under the radar, I think it is Zamondre Merriweather. I think he has a skill set that is similar to Khalil Shakir. Merriweather has the ability to play immediately and to make a huge impact on this program over the course of his career.
Mike: Misa, Virgin, Jeanty, Terry
Zach: Misa, Virgin, Jeanty, Terry, Merriweather
Talented enough to play right away:
Mike: Misa, Jeanty, Jeanty, Terry, Merriweather, Wright
Zach: Misa, Jeanty, Merriweather, Hogans
Mike: Ripp, Carreon
Zach: Ferguson, Carreon, Casey
Mike: Edge (Defensive End), Linebacker
Zach: Linebacker, Edge
As seen above, the Broncos brought in a large amount of talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They addressed their biggest position needs, pass-rushers, and the offensive line, and supplemented high school talent with transfers in those areas as well. While the class contains a large amount of star power, it also has more project-type players than usual. This is where the coaching staff’s ability to develop players will be put to the test and will ultimately determine if this class is great or just merely good. Regardless, it is still the top class in the Mountain West, although not by much.
Coming tomorrow: San Diego State