Welcome to a fun off-season series that Drew (of OBNUG), Zach, and Mike (both of MWCConnection) are rolling out for your viewing enjoyment (hopefully). Back in February, excitement was at an all time high for fans and coaches alike as the 2022 class was officially signed. Like every year, fans often tout a class as potentially one of the best on paper. However, once players get on campus and actually on the field, the true story begins to reveal itself. It can often take years for a class to truly be judged as the impact of many players won’t be seen for a few seasons. That being said, this series will aim to revisit and evaluate Boise State’s 2018 class. There has now been enough time that many members of the class have either left or are entering their final seasons, which means players are able to be looked at for their production (or lack thereof) rather than projection and hype.
Anyway, each week, Drew, Zach, and Mike will look at a different position group from the class. While we will contribute two posts each week over the next month, the location of the posts will change. The start of the week will feature a post on OBNUG while the end of the week will see a post up on MWCConnection, that way readers of both sites can follow along. Each post will have all of us weighing in on the same talking points for each season: our expectations of the player from when they signed, the production they gave each season on the team, and their overall impact. The impact will fit into one of 3 categories (exceeded expectations, met expectations, or below expectations). We will each keep a running tally of our totals and then at the end we can each determine the over impact the 2018 class had. It should be a fun and interesting study to see what kind of careers each player had and revisit some names that may have been forgotten.
The 2018 recruiting class was a noticeable step up in their recruiting efforts. It saw the return of a few four-star recruits, as well as other promising three star players with some big offers to their name. To hear our thoughts on specific players from the class, read below.
Part 4: Tight Ends
The tight end position always seems to be under the spotlight in the eyes of fans, who want them to be involved in the offense as much as possible. This class saw the Broncos take two tight ends, one who figured to be more of a receiver and the other who figured to be a blocker first. However, neither went according to plan, for different reasons.
Expectations when he signed: Pretty high. With how much we have used tight ends of late, I try not to get too high though. Ramseyer was definitely one of the top recruits in the state, so I liked that we landed him.
2018 Season: Redshirt year
2019 Season: Appeared in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him game.
2020 Season: Donezo.
Overall Impact: You gotta root extra hard for the local kids, but a stacked tight end room didn’t give Ramseyer much of a chance from the jump, and then an injury ended things for him. It’s a story we’ve seen before. It’s sad…but it’s a failure to meet expectations all the same.
Expectations when he signed: Considering that Hopper had SEC offers (including an early offer from ‘Bama—whether it was ‘committable’ when the Broncos landed him or not)...HIGH.
2019 Season: Appeared in 13 games…did not appear on any stat sheets.
2020 Season: Played in all 7 Bronco games…and logged a stat! 2 receptions.
2021 Season: Finally came on a bit in the passing game. Played in 12 games and caught 7 passes for 132 yards and 2 TDs—including a 51 yarder against Colorado State that was rather consequential.
Overall Impact: Hopper still has another year and I’m not gonna fault him for his lack of touches…I mean, John Bates is doing well in the league and he was sort of a forgotten man in the Bronco offense. Hopper logs a lot of “hidden” stats for a tight end by being a dynamic blocker. I’m going to say he’s MET expectations, but if we want to have a tight end like Trey McBride soon, I would accept that.
Expectations when he signed: I thought Ramseyer was the prototypical run blocking tight end that would play an important role.
2018 Season: Redshirted.
2019 Season: Played in one game.
2020 Season: Injuries forced a medical retirement.
Overall Impact: Ramseyer never really had the opportunity to make much of an impact. I have to go with failed to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: Super high. Hopper was a four star tight end and a signing day surprise. He had offers from some of the top college football programs.
2018 Season: Redshirted
2019 Season: Hopper played in every game. He saw most of his action on special teams and run blocking situations.
2020 Season: Hopper caught two passes, but was mainly used as an extra blocker.
2021 Season: Started to be more involved in the passing game. Made a huge touchdown catch against Colorado State.
Overall Impact: Hopper was expected to make a huge impact. To this point, he has been a valuable player. However, he hasn’t been used in the passing game like most of us thought he would. For that reason, he has failed to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: I liked that Boise State was able to add another in-state recruit into the fold. He seemed like he would develop into a tight end who primarily blocked but could slip for some short-yardage receptions, but figured it would take time.
2018 Season: To the surprise of no one, he redshirted.
2019 Season: Ramseyer did not see the field much. He appeared in one game and was not credited with any stats.
2020 Season: Unfortunately, the injury bug proved to be too much for Ramseyer and he was forced to medically retire.
2021 Season: N/A
Overall Impact: It is too bad Cole didn’t get a full college career and things were out of his control. But despite all that, only seeing the field once and not recording any stats has to result in failing to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: A four-star recruit who became a signing day surprise. I liked Hopper when he said he liked Boise State from play NCAA Football growing up. Plus, his offer list was great (even if many of those offers probably dried up by the time he committed). He looked like a big-time receiving threat who could play sooner rather than later, but may also need time to become a more well-rounded player.
2018 Season: He redshirted. While I didn’t think this was a guarantee, I wasn’t surprised either.
2019 Season: Hopper got on the field for every single game. He was a reserve and mainly seemed to be a blocking specialist, which I was not expecting. But he bulked up a lot and turned into a bit of a mauler, especially in the red zone.
2020 Season: More of the same, playing in every game, got a few catches (2), and a ton of blocks once again.
2021 Season: This was more of a breakout season for Hopper, although the breakout was more on a smaller scale since he was playing in a deeper tight end rotation. In 8 games, he tallied 7 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns, including one highlight-reel play.
Overall Impact: Hopper hasn’t been the stud recruit his high school film displayed, but he has developed each year and done everything asked of him. He made his mark as a blocker first but showed off his skills as a receiver this past year, and has great hands. Plus, he has another year where he could be a consistent weapon in the passing game. I originally wanted to recognize him as someone who met expectations due to his steady improvements. Then I thought, 1) his improvements haven’t quite justified the expectations I and others had for him and 2) even if they had, they were nothing like what I expected him to be entering college. So for that, I’ll go with failed to meet expectations.
Drew: 3 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 7 failed to meet expectations
Zach: 4 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 6 failed to meet expectations.
Mike: 4 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 6 failed to meet expectations.