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 2023 season was about as up and down as can be. The Broncos hovered around .500 for most of the season, and was 4-5 after a loss to Fresno State at the start of November. The offense had some growing pains but was a great unit for most of the year, but the defense was uncharacteristically bad, ranking towards the bottom of the country in defending the pass. After beating New Mexico, they fired head coach Andy Avalos. The winning streak continued by beating Utah State and Air Force to close out the season and they miraculously found themselves in the Mountain West championship game. Not only did they play in the title match, but they won in convincing fashion and became Mountain West champions for the first time since 2019.
Through it all, the Boise State coaches kept their recruiting class together and are looking to inject more talent into the roster. See more below.
The Road So Far:
Overall, this recruiting class may look a bit different than previous Boise State classes. It lacks the kind of four-star headliner the team has become known for over the year. However, it does include many talented players in the so-called “second tier” who should become multi-year starters and have a chance to be all-conference type players. Also, there are a fair number of players who have higher ceilings and are good bets to keep developing in the coming years. This isn’t a knock on any of the players in this recruiting class, but it does mean Boise State didn’t recruit head and shoulders above the rest of the Mountain West this year. They continue to do most of their recruiting in California, plus other western states like Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Texas, and of course, Idaho. Plus, they throw in another international signing (England). Position-wise, things were pretty spread out offensively, but there appeared to be a large focus on the defense line in this class.
Offensively, they added commits at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and the offensive line. QB Kaleb Annett has sneaky talent and could develop into a great college QB. Dylan Riley is the biggest offensive recruit, putting up huge numbers this season as a senior. The wide receiver room received a boost in QB-turned-slot Cameron Bates and Tyrone Jackson on the outside. A top Arizona tight end, Kaden Anderson, is also joining the fold. Boise State added two offensive linemen, Eyitayo Omotinugbon and Gregory Bienvenue, and both of them are also from Arizona and project well on the interior of the line.
On the defensive side of the ball, they bolstered the defensive line with Hayden Hanks, Connor Warkentin, Trevor Mckenna, and Lopez Sanusi. All of them big, long, and can play multiple spots. That quartet is joined by EDGE rushers Roman Caywood and Joseph Marsh, the latter of which hails from the junior college circuit. The Broncos added another solid linebacker that they are skilled at developing in Clay Martineau and he is joined by a junior college player, Udoka Ezeani. A pair of defensive backs who are also high school teammates, Travis Anderson and Treyvon Tolmaire, had productive careers prior to graduating. Perhaps the top player in this class is being brought in as an athlete. Sire Gaines is a true impact player, and it looks like he will get a shot to play at both running back first, but the door is being left open at the nickel position.
Number who signed in December: 18
Number who will enroll early: 9
247 Composite Rankings (subject to change):
- Overall: 86
- Recruiting: 80
- Transfer: N/A
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, WR, DB
While most of the work is now finished for Boise State in the high school ranks, Boise State must now turn their attention to the transfer portal to fill immediate needs. They shored up the gaps in the defensive line, offensive skill positions, and to a lesser extent, the edge position. With that being said, they appear to be holes in both the passing game and defended the pass.
That starts with finding a quarterback in the transfer portal, preferably one who can compete or take hold of the starting position upon arrival. A wide receiver or two to allow the passing game to become more dynamic would make sense as well. Finally, it’s no secret the secondary could use a facelift, as they struggled to defend the pass for most of the season.
It would be surprising if they signed any more high school players, although if a talented player at a position of need didn’t sign in December, they would certainly pay attention. Regardless, the the work isn’t over, it just switches its focus from players who need to develop to players who can play immediately.
Previous Posts: Air Force
Coming Monday: Colorado State