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2023 Recruiting Breakdown: Boise State

A class with a star and top-end talent

NCAA Football: Frisco Bowl-North Texas at Boise State Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today will look at the #1 team in our rankings, Boise State.

Once again, Boise State captured the top spot in the rankings. This class is led by the best recruit in the entire conference, with quite a few of the other top players surrounding him. The Bronco’s signees are plentiful with top-end and mid-tier talent at nearly every position. They addressed big areas of need, including edge rushers and the secondary, as they aimed to reload on defense. While it may not be rated as high as previous classes, it is still quite good. To understand how talented this class is, read below.

The Skinny:

  • 27 recruits signed
  • 19 high school players, 3 JUCO players, 5 transfers
  • 11 offensive, 16 defensive
  • 1 four-star, 18 three-stars per 247 Composite rankings.
  • Players with a composite rating of 85 or higher: 10
  • Players with a composite rating of 82 or higher: 18
  • Breakdown by state (excluding transfers): 9 California, 6 Texas, 2 Washington, 1 Arizona, 1 Florida, 1 Idaho, 1 Oregon, 1 Germany
  • 247 Composite Rankings (subject to change)

- Overall: 73

- Recruiting: 68

- Transfer: 169

The Players:

QB CJ Tiller

CJ is a talented quarterback who caught the attention of many his senior year. He is very mobile and able to escape the pocket and evade defenders with ease. Tiller has a strong arm and completed passes with accuracy, especially on the run. He has nice touch even when he doesn’t step into throws and has no issue throwing deep balls. CJ will likely have time to develop in college and has the potential to get even better going forward.

RB Jambres Dubar

Jambres is rated one of the best running backs in the country in this class. He displays great acceleration through holes and shows another level of speed once he’s in the open field. Dubar breaks through arm tackles with no problem and keeps his legs moving, carrying defenders for extra yards. As a receiver, he does a good job looking the ball into his hands and is dangerous once he gets into the open field. Jambres is a star in the making and should play right away.

WR Jackson Grier

Jackson is an under-the-radar receiver out of Florida. He is a smooth route-runner who gets an extra step on defenders with his precision. Grier is elusive after the catch, able to find another gear and slip past defenders with his speed. He has impressive leaping ability and high points the ball well. Jackson battled injuries and may need to make up reps with the help of a redshirt year, but should be up to speed before too long.

Transfer WR Chase Penry

Chase comes to Boise State after spending time at Colorado. He gets downfield in a hurry and adjusts his routes well to catch the ball in stride. Penry has an impressive catch radius and fights for extra yards after coming down with the ball, rarely going down after the first hit. He is a versatile weapon in an offense, making big plays on deep throws and creating big gains on short throws. Chase has the potential to blossom with a fresh start and adds value to the receiver room.

TE Cayden Dawson

Cayden comes to Boise State after a productive high school career in Florida. He is a dynamic pass-catcher, often looking like a wide receiver in his route-running ability and reliable hands. Dawson can line up on the line and in the flat, creating mismatches and exposing defenses. He has the speed and strength to pile up yards after the catch and delivers powerful hits as well. Cayden has the talent to play right away, if he can carve out a role for himself.

TE Oliver Fisher

Oliver is another tight end in this class, hailing from the Pacific Northwest. He is a solid route-runner with great footwork and a feel for getting open. Fisher has a wide catch radius and tracks the ball well in the air on deeper routes. He is a menacing blocker who seeks out defenders to take out of plays. Oliver is a well-rounded player and his skill set should translate well to the next level.

TE Matt Wagner

Matt is the third tight end in this Bronco class. He is a long, athletic player who covers a lot of ground in a hurry and has a knack for turning short catches into big plays. Wagner can line up in multiple spots on the field and is difficult to bring down by defenders. He is sure-handed in the passing game and a willing blocker on running plays. Matt played great competition in high school and that should translate well at the next level.

OL Jason Steele

Jason is a California lineman who will suit up for the Broncos. He is a very disciplined technical player who executes his assignment on each play. Steele locks on to defenders immediately after the snap and pushes defenders around with little issue. He moves his feet well in pass protection and gets off the line quickly when he needs to block downfield. Jason projects best as an interior player and figures to have a bright future in college.

OL Kyle Cox

Kyle is another offensive lineman in this class. He is an imposing figure on the nice but is very athletic and moves fluidly. Cox shuffles his feet well in pass protection to stay in front of defenders and squares up well in his block. When run-blocking, he moves swiftly as he lays punishing hits on unsuspecting defenders. Kyle has the size and athleticism to stick at tackle once he gets to college.

OL Carson Rasmussen

Carson is a local product who will play for his hometown team. He busts out of his stance right after the snap and is extremely physical in his blocks. Rasmussen combines a mastery of what to do on each play with talented execution during the play, getting in a good position and regularly knocking defenders to the ground. He excels in run-blocking, resetting the line of scrimmage and opening up holes for running backs. Carson lines up mostly at tackle on film but could just as easily slide to guard as well.

JUCO OL Olugbenga Komolafe

Olugbenga was a late signee in this class coming from the JUCO level. He is an athletic blocker who gets moving right away and can be utilized out in the open field. Komolafe is a mountain of a lineman and is too big and strong for players to push past or get off blocks once he locks on. He is at his best blocking for the run but can handle pass-protection responsibilities as well. Olugbenga is still developing and will benefit from a year or so to acclimate to the program.

DT Michael Madrie

Michael is a talented defensive tackle coming the Broncos. He is quick off the snap as he initiates contact with blockers, moving them out of the way with his strength. Madrie is skilled at getting into the backfield with an array of moves and getting to the quarterback. He is relentless in getting the ball carrier and is agile as he moves into position to make a tackle. Michael was a very productive high school player and figures to do the same at the next level.

Transfer DT Sheldon Newton

Sheldon is a transfer who fills an area of need on the interior of the defensive line. He is fierce off the snap and generates a strong push at the line of scrimmage. Newton blasts through blockers to terrorize quarterbacks, getting after them with his short bursts of speed. He stuffs up the run game by getting in the proper position and making holes disappear with his size and tackling ability. Sheldon appears like he will find a role next season at defensive tackle.

DE Max Stege

Max comes to Boise State by way of Germany. He does a great job staying low in his crouch and unleashing his momentum once the play starts. Stege has great focus and is determined to make a play on every rep. He does a noticeably good job of not over-pursuing on plays, which can be common for energetic young players. Max is incredibly raw but has all the necessary skills to succeed as a college player.

DE Demanuel Brown

Demanuel is coming to the team as a pass rusher. He is a very high-motor player with a knack for getting to the quarterback by any means necessary. Brown has a wide variety of moves but seems to be at his best with a swim move and quick step to get by blockers. He is a plus tackler, locking onto players and not letting go once he wraps them up. Demanuel will need to add some weight but projects as a solid pass-rusher.

Transfer DE Kivon Wright

Kivon transfers in after a year at Boston College. He has a quick twitch after the snap and gets into the backfield with long, effortless strides. Wright has an array of rushing moves, showing surprising strength on a bull rush to go along with his more natural speed rush. He uses his long arms to wrap up well, and his endless energy ensures he can impact a play. Kivon will compete for an edge role next season.

Transfer DE Tyler Wegis

Tyler is a transfer who spent some time at Utah prior to Boise State. He is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback, combining great size and strength with good game speed. Wegis can’t be stopped by blockers because he is too versatile of a player and mixes up his rush styles well. He diagnoses plays well in the backfield and delivers physical tackles, putting a lot of force into his hits. Tyler looks primed to be on the two-deep at one of the edge spots in 2023.

LB Wyatt Milkovic

Wyatt is a long-time commit in this class coming in as a linebacker. He displays great awareness on the field, and has the quickness to fly to the ball and make a play. Milkovic has exceptional game speed and is a very physical tackler, wrapping up well with some force behind it. He is a natural run-stopper and closes holes quickly at the line of scrimmage. Wyatt looks like he will be a very productive linebacker in the near future.

LB Chase Martin

Chase is another linebacker commit for the Broncos. He is extremely quick once the play starts and is a violent tackler who is able to make big plays. Martin has a high football IQ and sees plays develop well and reacts accordingly. While he is best flying in to stop the run, he is also athletic enough to drop back into coverage and can keep up with tight ends. Chase has all the makings of a great college linebacker and should be able to show those skills sooner rather than later.

DB Franklyn Johnson Jr

Franklyn is yet another player from Texas. He is a pure athlete who played all over the field on both sides of the ball, using his speed and vision to make players. Johnson has a high football IQ and is a selfless player, willing to do whatever is needed to make a play. He moves around the field fluidly and isn’t afraid of contact despite his size. Franklyn should benefit from sticking to one position but may need some time to get up to speed.

DB Khai Taylor

Khai is another two-way player coming to play defense. He flies down the field with an easy running motion and tracks the ball well in the air. Taylor diagnoses plays in real-time and takes good angles to put himself in a position to make a tackle. He appears to be at his best in press coverage, where he is very physical and gets his hands on the ball. Khai looks like a solid fit at a corner spot.

DB Ty Benefield

Ty is a talented defensive back coming to play for the Broncos. He sees plays develop as he sits back in coverage and flocks to the play with his long strides. Benefield is a fierce tackler, getting his hold body into hits and using good leverage. He is adept in the run or the pass, but is at his best sitting in coverage and making plays on the ball. Ty has a natural skill set for a free safety, and it won’t be long before he displays that at the college level.

DB Nick Hawthorne

Nick is a cornerback who possesses great length. He is a natural ballhawk who uses his height and hands to make plays on the ball. Hawthorne does a great job reading the quarterback and putting himself in a position to cause disruption, making him a natural in zone coverage. He is physical for a defensive back, fighting through blocks and laying big hits on receivers. Nick has tons of potential and should develop into a playmaker at the next level.

DB Gabe Tahir

Gabe is an underrated recruit out of the Pacific Northwest. He is a well-rounded cornerback, capable of locking down receivers as well as stepping up in the run game. Tahir can play a variety of coverage techniques and constantly puts himself in a position to make a play on the ball. He is also a hard hitter who makes ballcarriers think twice about making a catch around him. Gabe could end up as one of the surprises of this Broncos class.

JUCO DB A’marion McCoy

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A’marion is a defensive back coming from the junior college ranks. He brings a lot of experience and the talent that comes with it. McCoy has a great awareness of how the play is developing and uses his speed to put himself in the proper position to disrupt the play. He can cover a lot of ground in the open field, but it also a sound tackler who squares up well. A’marion should be able to step into a role right away next season as a cornerback.

JUCO DB Milo Lopez

Milo is another junior college defensive back for the Broncos. He is an extremely physical tackler who combines the size of a linebacker with the speed and coverage of a safety. Lopez possesses great closing speed and can cover a lot of ground both in the short zone and as a deep safety. He is a violent tackler in the open field, taking good angles to the ball and coming at players at full speed. Milo can play safety or nickel and looks to step into a big role at one of those spots next year.

Transfer DB Titus Toler

Titus is a former highly-rated recruit transferring from Wisconsin. He reads plays well, and reacts quickly and forcefully on the field. Toler possesses great closing speed and lays huge hits on players, tackling extremely well in the open field. He can also play tight coverage, uses his speed and ability to track the ball in the air. If Titus is completely healthy, he could be an instant impact type of player.

Team Writer Thoughts:

Before I talk about this year’s class, I just want to shoutout Mike for all the work he does with Mountain West recruiting. This type of in-depth coverage is all thanks to him and his constant effort.

As for Boise State’s 2023 recruiting portfolio, I view it as Andy Avalos redefining how he wants the Broncos to look at potential additions. Namely, none of the recruits this cycle decomitted after their initial pledge. Contrast that to 2022 and the three guys that the Broncos lost to Power Five programs (Michigan St, Michigan and Utah), and it is evident that Avalos wants to dedicate his offers to those that truly believe in the program and not those who may view it as a placeholder. Holding on to RB Jambres Dubar was a massive win and bringing in another QB with potential in C.J. Tiller allowed this signing class to incorporate some important offensive pieces for the future. The transfer portal looked a bit bare for Boise State, but the additions of Toler, Wegis and Wright should be able to dampen the losses felt on the defensive side of the ball.

In this time of NIL and the transfer portal, Boise State looks to be going back to its roots as a developmental program. The stars and class rankings hold weight, but fit matters above all else. Former head coach Chris Petersen prioritized going after “OKGs”, or “Our Kinda’ Guys”.

That’s what the Broncos are best at.

Quick Hits:


Mike: Dubar, Tiller, Benefield, Martin

Aiden: Dubar, Tiller, Madrie, Benefield, Martin

Talented enough to play right away:

Mike: Dubar, Tiller, Benefield, Martin, Madrie, Tahir

Aiden: Dubar, Tiller, Benefield, Martin, Milkovic

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: Cox, Stege

Aiden: Grier, Rasmussen

Best units:

Mike: Secondary, Linebacker

Aiden: Secondary, Linebacker


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, and mixed in junior college and transfer talent with their main priority of high school recruits. While this class may lack as many stars as previous ones, there are solid players throughout the list. This class may contain players projected to be future starters as opposed to future all-conference players, but they are plugging holes as positions of need nonetheless. Although there was a very little gap between them and the #2 class, this is still the top class in the Mountain West.

Coming tomorrow: San Diego State