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Revisiting the Boise State 2019 Class Part 4: Tight Ends and Special Teams

NCAA Football: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to a fun off-season series that Michael, Hunter (both of FKWG), 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 2023 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 2019 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, the four of us 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 FKWG 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 2019 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 2019 recruiting class was arguably the best in Boise State history and one of the best classes by a Group of 5 school ever. It was flooded with four-stars and other highly-rated players and seemed poised to make a big impact on the field for the Broncos. It definitely raised the ceiling for what the coaching staff could do on the recruiting trail. Perhaps more importantly, this class raised the floor for BSU recruiting as well, as not many players would be labeled as projects or under-the-radar types. But how has it down on the field? To hear our thoughts on specific players from the class, read below.

Part 4: Tight End/Special Teams

This week will be two different positions, with one player from each position. The two could not be more different, as one was a massive player and the other not looking like the average football player. One hailed from junior college while the other was a now-rare February signee.

Austin Griffin


Expectations when he signed: Minimal. With the exception of the explosion of touchdowns that Jake Roh was responsible for, the tight end position at Boise State just hasn’t been crazy-productive in recent years. As a junior college transfer, Griffin came in with a lot of fanfare somehow–despite minimal statistical production–but I never really managed to get my hopes up for him.

2019 Season: Turns out, I was correct to not get too excited. He ran into academic issues before joining the team, much less ever playing a down for Boise State.

2020 Season: N/A

2021 Season: N/A

2022 Season: N/A

Overall Impact: My expectations weren’t high, but he didn’t even meet those. So I can’t rate it as anything other than “Failed to meet expectations.”


Expectations when he signed: I’d say probably average. BSU fans seem to miss the pass-catching TEs of the Kellen yesteryears, so there’s always something. He was a highly rated JUCO guy which is typically boom or bust, but I don’t remember anyone too excited per se.

2019 Season: Couldn’t get past the school issues and that’s all she wrote.

2020 Season: N/A

2021 Season: N/A

2022 Season: N/A

Overall Impact: Considering he never touched the field, I’d say this is an easy “failed to meet expectations”


Expectations when he signed: I’m always a little skeptical of junior college transfers and Griffin’s statistics did not back up the recruiting hype he had. So I was hopeful, but not expecting much.

2019 Season: Griffin had academic issues and never joined the team.

2020 Season: N/A

2021 Season: N/A

2022 Season: N/A

Overall Impact: Griffin never saw the field and all of the recruiting hype was for naught. Griffin failed to meet expectations.


Expectations when he signed: Griffin was a highly-rated JUCO tight end. He barely had any receiving highlights, and basically looked like an extra tackle due to his size and blocking ability. I figured he would be a blocking specialist who would help the offensive line with some extra protection.

2019 Season: Griffin failed to qualify academically and it was announced in July that he would not be joining the program. Looking back, it seemed like a sign of things to come for this class.

2020 Season: N/A

2021 Season: N/A

2022 Season: N/A

Overall Impact: He did not have any, so he fails to meet expectations.

Gavin Wale


Expectations when he signed: Medium. Despite being signed as a punter, he was also all-league as a kicker in high school. And I’m always interested to see how players that have the capacity to kick do for…reasons. And I’d like to take the opportunity to again say *ahem* First Kick Was Good. Anyway, Wale had a little extra bump in anticipation because he was the relative of departed Bronco specialist, Sean Wale.

2019 Season: Redshirted

2020 Season: Down a ton of players due to the-season- that-never-really-happened-and-of-which-we-do-not-speak, Wale unexpectedly got a chance to play once. He got that opportunity in a particular game that ESPECIALLY never-really-happened-and-of-which-we-do-not-speak, against a future #3 overall draft pick to the Jets (who just already lost their starting job–again–to Aaron Rodgers ). Wale actually played pretty well in that one game though. He punted 7 times, averaged about 40 yards, and placed two within the opponent’s 10 yard line.

2021 Season: No statistical impact.

2022 Season: No statistical impact.

Overall Impact: Lower than minimal. Despite performing kind of okay in his one chance to play, he never played again and transferred to…the school we don’t talk about, that he played that one game against, immediately after the 2022 season. Failed to meet expectations.


Expectations when he signed: It was fun to see a bit of a punting pipeline coming through Boise State. Brother Sean was excellent for many years on The Blue, so I think that gave higher expectations than most punters feel in B Town. Maybe medium expectations?

2019 Season: Redshirt season.

2020 Season: It says he played in the BYU game, but I don’t remember a BYU game that season? Anyway, in that mysterious game he had 7 punts for an average of 39.4, getting 2 inside the 10 yard line. Not too shabby, but that’s all the screen time he got in the Blue & Orange.

2021 Season: Didn’t play.

2022 Season: Lost the starting job to James Ferguson-Reynolds.

Overall Impact: Minimal. Never won the starting job and only played one game in his career. It’s sad after seeing what his brother was able to do, but that’s football. Failed to meet expectations.


Expectations when he signed: As far as punters go, I was excited for Wale and his brother was pretty solid when he was here. It seemed like he had the potential to be a four year contributor.

2019 Season: Redshirted.

2020 Season: Appeared in one game against BYU.

2021 Season: Did not see action.

2022 Season: Did not see action.

Overall Impact: The writing was on the wall when the Broncos signed James Ferguson-Reynolds. Wale would never be the starting punter. For that reason, he has failed to meet expectations.


Expectations when he signed: Gavin was the cousin of former Bronco punter Sean Wale, so of course, it was assumed he could follow in his footsteps in terms of production. Add in the fact that he was offered a scholarship out of high school and he had high expectations for a specialist.

2019 Season: Wale redshirted, which wasn’t a surprise.

2020 Season: He appeared in one game, which was a surprise. Playing against BYU because of a covid outbreak throughout the team, Gavin punted seven times for an average of 39.4 yards. It contributed to the disaster that was that game.

2021 Season: He did not record any stats.

2022 Season: Ditto in this past season. Following the end of the year, he transferred to BYU.

Overall Impact: Outside of one game when the starter could not play, Gavin didn’t even see the field. Transferring helped free up a scholarship for a potential contributor now that the Broncos brought in a new punter who assumed the starter job last season. Needless to say, he failed to meet expectations.

Running Totals:

Michael: exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 8 failed to meet expectations

Hunter: exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 8 failed to meet expectations

Zach: 0 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 8 failed to meet expectations.

Mike: 0 exceeded expectations, 2 met expectations, 7 failed to meet expectations.