Broncos find their voice

So, after getting spurned by their top pick and overshooting their announcement date by over a week...it appears that Peak Broadcasting and Boise State has found their man.

This morning a cryptic anonymous message was left on my article about the Peak delay that said an announcement was forthcoming. Now, Idaho Radio News has posted a similarly cryptic headline-only article saying that indeed Peak and the Broncos have found their man. Bob Behler, the voice of the Umass Minutemen for the last 8 years, looks to be heir apparent to Paul J's throne. Behler, for the last 5 years, has also been the manager of broadcast properties at Umass. East coast Behler and his broadcast partners were honored as the Associated Press' Best Radio Play-by-Play in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for five of the last six years. Prior to becoming the UMass mainstay, Behler worked as the play-by-play announcer for Bucknell's various athletic programs.

The announcement of Behler's hiring ends months-long speculation about who KIDO would be placing in the booth. Behler has precious little time to get his act together as football season is fast approaching. We sincerely wish Behler the best and hope that Bronco fans still reeling from Paul J's departure will be able to find a little room in their hearts for "Bob B"...maybe it's too soon for a Paul J-esque moniker.

I, for one, am hoping that Paul J can take Behler under his wing to get him up to speed on the Broncos program that he knows so well. Maybe Paul J can teach him some of his "quainter" on-air antics as well.

Here's some 20-year old audio of Behler calling a Bucknell/Penn game if you really can't wait.

Here's some much more recent Behler audio as he does an NIT interview.


Weekend link fest

The lazy days of summer are upon us and Bronco news is a bit harder to come by...no new verbals this week...no new play-by-play announcer...and the Vandals continue to exist—but if you really dig down, you'll find that there is plenty of interesting content to be culled from Al Gore's greatest invention...the internet.

Long Beach columnist puts Fresno State's national championship in perspective

Boise State's Gary Craner says goodbye

Brian Murphy actually digs up a little extra info on newest commit Aaron Arron Burks.

Korey Hall helps Green Bay teammates win the title...the paintball title

Cam Hall getting a fresh start in Canada.

Nevada's lil General tries to follow the UH model for instant success. It won't work.

IPT reads the pre-season mags so you don't have to.

Tom Dienhart likes the Broncos...but not too much.

OBNUG notices striking similarities in La Tech's new logo.

Idaho's David Vobora celebrates his irrelevance with Hef.

Britney Rob Spear hopes do work a little magic.


Reason for the delay?

Peak Broadcasting last week assured restless Bronco fans that they were nearing the end of their search for the next Boise State play-by-play announcer. Peak was to interview the 4 finalists and reach their decision on Friday...but Friday came and went and we still have no news of the heir to Paul J's throne. Well, after a little hand-wringing and a bit of digging, I may have found the reason for the delay—it appears that Peak's (and BSU's) top-choice got poached right out from under their noses by ACC also-ran Virginia. Vermont play-by-play man Dave Koehn will be taking the reins as the Voice of the Cavaliers it was announced today...BUT

Apparently, Koehn was in high demand and was the top candidate for the vacant position handling football at Boise State before the offer arrived from UVa. He was one of 10 finalists from a pool of 120 applicants.
Peak has been quiet as little mice since last Friday's deadline passed—could be that they are regrouping as their first choice was nabbed by Al Groh's minions.

Whoever we get now...rest assured they'll be second choice. You know what they say, "second is the first loser".

Daily Progress article


This is getting ridiculous...

Boise State appears to have received yet another oral commitment today...taking their tally of uber-early commits to 6. Last week it was big-time linebacker John Michael Davis pulling the trigger—today it was Texas WR Aaron Burks (#13 in the above pic, apparently) giving coach Pete the "all-clear", according to the Idaho Statesman (I know, the Statesman actually broke a recruiting story). Burks commitment shows that Boise State continues to make recruiting in-roads in the Lonestar State as he joins DJ Harper, Chandler Koch, Brenel Meyers, George Iloka and Quaylon Ewing as fellow Texans on the blue. Burks is listed as 6'4" and 180 lbs. by ESPN.com. Not much more info currently out about Burks, but those Texans know how to play football and 6'4" wide receivers are okay by me. We'll also trust that despite his under-the-radar status that he'll be a valued addition to the class if the coaches saw fit to offer him a scholly. Burks' Coach Terry Cron sums him up as follows:

Cron said Burks' athleticism and speed are his best attributes. Burks ran track and played on the basketball team. But he is committed to football this season, Cron said.
Any more recruits eyeballing Boise State best jump on board (Best coaches in the nation, new luxury expansion, new turf, rabid fanbase...). Let's wrap this baby up before flag day.

Statesman LINK


Which true frosh will make an instant impact for the Broncos?

Last season, Boise State saw a dramatic impact by true freshman. Titus Young made his presence known in the very first game of the season and despite some freshman mistakes throughout the year was very difficult for WAC (and Pac-10) defenses to cover. Austin Pettis was another Bronco frosh who became a big weapon in the passing game. Despite a slower start, Pettis was a game changer in the Fresno State matchup and late in the '07 season looked to have stickum on his hands as he became a fade route specialist. After recruiting two stud runningbacks in the '07 class, many were surprised when coach Pete said that one of the true freshman backs would play last year. After an impressive fall from both backs, DJ Harper got the nod. He proved early on that he was a great change of pace back that would be good in goal line situations and would keep defenses guessing when redshirt speedster Jeremy Avery was out and Ian Johnson got a rest. Few imagined the impact that Harper would have so early, however, as he and Jeremy Avery were the only healthy backs when the Broncos hit the valley for the Fresno State game. Harper rushed for 153 yards against the Bulldogs and Bronco fans knew that Boise State's backfield was started to get ridiculously crowded with talent. Another frosh, Brandyn Thompson was put in nickel and dime situations last season and got significant playing time against Hawaii. Thompson may line up opposite Kyle Wilson this year after the departure of Orlando Scandrick to the NFL.

So, was last year an anomaly? Hardly. Boise State is recruiting bigger, faster and stronger kids that will be hard to keep off the field. This year will may be a perfect year to groom some youngsters as the entire O-line from '07 is virtually gone and several defensive stars are MIA. But who will step in? Let's go over the candidates...

At Wide Receiver, Boise State landed a couple of speedy players in Oaks Christian's Chris Potter and Vallivue's Van Drumgoole. Potter could be the next TJ Acree or Vinny Perretta-like game changer...but with Perretta back for his senior year all-WAC first-teamer Jeremy Childs returning and true sophs Titus Young and Austin Pettis back for more—it's hard to believe that either Potter or Drumgoole will fail to red or grayshirt this season.
My pick for true frosh WR in '08: No one

Same goes for big Texas Tight End, Chandler Koch. With Fullback/TE Richie Brockel a possible all-WAC pick and Tommy Gallarda and Kyle Efaw potentially breaking through, Koch will probably be wise to take a redshirt year...unless, of course he is that much better than Efaw or Gallarda in which case...turn him loose.
My pick for true frosh TE in '08: No one.

With a young and lean O-line, the Broncos may look to break in some youngbloods this year. Especially since the '07 recruits look to be bigger than some of the current lineman on the roster. Tom Swanson, out of Issaquah is already tipping the scales at close to 300 lbs. and with his height of 6'7", he may be a good choice at tackle opposite Nate Potter. At guard, Joe Kellogg is a top-70 player who is also packing some serious meat on his bones. Kellogg may come in and press for playing time with Faraji Wright and Brenel Myers having potential as well. Former D-lineman Will Lawrence switched to the O-line this Spring and with a redshirt year behind him, he may be a more logical choice on the interior O-line...but as we've seen...some of these kids are just WAY too talented to keep off the blue.
My pick for true frosh OL in '08: Tom Swanson or Joe Kellogg

The Defensive Line was somewhat disappointing in '07 despite the emergence of redshirt freshman Ryan Winterswyk (future NFLer, by my calculations) and the consistent play of Mike T. Williams. The interior D-line let too many backs squirt through and left too much to the linebacking corps...who also struggled last year. Coming off redshirt years, a healthy Billy Winn and Jarrell Root should see significant time this season alongside seniors Joe Bozikovich and Sean Bingham. Prize DT-recruits Greg Grimes and Darren Koontz may push for time, but Bishop Kelly DE signee Spencer Gerke will likely wait till '09 as Winterswyk and Williams should be solid this year. Late Canuck pickup Michael Atkinson is my darkhorse for P.T. this season—watch this video and you'll see why.
My pick for true frosh DL in '08: I'm taking the long-shot, Atkinson.

In the Defensive Secondary, many are saying that George Iloka (who graduated early and has been with the team since Spring Ball) looks too good to keep off the field at safety. Iloka won't push sophomore Jeron Johnson out, but may split time with Jason Robinson or be used in special packages or special teams. Of course, the higher rated '07 safety recruit out of Colorado, Tyler Jackson hasn't hit campus yet and he looks like a Marty Tadman-like gamer. At CB, I doubt that Helix's Jamar Taylor will make an impact this year as redshirt-frosh Antwon Murray will join JC-transfer Garcia Day, true-soph Brandyn Thompson and sophomore Keith McGowan on the depth chart. Raphiel Lambert, a coveted recruit at both CB and RB will likely make his presence felt in '09 as well.
My pick for true frosh DB in '08: George Iloka

Big-time Linebacker recruit, Byron Hout is probably already on campus, and fans are salivating thinking about him roaming the blue on defense. Hout may be good enough to push for PT this year as Derrell Acrey almost burned his redshirt in '06. From all accounts, Hout is a dominant force on defense and he may have what it takes to come right in and make an impact. With Acrey finally realizing his potential and JC-transfer Daron Mackey likely stepping in...Hout will have to be particularly scary on D to come right in since Dallas Dobbs played so well last year and Kyle Gingg and Tim Brady have been improving. Add Hunter White and Aaron Tevis into that mix and Hout will have a steep challenge. However, we've heard he is THAT good.
My pick for true frosh LB in '08: Ok, we'll bite—Byron Hout

Running Backs? Are you kidding me?! A grandslam breakfast at Denny's isn't this stacked. The youngsters will have to chill for at least one year.

I think that basically covers it for the 2008 season. Looking forward, it is hard to imagine that some freshman won't see the field as recruiting has picked up a LOT...I still see a decent chance that 5 true frosh could play, but realistically I say that 2 to 3 will be that good. Whatever happens, it is always fun to see the future of the program, and sometimes, the future is now.


Damn pt. 2 (this time, in a good way)

Well, Boise State fans who were downtrodden this morning at the news of Darren Markle's WSU commitment now have reason to rejoice. WLB John Michael Davis from Tesoro, CA has given a verbal commitment to play for the Broncos according to Rivals.com. Davis is 6'2" and 225 lbs. runs a 4.59 40. Davis is also rated by Scout.com as the #14 WLB in the country. Davis joins an impressive group of early commits for the Broncos, that now stands at 5 recruits.

Needless to say, Boise State is off to a fantastic start for their '09 class. Let's hope these verbals stick.


Mountain View standout linebacker, weight-lifting champion, and overall B.A. Darren Markle appears to have given his verbal commitment to the Washington State Cougars. We can't blame Darren for wanting to play in the Pac-10...we CAN blame Boise State for not offering him a scholly. What gives?!

Ah well, there are other fish in the sea and we're glad to see that Markle isn't going to be playing for a rival institution. We're also glad that he'll most likely have the opportunity in his career to knock a Vandal's head clean off.

Other LBs still on BSU's radar:


Bronco linebacker prospect injured at football camp

Boise State WLB prospect Huldon Tharp jacked up his knee at the Pittsburg State University football camp and could miss his senior season at Mulvane HS in Kansas. Tharp is rated as the #18 WILL Linebacker in the nation and a 3-star recruit by Scout.com. Tharp was participating in the PSU camp with his Mulvane teammates when he "tweaked" his knee...

“He might not play for the rest of this season,” Fennewald said. “He was running the ball and ran into a kid from Carthage and Huldon actually knocked the kid over, but he said that his knee felt funny afterwards.”
Tharp holds offers from Miami, Kansas and Stanford as well and is part of a very good class of linebackers that the Broncos have their eyes on.

Hopefully Tharp, who is having surgery today, will make a full-recovery and come LOI day, be the second Tharp to play for the Broncos.

Tharp's Junior highlights (he's not too shabby at RB, either):


New Bronco announcer by week's end

According to the IPT, Peak Broadcasting is down to the final four in their quest to find the next Bronco play-by-play man (or woman). Kevin Godwin, the station's VP said they are interviewing this week and hope to make their announcement this weekend. Word of advice for Peak: don't screw up. A good many Bronco fans were chagrined when Paul J and crew were cut loose—don't exacerbate the problem by throwing a Ted Dawson or Dave Tester behind the mic. We need an announcer with a passion for football and college sport in general (and it won't hurt if he has a thick, black mustache and soothing baritone) and that knows his stuff. No mispronunciations, no calling the wrong plays and absolutely no love for the Idaho Vandals. We want our next announcer to call the BSU/Idaho games like his is calling the D-Day play-by-play for French radio.

You're in the homestretch, Peak...you can see the finish line...we implore you, don't pull a Big Brown.


OBNUG disappears

Oh, SNAP! Bronco blogging juggernaut OBNUG has disappeared off the face of the web. As of 5 minutes ago, the above screen was all we got when we tried to navigate to the venerable One Bronco Nation Under God. What happened exactly? Did Kevan forget to pay the webhost? Are we experiencing a blogger glitch? Whatever happened...we suspect a Vandal is behind it, and we hope that a swift resolution will be reached.

'DC' a good guy

Ex-Bronco lineman and king of soundbites, Daryn Colledge has been having an interesting off-season in Green Bay. Some pundits say he has an uphill battle to retain his starting spot at left guard...others say his job is secure. Either way, Colledge is working like a madman to make sure that he will be in the trenches this season protecting Aaron Rodgers.

But add one more thing to Colledge's offseason 'to do' list: curing cancer. Colledge, along with teammates A.J. Hawk and Jon Ryan, director of player development Rob Davis and strength and conditioning coordinator Rock Gullickson lent their time to the Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer at Lambeau Field on Saturday. The event raised over $84,000 dollars for cancer support organizations last year.

We salute Daryn Colledge, a great Bronco and a great guy for all the work he is doing in the Green Bay community.


Better get crackin'

With only about 8 weeks left until wrapping up construction, Layton needs to be burning the midnight oil on the Bronco Stadium expansion. You've come a long way, baby...but as this video from the Arbiter shows...they've got some finishin' to do. During the video, it appears that some prep work on the new turf is underway as well. Oh boy!

No news isn't good news

Not that we're getting paranoid or anything and the addition of 4 verbal commits (all rated at 3 stars now by Rivals.com) before June was quite a pleasant surprise—but the lack of any real Bronco news is maddening at this stage in the game with now less than 80 days till the Idaho State scrimmage.

Boise State High School Camp begins on Sunday so we'll try to have updates from that as many potential future Broncos will be in the mix. We're told that recent verbal commit Malcolm Johnson will be in town for the camp along with his Barlow teammates (among them, Dan Paul's younger, bigger brother) so if you have your ninja skills honed you can go and scope them out. Inevitably, there will be a smattering of new offers and possibly, a few more commits after camp wraps on the 18th.

For now, I am going to be working on some custom gameday shirts that Bronco Fans will enjoy. I will be posting links so you can order ASAP.

You could check out this page of Hunter White-isms submitted by friends and teammates.

...Or you could join the Bronco social network.

...Or you could check out this sweet Boise State flickr group with some amazing pics.

Oh yeah, and I found a cool Ryan Clady cartoon in the Rocky Mountain news that you may like...it's at the top of the page.


ex-BSU player bested by Idaho Vandal

Round one of the hip new Canadian game called "don't tear your Achilles" goes to a Vandal, according to a canada.com news article. Rolly Lumbala, a 10-year player at Idaho is a Canuck...so is former Boise State reserve linebacker and special teamer Josh Bean. Both players have returned to their homeland in pursuit of a dream to play a bizarre brand of football in the CFL. Bean knows what it is like to win...Lumbala does not—but Lumbala has defeated BC's training camp, while Bean did not.

Bean tore his Achilles at the Lions' camp and will have surgery this Friday, but he's already got words of encouragement for his obscure Vandal counterpart.

When you've got to handle a losing situation for three, four, five years, you might not be interested in football anymore. You've got to credit him for overcoming that situation and coming here to excel.
Ha ha, nice one Josh...way to remind Lumbala of his utterly squandered years in Moscow. Actually, reminding your bitter rival of how many years of losses they racked up is considered a high compliment in Canada.

Bean will be rehabbing for six to nine months while he gets cozy with his Canadian girlfriend.
...my girlfriend's from here [Coquitlam] so I'll just move in with her. I'll stay around the facility [Surrey practice field] all season for my rehab.
No word on what a Coquitlam is, yet...I think it may be a kind of herbal ointment.

Bean's health defeat at the hands of a Vandal wasn't the only surprising news, however...it turns out Boise State isn't even in Idaho.
Bean played for the Boise State Broncos, who went 32-7 over the linebacker's final three seasons, including a perfect 13-0 in 2006 when the Montana team upset Oklahoma in an epic and WAC-ky Fiesta Bowl

Full story HERE

Ryan Clady about to be rich

Why do players leave school early? Two words: CHA CHING! Ryan Clady, Boise State's highest ever draft pick, and first ever to declare for the draft after his junior season (followed, in short order, by Orlando Scandrick) may be seeing up to an $11 million dollar package from the Denver Broncos. Denver's nine draft picks will be paid out an estimated $14 million in bonuses with Clady expected to gobble up around 80 percent of that sum.

It's your money, Ryan...but think how sweet this would sound: Cladyvision.

Denver Post


Fresno jurors not too bright

Despite getting saddled with the easiest court case ever, Fresno jurors were unable to reach a verdict in a multi-misdemeanor extravaganza featuring ex-Fresno State star DT Jason Shirley. A few days ago, I posted an article about Pat Hill "testifying" on Shirley's behalf to acknowledge that Shirley had received a concussion playing against Nevada last season. A Bulldog team doctor also testified about Shirley's egregious concussion that was apparently so severe that it made him back his car into an apartment building and then blow a .12 on a breathalyzer over a month after said "mild" concussion occurred.

I believe that I have a very basic knowledge of law...even a rudimentary understanding of the physiological effects of a concussion—but has anyone ever successfully used a month-old concussion as reason for a DUI, hit and run and driving on a suspended license? Well, Jason Shirley is halfway there after a jury deliberated THREE DAYS and were unable to reach a verdict. A mistrial has been declared...the jury has been declared to be idiotic and Jason Shirley is off to Cinncinnati to make up for lost time (until a retrial date is set)

Now, I have nothing against Jason Shirley. He was a fine player for Fresno State and I wouldn't even have dug up this story if he hadn't played for a WAC conference-mate...but this whole trial is so laughably symbolic of the sad state of the U.S. legal system that it is kinda sad. Pat Hill and a team doctor should not have gotten involved. A concussion can be a difficult thing to get over, but it does not inject alcohol into the bloodstream. Shirley's defense attorney, Charles Magill, baffled by the hung jury—had this gem of wisdom about the mistrial:

"They are making an example of him," Magill said.
Yes, they are making an example of him, Chuck. What would that example be exactly? You can call in star witnesses to a slam-dunk DUI proceeding and somehow be fortunate enough to receive a mistrial? Sounds about right.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that in 2002, I received a mild concussion while playing a game of ultimate frisbee...then 3 months later I knocked over a Keybank. Them concussions is crazy.

Fresno Bee


Let's get social!

I discovered a mighty cool little online application at Ning.com that allows you to build your own social network. Now, I know that social networking is all the rage right now, but there is not a social networking community yet only for Bronco fans, so I created one. It aggregates RSS feeds from the 3 major BSU blogs and Bronco Country and hopefully will be a place where people can contribute groups, photos, videos and content that will then be easier to find by Bronco Nation. I'm going to set it up so it will import relevant Flickr photostreams too. I haven't had too much time to tinker with it yet, but hopefully Bronco Nation can help make it a richer experience for the social networking aficionados.

Join up HERE


BSU gets virtual respect

Boise State, though not raking in preseason media love this year, has still found itself in the top 25 of a much more important list—one that has taken years of winning football to secure. Boise State is rated the 24th toughest place to play on NCAA Football 09. First Jared Zabransky was the cover boy...now "the Blue" will be pwning noobs. The video game rankings appear to mimic real-life success rates at venues around the NCAA—it is because of this that I'm a little worried when I see #7 on the list...Autzen Stadium in Eugene. The Broncos, digital and otherwise, are going to have to bring their "A-game" on September 20th.

Full List


Pat Hill goes to bat

Fresno State's storied, mustachioed head coach testified at the DUI trial of embattled ex-Bulldog Jason Shirley yesterday—vouching for the defensive tackle, who was drafted in the 5th round by the Bengals. Hill was apparently asked to testify about witnessing Shirley suffer a concussion in a play against Nevada on October 6th. Hill's mind was on other things during the play in question, however:

"What I really noticed in that play," Hill said, "was recovering the fumble in the end zone."
Team doctor William Carveth testified that Shirley could have been suffering from the lingering effects of his mild to moderate concussion when he drove his car into an apartment complex in November. This dog and pony show seems to be overlooking one significant factor, however...that Shirley's blood alcohol level was .12 when the cops arrived after the accident. Unless a mild concussion can mimic alcohol in the bloodstream, it doesn't look like Shirley has a leg to stand on.

Hey Jason, it's a freakin' misdemeanor, not a capital murder trial! You failed the breathalyzer, man. No need to call in star witnesses. The fines will be a mere pittance if you make a signing bonus. This whole "trial" is wasting the mustache's time.

If convicted of the misdemeanors, Shirley will reportedly be punished by having to play for the Cinncinnati Bengals.

Full Story


Fantastic four

With June barely dawning and Fall camp right around the corner, no one is really thinking that much about the 2009 recruiting class. Heck, most of the '08 recruits haven't even set foot on campus yet—however, Boise State has already secured their 4th verbal commitment of the '09 class. Malcolm Johnson, a 6 foot-ish 185 lb. runningback out of Gresham, Oregon, had his verbal confirmed by Rivals.com yesterday. Johnson, rated the #67 back and a 3-star recruit after his junior year by Scout is regarded by many as the premier back in the state of Oregon. Malcolm was teammates with current Bronco linebacker Dan Paul, who played both Offensive Line and linebacker for the Bruins. Johnson was the 2007 Mt. Hood offensive player of the year and has racked up 3 straight 1st team all-state honors. At one point in his previous campaigns, Johnson threw down 29 rushes for 379 yards and 6 TDs. To say that Boise State looks to have got a good one would be a slight understatement as Johnson looked poised to garner a slew of Pac-10 offers after already being eyed by in-state programs Oregon and Oregon State. Check out Malcolm below or surreptitiously check him out at Boise State's summer camp next week if you can't wait.