So, we had a good vacation on the Oregon Coast, but did not succeed in spotting behemoth Charles Siddoway from Cape Foulweather (too foggy). We ate a lot of seafood, found some sand dollars (not legal tender, unfortunately) and paid WAY too much for gas.
Upon our return yesterday evening, I decided to catch up on Bronco goings on. First off, I was dismayed to see that J.R. Simplot had died...he was very good to Boise State University and will be missed. Second, I was non-shocked to see that Richard Brehaut said "I'm Bre-out", and signed with UCLA. My bummedness was short-lived, however as I noted the signing of Jared Zabransky clone, Joe Southwick. Southwick, a 6'2" QB from Danville, CA threw for over 3,000 yards last year as a junior and tossed 37 TDs to only 9 INTS en route to a North Coast Section 3A championship. For those that think Southwick's early verbal could be ripe for a renege, think again...Southwick won't be swayed by late offers:
"The way I look at it is, 'Where were you guys earlier?' " Southwick told the Idaho Statesman on Thursday. " (My commitment) is 100 percent. I'm a Bronco and I'm going to stick with it."Southwick's verbal effectively ends the 2009 QB recruit race, as he was told that he would be the only quarterback signee in the class. So, unless Taysom Hill decides to play linebacker...forget about him playing on the blue, Bronco fans. Southwick already is elusive and has a live arm while still being relatively green and undeveloped...so he looks to be a real steal for the Broncos. So Joe Southwick commits in May, of all things...nobody commits that early do they? BUT WAIT...Phoenix CB/WR Ebenezer "Ebo" Makinde pulled the trigger yesterday and will be a Bronco. Makinde held a pair of Mountain West offers and has excellent size and speed for a DB. Makinde is 6'0" and runs a 4.4. The only downside for Makinde appears to be his nickname...your name is Ebenezer, man, embrace it!
So, two Bronco commits in May is phenomenal...that's gotta be it, right? BUT WAIT!!! Rivals and Scout have both confirmed that Kempner (TX) WR/CB Quaylon Ewing has signed on with the Broncos as well. Ewing, a teammate of '08 signee George Iloka is 6'1" and runs a 4.4 forty as well. Lordy, two speedy corners both over 6 feet tall? What is this world coming to?
I'm definitely going on vacation more often if it yields these kind of results.
So, we had a good vacation on the Oregon Coast, but did not succeed in spotting behemoth Charles Siddoway from Cape Foulweather (too foggy). We ate a lot of seafood, found some sand dollars (not legal tender, unfortunately) and paid WAY too much for gas.
Drew will be on vacation til Thursday, so don't lose heart. I will be back with fresh new Bronco articles and polls and lots of Vandal bashing. The wife, kid and I are heading to Oregon to find out if it's true that you can actually see Charles Siddoway all the way from Newport. Have a great week, Bronco fans...and check out these other links in the meantime.
One Bronco Nation Under God
The Wizard of Odds
Every Day Should be Saturday
Jump on the KM Bandwagon
Peak broadcasting announced today that they will be forming the Bronco Sports Network—broadcasting Bronco football and basketball games on 8 different northwest radio AM and FM stations. What stations, you ask?
- KIDO 580 AM Boise
- KSNQ 98.3 FM Twin Falls
- KWIK 1240 AM Pocatello
- KID 590 AM Idaho Falls
- KYZK 107.5 Sun Valley
- KMXM 101.1 FM McCall
- KSRV 1380 AM Ontario, OR
- KALE 960 AM Tri-Cities, WA
Peak Broadcasting also told Boise State in its initial proposal that it intended to broadcast the games in Spanish on KWEI in the Boise area.Muy Bueno.
Yesterday. I ruminated on Gerald Alexander's Mother's day gift that made us all look bad...but what are the other ex-Broncos up to?
Orlando Scandrick, now a Dallas Cowboy, impressed in mini-camp, but is sitting out OTA's with an eye infection.
Ryan Clady already on his way to Canton?
"This one goes to eleven." Legedu Naanee changes numbers and solidifies his position.
Taylor Tharp gets a bit more competition in Carolina.
Daryn Colledge trying to fight off the competition in Green Bay.
Ryan Dinwiddie will fight to remain number 2.
TJ Acree traded to Argonauts. Does Jason know?
Also, trying to confirm reports that Marty Tadman has decided not to pursue an opportunity with the Jets and instead focus on the impending birth of his first child and his ministry.
Former Boise State defensive back, Gerald Alexander, who now plays for the Detroit Lions has a special bond with his mom. Gerald's mom moved to Boise to be near her son during his Boise State playing days and even opened up a Bronco-friendly Louisiana Fried Chicken franchise—now Gerald is showing his mom his commitment to her...by giving her a brand new Mercedes. A 2008 Mercedes CLS550, to be exact—fully loaded.
Gerald's gift was the second car he scouted for her...the first one he crashed on it's maiden voyage.
"Wham! I hit this lady," Alexander said. "I'm just thinking like, 'Did this really just happen?' It was obviously a shocking situation. I was telling everybody, 'How do you crash on a test drive?' "Weird. We all thought that Alexander was better at Safety. A Mercedes CLS550 is about $80K...I got my mom a card.
Florida State president TK Wetherell thinks a playoff system is coming. At a recent "Football Forum" in Dallas, Wetherell, along with Gary Patterson (TCU head coach), Mark Mangino (velour-loving Kansas coach), Jim Tressel (sweatervest-loving tOSU coach), Ty Willingham (UW head coach), Kevin Anderson (Army AD) and Kevin White (Notre Dame ND) discussed the benefits of a Division 1-A football playoff . Wetherell, whose Florida State Seminoles play in the ACC—the same ACC that recently backed out of the Boise-based Humanitarian Bowl—says only Florida State and Boston College favor a playoff amongst ACC schools.
Wetherell sees the financial sense of a playoff as he believes that the demand for will reach critical mass sooner than later. Wetherell—clearly one of the brighter college presidents among BCS affiliates—would also like his 'noles to come and play in Boise. This desire, sadly, is not shared by FSU's pater familias Bobby Bowden:
I'd like to play in Boise because I spend Christmas at my ranch in Montana, I can drive over there. I keep telling Coach Bowden, let's go to Boise. He says, boy, they don't play football on blue rugs.That's good...because Boise State doesn't play football against 90 year-old coaches.
With the 2008 Boise State recruiting class having come and gone with no QB signing with the Broncos...the Broncos want to make sure that 2009 goes differently. As of today, Boise State has offered scholarships to at least 4 different quarterback prospects and had more come to the Blue on official and unofficial visits.
All of the quarterbacks that have been through or have been offered are considered in the top 50 at their position in the country. Josh Nunes, from Upland, California is a 4-star recruit that is ranked 20th at his position. Nunes is 6'4" and 185 lbs. and visited Boise during Spring practices. He was offered early in April.
Richard Brehaut, out of Los Osos High School in California also picked up an April offer from the Broncos. Brehaut is also rated as a 4-star recruit and the 22nd best QB in the land—he stands 6' 2" tall and weighs in at 205 lbs. Brehaut, like Nunes, has a slew of Pac-10 and Big XII offers...but Bronco fans can be encouraged by the fact that he will camp at Boise State this summer. One of last year's camp MVPs, Raphiel Lambert, later spurned several Pac-10 programs to sign with the Broncos.
Making locals very happy last month was the offer extended to Pocatello's own Taysom Hill, out of Highland High. Taysom is ranked just below Brehaut and has also garnered a 4-star rating from the scouts. Hill is a versatile signal-caller and has impressed on both sides of the ball in Poky. Hill has offers from Arizona, Stanford and Washington State among Pac-10 squads as well as interest from BYU and Utah. Hill, who stands 6' 2" tall and weighs 210 lbs. has the speed and size of another recent Bronco QB, Jared Zabransky, but sadly lacks the shock of brilliant red hair.
Last but not least, the Broncs today offered Danville, CA signal-caller Joe Southwick a scholly. Southwick is another 6' 2" QB who is ranked 41st at his position and is rated a 3-star recruit. Southwick has a pair of WAC offers from Nevada and San Jose State.
Some spies spotted Logan 3-star QB Jeff Manning hanging around Spring ball, so rest assured that he is on the coaches radar as well.
The Broncos would be lucky to get any one of these talented QBs and with numerous Pac-10 and other BCS offers, some may be a tall order...but the wide open offense at Boise State and the promise of tutelage of one of the great offensive minds in the biz has to be enticing to some of these youngsters. Personally, I'd like to see Brehaut or Hill land on the Blue as their skillsets seem to fit the current Boise State offensive scheme—but any of these guys inking with the Broncos would be a very positive sign for the future of the program. Especially after the 2008 QB drought.
Josh Nunes profile
Richard Brehaut profile
Taysom Hill profile
Joe Southwick profile
In an article today entitled "Three Things I Can't Wait To See This Fall In The WAC", ESPN's dynamic duo, Mark Schlabach and Ivan Maisel pontificated about the upcoming WAC-ky season in the WAC. A brief run-down:
Maisel's crystal ball first foresees another non-magical ride for the Fresno State Bulldogs:
After Boise State and Hawaii crashed the BCS the past two years, the WAC is asking in slogan fashion, "Who's Next?" The answer is no one. I can actually see Fresno pulling off 2 of 3 against the likes of Rutgers, Wisconsin and UCLA...or I could see them losing all three. However, even if Fresno pulls off the trifecta...they will again lose to Boise State on the blue. Touchdown Tommy Brandstater notwithstanding.
Maisel's second bullet is dedicated to everyone's favorite softy, Ian Johnson—whom Maisel thinks may struggle this year with a "fresh O-line":
...More importantly, he has only one returning offensive lineman, Andrew Woodruff, in front of him. In other words, no matter whom head coach Chris Petersen picks at quarterback, Boise State will go through some growing pains.No, Ivan...line play in '08 can't be much worse than what we saw from our veterans in '07. Ian's nemesis this year? A ridiculously deep stable of protegès carving away some of his carries. Ian still goes for 18 TDs and 1300 yards
Maisel's last pick is a yawner about La Tech, so we won't go much into that—suffice it to say, La Tech may get to .500 this year.
At the top of Mark Schlabach's list he poses this head-scratcher:
Will the pistol replace the run 'n' shoot as the toughest offense to beat in the WAC?First off, the answer is 'no'. Secondly, I believe that historically the toughest offense to beat in the WAC has been Boise State's.
Schlabach's second query is another no-brainer:
Can Boise State re-establish its dominance in the WAC?Only if BSU can overcome Pat Hill and his mighty Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs look poised to win yet another preseason WAC championship. The BSU coaching staff is so far inside Pat Hill's head it would take a Jules Verne-esque voyage to get them out.
Schlabach's third bullet, loosely translated reads:
Blah blah blah Fresno State, blah blah blah Bulldogs blah blah blahListen up, Mark...BSU is always the sexy pick to win the WAC, can't you see the world through blue and orange shades like the rest of us? Sheesh.
You can read the whole article HERE (but why would you want to? It's not nearly as concise or pithy as my summary)
Jake Hess (no relation to Rudolf) will be walking on at Boise State this fall. Hess (shown above in literally the only picture I could find) is 6 feet tall and weighs 230 lbs. and played both fullback and linebacker at Galena High School in Nevada while earning All-League, All-Region and All-State honors during his senior campaign. Spurning his in-state schools to play for a winner, Hess also was swayed by the following tidbit: no walk-on fullback or tightend has ever earned a scholly at Boise State. Obviously, Hess has something to prove.
Hess, who coach Steve Struzyk calls "a hell of a person", thinks the Broncos are getting a real catch:
"As a walk-on, they're getting a real steal," said Struzyk, who guided Hess and the Grizzlies to their first-ever regional championship in 2006. "Whether it's at fullback, linebacker - whatever - he'll make a quick impact. He'll do anything a coach asks."Anything? I guess BSU coaches have found someone to make their morning coffee runs.
Hess will redshirt next season while rooming with another Nevada walk-on, linebacker Alex LaVoy. Which brings us to other news: Alex LaVoy will be walking on at linebacker.
Brian Murphy did his level best to stay awake at the 7th annual Idaho High School Football Combine...but he was groggy from the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit he'd had for breakfast.
Sadly for most kids at the Combine...Murphy just doesn't see much college potential:
It is clear, even to these novice eyes, that most of these players will never suit up for a college team or sign a college scholarship.Yes, good for them and good for us...because if little Brian Murphy had listened to the naysayers all those years ago that said he was nothing more than a hack, amateurish sportswriter that changes with the breeze, we never would've gotten a chance to read his amazing insights.
But they are in high school and not inclined to listen to people who tell them what they can't do. Good for them.
It's a long offseason...so for the next 100+ days we're going to be throwing out some exclusive interviews with ex-players, analysts and fans. Our second such interview is with Alex Guerrero, an all-time great for the Broncos at Defensive Tackle. Alex was a four-year starter at Boise State and on some incredible Bronco squads. I caught up with Alex (shown above, during his one season with the Rhein Fire of the now-defunct NFL Europa) and got the 411.
DREW: Where are you right now and what are you up to?
Well right now I’m living in California and I’m training for my upcoming CFL season (with the Hamilton Tiger Cats).
DREW: How did you come to find yourself at Boise State?
Well, its kind of a long story, it pretty much all came down to my grades. In high school, my grades weren't the best and I didn't go to a big-time school so it wasn't a recruiting hot spot. So, not too many schools came around, but luckily my friend Scott Smith was a big-time recruit and he was bringing a lot of coaches in and I remember one day he turned down a trip to Boise and I said "Hey, coach I’ll take a trip" he said they liked me but my grades weren't good enough.... so after that they kept in touch with me (when no other team did) so when I finally became eligible I stayed loyal to them and on my trip with them I signed.
DREW: Do you still keep in contact with ex-players or coaches from BSU?
Yes, I try to keep up with some, the one I’ve probably been in contact with more is my ex D-line coach, Romeo Bandison.
DREW: What was your proudest achievement at Boise State both on and off the field?
My proudest moment at Boise State on the field was my final game at Boise State against Boston College. That night I promised myself and my coach that I would have my best game yet…and I did just that…I stepped up to the challenge that I put in front of myself and that’s why it was my proudest moment. Off the field, I would have to say it was winning the Humanitarian award.
DREW: I recall a particularly big hit by you in the 2004 UTEP game...was that your most memorable hit? If not, what was?
My most memorable hit was not by me, it was to me. I remember in the Oregon state game I was on the punt return team and I let my guard down for a second and next thing I knew, my ass was on the ground and I was cheap-shotted by the punter, I got up and told him how big of mistake he had made, and I [showed him] by having 2 sacks and 7 tackles....`
DREW: What was it like playing in Europe?
Europe was a unique experience. It was good to play against other good players and see how I could match up. I left there with some unfinished business though, I wish the league wouldn’t have gone under....but I plan on making up for that in my upcoming CFL season.
DREW: Being on a 2004 team that was a hairs-breadth from perfection—did you still feel a little down about missing out on the magical 2006 season?
They say you can’t change the past and to always look forward, but with the 2006 season being so magical, like you said, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I would have red-shirted and played in that game—but what’s done is done and I’m happy some of my best friends from my recruiting class got the chance to play and benefit from that game.
DREW: Did you watch the Fiesta Bowl? How did you feel afterwards knowing that you helped start that amazing run?
I flew straight out from Minnesota on the day of the game and I was in the front row with some ex Boise players like Ben Chuckovich, Chris Carr, Gabe Franklin, Robby Jones, Brian Decker and my family—it was one of the best days of my life.
DREW: You received a humanitarian award while at Boise State...how important do you think it is for athletes to be good role models and engage the community?
Being a role model is something I always prided myself with. I always told the younger athletes that I met that being a role model is essential because we are given an opportunity to be looked up to by younger kids and every little thing that we can do to make a difference is our responsibility.
DREW: The white patch in your beard...birthmark or real source of your power?
Both. I like to think of it as something that makes me unique. Plus, chicks dig it....hahahaha
DREW: What side of Bronco Stadium do you love more...the side that yells 'BOISE' or the side that yells 'STATE'?
Again I’ll say ‘both’, because I love that chant....I still have dreams about me playing in Bronco Stadium and hearing that chant.
DREW: Do Bronco players (especially out-of-staters) fully understand the Vandal rivalry? Do Bronco players hate the Vandals as much as the fans do?
What pissed me off the most about the whole Vandal thing is people really thought they had a chance...other than that they were just like any other team—I was out to dominate them.
DREW: Boise State recently switched broadcasters after 35 years and there is an announcer vacancy—Are you interested?
Still got a lot of football ahead of me, so I’m good for now—but in the future you never know what can happen. I have always wanted to be a football analyst so maybe one day I’ll do a Boise State game. That would be a dream come true.
So Vandal coach and noted mustache-afficionado, Robb Akey, was asked about the recent NCAA sanctions against the University of Idaho that will strip the football team of 8 scholarships in 2008. First, Uncle Robb told mesmerized onlookers how he responded to the NCAA actions:
With dissatisfaction.With determination. And without regret.Then added, "with fries, please", but was told that he'd have to pull around.
Akey, who is a cross between the dad from Family Ties and the neighbor from Office Space , went on to imply that the NCAA employed a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" framework for punishing offending institutions. This assertion, backed up by Rob Spear's ridiculous spin on the punishment shows that someone up north doesn't get it.
We lost retention and ultimately some eligibility points because we made decisions to protect the character of our athletic programThe punishment is not for kicking criminals off the team, but for having them on the team in the first place...furthermore, to paint every departure from the team as being due to "protecting the character of the athletic program" is just wrong. 7 Vandals were removed from the team for breaking laws or university policies, 5 were removed for sub-par academic progress, and the rest left due to dissatisfaction with the team or injury issues. Again, no one is punishing the university for kicking felons off the team, Rob(b)s, but rather, they are punishing the systematic neglect that has taken place over the last 7-8 years.
Robb Akey is not the reason that most of the bad eggs "found" their way onto the Vandal squad—and no one is accusing him of such. But to subtly accuse the NCAA of taking erroneous actions is sub-moronic. Akey said:
Go visit that campus. It will be very evident whether the coach is the problem, the school is the problem or things are being done to address the situationAgain...what?! No one said you were the problem, Robby...but the university has to answer for low APR regardless of how and when it occurred. If you really want to point the finger of blame, look no further than honcho Rob Spear, who signed, sealed and delivered a who's who of coaching ineptitude, shady fundraising practices, non-qualifiers and JC transfers to your doorstep. Spear is the common denominator in the last few coaching hires and recruit signings. And, oh yeah, the school is the problem.
But nice 'stache.
Today is ultra-special video day—and after bringing you two interview-tastic gems earlier today—I painstakingly scoured the internet for a full 10 minutes to find this shining beacon of awesomeness. Move over, Mel Kiper, there are two 12th level paladins in town.
Clady better than Battlestar Galactica? Only the Durtybirdz can judge. Draft pick uber-pwnage.
The mighty Idaho Vandals (shown above, with patron saint), who love to live in the past and drag out graduation rates of their rival institutions will themselves be the recipient of sanctions for poor graduation rates on their football and basketball teams (who, coincidentally are among the worst in the country). University officials have confirmed that the Vandal football team has lost 8 scholarships for the upcoming season for academic and "other" reasons. Oddly enough, Idaho's "little brother" institution Boise State faces absolutely no NCAA sanctions for their money sports and has graduation rates that are among the top in the conference. It does look like Boise State will receive a 'public notice' for a poor multiyear cumulative APR (Academic Progress Report) in men's golf. Meh. Spin away, Vandals:
"A decision by the University of Idaho to focus on athlete integrity and character has resulted in some penalties from the National Collegiate Athletic Association,the Moscow university released in a statement."What?! Oh, we're sorry...we didn't realize it was a too much character penalty.
Bronco fans, the word you are looking for is 'schadenfreude'
It seems someone has compiled a list comparing college football teams to their musical doppelgangers. While I don't like the idea of Boise State being an annoying Canadian frat-rock group...you can't argue with their rationale. Below are the highlights with a mind on Boise State's '08 schedule:
BOISE STATE: NICKELBACK—Put out a ton of hits recently. You keep thinking that their gonna go away, but they keep putting out hits.
OREGON: ALICE IN CHAINS—Underrated. Very strong 90's until present. Same general region.
HAWAII: PHISH—Weird, gimmicky. Way "out there". Their fans are half-naked, but not necessarily in good shape.
UNLV AND NEVADA: ROBERT GOULET AND ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK—Everyone knows who they are, but nobody knows anything that they've ever done.
NEW MEXICO STATE: YOKO ONO—Less talented than Joplin (New Mex.). Uglier than Joplin (New Mex.). Somebody must be a fan, but I'm certainly not.
FRESNO STATE: SUGAR RAY—West coast. Everyone knows the lead singer (QB such as David Carr). Mediocre.
IDAHO: GWAR—They're weird. They're terrible. And nobody even cares about them.
Ok, maybe it's not as good as this list, but it's the offseason...whaddya want...Pulitzer prize winning stuff?
OBNUG has been on an absolute roll lately and this most recent salvo really hits the mark. Kevan Lee gives the local media a lesson on why bloggers will ultimately destroy them unless they can bring the goods with much more passion, conviction and singularity of vision.
Long live the Bronco blogs!
Groundbreaking news today from Blogging the Boys. It seems that Orlando Scandrick (#32, above) is fast.
Orlando Scandrick is fast. He’s also adept at playing off receivers which gives him a nice head-start fitting in with the Cowboys coverage schemes. Can he do it when the pads come on and the physical nature of the game increases 100-fold? That’s what training camp is all about but from what we heard he has the technique and speed to be an effective cornerback. He might just be a steal in the 5th-round.Future updates will reveal that Terrell Owens is arrogant, Tony Romo is whipped and Pacman Jones is felonious.
OBNUG has finally cracked the Marty Tadman case as they tracked him down at Jets' minicamp. Officially, this looks like a tryout for Tadman, but this is more info than the Statesman dragged out, so kudos to Kevan and the gang (not affiliated with Kool and the gang) for giving us the valuable 411. All Marty was looking for was a shot...now he's got one. We're sure he'll make the most of it and then one day memorialize it in a sweet forearm tattoo.
The Vandals' previously slow descent into madness and irrelevance has sped up rapidly in these latter days. The brains at the University of Idaho announced this week that they will not offer single game tickets this season, but instead make "fans" purchase a minimum of two game tickets. Isn't that fun?! And are they just perpetrating this on Idaho "fans"? Nope. They are making anyone wishing to purchase tickets to a game in Moscow do the same...knowing full well that none of those people are going to wish to return to the
Krappy Kibbie Dome for another game.
As tempting as it is for Boise State fans to return to Moscow to watch the Vandals lose to Idaho State, I just don't think many will be willing to shell out more cash just to watch the Vandals put up a valiant first quarter effort against the Broncos.
Clearly, this is an attempt to remain in good graces with the Division 1-A attendance gods as Vandal games are about as well attended as a Saddam Hussein wake—but this is going to bite them in the proverbial keister, bank on it. Could it also be that the Vandals are trying to improve their paltry HFA, making darn sure that Vandal fans "greatly" outnumber visiting fans? No visiting fan in their right mind would want to purchase two tickets to the Kibbie Dome, unless there was a dog show there the following weekend. Just when we thought that Rob Spear couldn't get much slimier, right?
So, here's the deal: I say Bronco fans completely boycott that game. Don't give the U of I athletic department a dime for their little scam. Our Broncos don't need a large contingent of fans in Moscow to be able to overcome Robb Akey's "family". Instead, let's all fill up Boise bars and restaurants and watch KTVB's broadcast of the game instead—we'll be injecting more money into our OWN economy and not dealing with drunken fratboys defacing our cars. Whaddya say?
University of Idaho may be throwing up a big middle finger to opponent's fans and their own "fans" alike—well, Idaho...right back at ya!
Care for a Gem State Twin Pack?
Boise State senior linebacker David Shields will not play in 2008 and has likely played his last game as a Bronco. Shields was hampered most of last season with shoulder injuries that date back to his high school days in St. Louis. Shields, who wears #43, will stay on scholarship, but because of his medical hardship year, his scholly won't count against the squad. Shields has been a player of high character and a great leader on the Bronco squad since coming to Boise—initially as a running back. He is expected to graduate in December.
BSU has no shortage of linebackers, so the loss of Shields won't be debilitating to the corps. Expected starters are Kyle Gingg, Derrell Acrey and Dallas Dobbs; with incoming JC LB Daron Mackey, redshirt frosh Hunter White, Aaron Tevis and Dan Paul and possibly true frosh Byron Hout looking to factor in as well.