Moving day...

Not even changing timezones.

300 seemed like such a good number to end things on. In the last couple of weeks Mr. Bleymeier went to Washington, Z headed to Canada, Kyle Wilson broke stopwatches at BSU pro day—all these events were worthy of articles, but alas, none were posted. Why? Well, my run on FFBSU has come to an end and it seemed odd to push the 300 boundary too far. Fight, Fight, BSU started in between the magical 2006 season and the so-so 2007 season as a way for me to appease the offseason demons that demanded more Bronco coverage. Along the way, it became a nice little blog with weekly features and flashy header graphics. Heck, I even broke a few stories over here and got some advertisers...not bad for a freebie blogspot blog, really. All told, FFBSU has had close to 70,000 visitors since its inception...I'm busting with pride!

Ok, so technically this is post number 301 and I will be RSS feeding new posts to this blog until people get the memo that I've changed addresses. Oh, I didn't tell you where I'm heading too yet, did I? Well, that unstoppable juggernaut OBNUG is back—and guess who's been added to the roster? No, not David Augusto...it's me! Kevan from OBNUG gave me an offer I couldn't refuse (his henchmen are VERY persuasive) and I'll be taking my headline puns and Vandal jokes over to OBNUG full-time. A bittersweet decision to be sure as I have enjoyed being the Notre Dame of the blog-o-sphere and remaining independent, but OBNUG (now a part of the SB Nation community) will allow the forces of good to come together to blog the crap out of Bronco football. Everyone can get behind that, right?

So, in summary: thanks to all the Bronco fans that have made this blog a success. Don't cry for FFBSU, I'll just be over here...and I'm taking Kellen Moore facts, Know your Enemy and my other features with me. Think about it...what is more of a strain—typing in 'fightfightbsu.blogspot.com' or typing in 'obnug.com'? I'm saving Bronco Nation from the pain and embarrassment of carpal-tunnel syndrome. I'll see you over there later today as I make my first official OBNUG post. OBNUG will be happy with 78% renewal of our readers.


Ian Johnson undrafted—My faith in humanity dashed

This is my 300th post on FFBSU. Seems odd that my 300th post milestone is to announce Ian Johnson, the "face" of the Broncos for the last 3 years, went undrafted in this weekends NFL draft and I'm not happy about it. You wanna know why I'm not happy about it? Look at who was drafted. Tom freakin' Brandstater was drafted (!). Two Mountain West running backs were drafted that had fewer TDs in their career than Johnson's sophomore season alone—one of them had fewer career yards than Johnson's sophomore campaign as well. You are telling me that Ian Johnson, the very definition of a character player...who scored 58 rushing TDs in his career and finished 8th in Heisman voting as a sophomore isn't a better pick than UNLV's Frank Summers? Really, NFL? A guy who posted the second fastest time among running backs at the NFL combine and showed versatility and character throughout his career can't even make it 10-deep on the "top remaining players" list hours into day 2 of the draft? Really, "Scouts Inc."? What a slap in the face to a kid who played through injuries, always talked to the media and never complained about diminished touches in the backfield. Say what you will—I know that free agents can and do flourish in the league...but a player as decorated and talented as Ian Johnson should NOT be drafted behind two (!) players from 1-AA. A player as valuable to a team and as committed as Ian Johnson should not be drafted after a quarterback from Nebraska-Omaha or a running back from Abilene Christian. The all-time leader in rushing TDs and face of the WAC just got wacked...10 conference mates were picked up by NFL squads—none could take a "chance" on Ian?

Oh sure, Ian will get his shot somewhere...and he has his "foot-in-the-door" so to speak, but the NFL's system of evaluation leaves much to be desired...and Ian deserved better than what he got. Oh, and I'll go ahead and throw this out there: Jeremy Childs might have made a "slight" miscalculation.

Somewhat less disappointing update: Friends gotta stick together. Vinny and Ian heading to the Vikings as free agents. Ian chose the Vikings from 12-15 suitors (the team with Adrian Peterson as an RB...really?) Good luck to both. Also, Julian Hawkins to Dallas to say hello to O. Scandrick.




The Broncos just got their first commitment of the 2010 class. Yes, I said 2010...well, typed it actually. Anyway, DL Tyrone Crawford from Windsor, Ontario has signed on with the Broncos in what may be the earliest commitment ever. Now Crawford, who is currently on the roster at Bakersfield College, was already somewhat "in the pipeline" as he was originally the object of the coaches interest when they ventured up North during the '08 recruiting cycle. The coaches ended up coming back with Crawford's teammate, Mike Atkinson and Crawford, who had a little trouble qualifying, elected to go the JC route. Now the 6'5" 258 lb. Crawford has things sorted out academically and would like to take the coaches up on their original offer. Crawford was named to the SCFA first-team defense for the 2008 season. Coincidentally, one of Crawford's teammates at Bakersfield is Van Drumgoole, the Vallivue star who received a scholarship last year from the Broncos but later declined it. Current Bronco LB Daron Mackey played at Bakersfield in 2007.

You've seen Atkinson...the big D-lineman that can run like a gazelle. Well, check out Crawford, he also was utilized on the offensive side of things up at Catholic Central High. I'm liking this precedent of getting big, strong D-lineman that are fast and athletic enough to play fullback or tight end.


Oh snap...we got another snapper

The Katy Times (TX) are reporting that Chris Roberson has accepted an offer to play football at Boise State. Roberson, who played both linebacker and fullback at Katy High School, will apparently be coming to Boise to try to snag a floating scholarship at the long snapper position. As Roberson's scholarship is not a definite, it appears he will be attending as an invited walk-on. Roberson believes he'll stick.

"They have a scholarship waiting. They've offered for me to go to school there, and earn the scholarship if I beat out the guys they have."
I'll be honest...I'm not really sure how our long-snapper situation is right now. Dallas Dobbs was a long-snapping specialist the last few years and prior to that, Jon Mike Dominguez held the role—I don't see why the 6'1", 220 lb. Roberson couldn't inject himself right into the mix. After all, he's got his very own long snapping coach.
"I have a deep snapping coach in California, and they saw me on his web site," Roberson said Monday night.
Roberson will represent the 7th Texas athlete on the Broncos' roster. Welcome aboard, kid—and good luck.

Katy's Roberson picks Boise State [Katy Times]


Better late than never

You're gonna need some bigger defensive backs.

Ok, so FFBSU hasn't been the blog of record for Spring football. Things are busy 'round the water cooler and I didn't even get to hit up the much-too-early-on-a-weekday first and second scrimmages (to recap: 1st scrimmage=yay offense...2nd scrimmage=yay defense). So, I packed up the family last Friday to take in the annual "Blue and Orange" game (which this year had more of a Blue and White hue to it)—the reliable end to Spring ball and a signal to diehard Bronco fans that football is an agonizing 4 months away.

The format, as everyone knows, was a bit different this year. Koach Kwiatkowski and Coach Pease both "drafted" their offensive and defensive lineups...Kwiatkowski electing to draft the "all-star" squad and Pease putting together a more modest squad. Of course, Coach Pete got in on the fun by playing God and striking down star players that flew too close to the sun.

The game, and the weather, were great. A crowd that I would put in the 10 to 12,000 range enjoyed seeing the new format and seeing some normally defensive players line up for the offense and some 2008 redshirts see their first gamelike action. In true Bronco fashion, the game had it's own exciting conclusion as the White team, built up to the Bad News Bears of the Blue, stormed back from a 10-0 deficit and got over on the "injury"-riddled Blue team behind some trickeration and opportunistic defense. Austin Pettis, now donning the number 2 jersey that Tanyon Bissell vacated last year, did his best Bissell impersonation and tossed a lofty reverse pass to a wide-open Tyler Shoemaker for the go-ahead score. Shoemaker may have been the biggest star of the scrimmage, showing the faithful that last year's decision to put him on scholarship was not a gamble after pulling down both of the White team's TD's and finishing with 138 yards receiving. After the game, we let the future Bronco down on the turf...he headed right for the high jump mats...D'oh!

Keen observations
  • Doug Martin, though a quick learner and a fierce competitor at the nickel spot was outshined by Winston Venable in a BIG way. Venable is simply all over the field and as sure a tackler as I've seen. If WV doesn't lock down the starting nickel spot in Fall ball color me extremely surprised. It's OK, Doug...offense and special teams will find a place for you.
  • We will see Mike "Bacon" Atkinson line up at fullback this year. Atkinson provided one of the more memorable moments of the scrimmage when he bounced a dive to the outside for a 25 yard gain. He's a force to be reckoned with on the D-line too. Believe the hype people...we really do have a 6 foot, 320 lb. Canadian on the team with quicker feet than Gregory Hines.
  • Jeremy Avery and DJ Harper are going to tear the WAC a new one. Avery must have been born in Reno because he's the "biggest little" running back I've seen in some time—can't be more than 5'7" and 165, but the kid is lightning quick and runs over, around and through tacklers. Harper looks ready for a breakout season as well as he runs downhill very well and may be the quickest-in-a-straight-line back that we've got. Malcolm Johnson can take a much deserved rest and redshirt in 2009...Avery and Harper can handle things this year.
  • Jarrell Root's 'fro has given him special powers. That, or dropping some pounds in the offseason has given him more than longevity. Root had an INT and a fumble recovery and looks like he's ready to be an emotional leader for the defense as a sophomore. The Bronco D-line will be something special this year...bet on it.
  • Byron Hout is awesome. Nothing wholly memorable from Hout's limited action on Friday...but the kid just looks like a football player. Last year's partial-season of dominance will turn into a full-season of dominance in 2009.
  • Kellen Moore has gotten stronger. Not just me...he seems to have more zip on the ball. That can't be good for opposing Ds.
  • Bronco defensive secondary are bad, bad men. If you can somehow get over on Kyle Wilson, Jeron Johnson, George Iloka, Brandyn Thompson and Winston Venable...congratulations, you are Chuck Norris.


Blue by you.

The team parity seems a bit F√ľnke this year.

As you may now know, the annual Blue and Orange (or rather, Blue and White) is taking on a new look this year. The contest this Friday will not feature the wacky scoring or "ones" vs. "twos" scenarios that we've all grown accustomed to. This year, things get real...er. The Blue and Orange White teams have been assigned coaches and the coaches have "drafted" offensive and defensive players for each team to play four 8 minute quarters. Sounds great, right? Yeah, but there's one problem: the Blue team is WAY better than the Orange White.

Now, this isn't to say that the White team will stink...far from it. The White team is chock full of talented, athletic guys...Broncos all. But the disparity between starters on the Blue and White teams is a little ridiculous. Ready?

Well, the Blue team has probable 1st or 2nd round draft-pick Kyle Wilson, speedster Titus Young, 2nd scrimmage MVP D.J. Harper AND Jeremy Avery. I'm not even a little bit done yet. QBs for the Blue team will be Kellen Moore and Drew Hawkins who will be protected by Thomas Byrd, Garrett Pendergast, Zach Waller, Cory Yriarte, Faraji Wright, Brenel Myers and Joe Kellogg. All-potential first teamer Mike Atkinson will be the Blue team DT and Byron "I must break you" Hout will hold down the end. Oh yeah, and they have Brandyn Thompson, George Iloka, Winston Venable and Jeron Johnson.

Now, like I said the White team is no slouch...they have Austin Pettis, Doug Martin, Mike Coughlin and Shea McLellin as well as the only healthy fullback on the team Dan Paul. The O-line for the White squad may be as just as capable as the Blues for all I know. Here's the rub though...the Blue team has AT LEAST 16 guys that were starters or had significant game experience in 2009. Pretty much the entire secondary for the Blue squad are starters as are both the Blue team's runningbacks and quarterback. The White squad has maybe 10 guys with the same credentials.

Now, please understand that I am not slagging off the White team, but the "skill" and "experience" positions heavily favor the Blues. Game changers Richie Brockel, Nate Potter, Billy Winn and Ryan Winterswyk aren't even suiting up.

Do the Bronco coaches realize what they've done? They've given the Blue and Orange White game rooting interest. Go White!

Update: Coach Pete throws a wrench in the whole thing by announcing that star players (i.e., the Blue team) will suffer mysterious mock injuries during the game (I said "mock injuries" guys) that will force substitutions to be made. Looks like a bold gambit by Coach Kwiatkowski now.

Spring Game rosters [BroncoSports]


One of the Cavenders is the new color analyst.

The Cavenders

Jeff Pete Cavender will take Jadon Dailey's recently vacated seat as color analyst for the Broncos this Fall. Jeff Pete was part of the Broncos' undefeated 2006 campaign and was a mainstay on the Bronco O-line next to twin brother Pete Jeff for 3 out of 4 seasons at Boise State. KTVB sez:
Pete will offer a unique perspective with his knowledge of team strategies, plays, coaching personalities, and players make him uniquely qualified for this important position.
Hard to tell whether Jeff Pete will add the personality of the departed Mr. Dailey as frankly, I can't tell him or his brother apart. I mean, I know that one of them was always a good interview during his tenure here...just not sure which one got the gig. The possibility of Parent Trap-esque color analyst switcheroos is quite intriguing though, you've gotta admit. Bob Behler will play the Brian Keith role...wacky hijinx are sure to follow.

Peak names Cavender as color analyst [KTVB]


Sticker time!

This is the most masculine sticker I could find.

Kids love stickers. I should know...I used to be one (not a sticker, but a kid). I used to have a whole book full of scratch-n-sniffs and Garbage Pail Kids stickers. Now, my kid is wracking up the stickers every time we go to Fred Meyers and he's loving them too. Well, the Boise State coaches are handing out star-shaped stickers during Spring Camp, and like the attendance sheet in elementary school, it's paying dividends.

"The coaches would say 'it's amazing what the (high school) kids will do for a sticker,'" (Coach Pete) said. "Well, the high school kids and college kids aren't that much different."
Nor are any of us, Coach Pete, stickers are awesome (especially potstickers from Oriental Express)!

The most heavily stickered player on the team is Richie Brockel...and not due to his on-field prowess. Brockel is injured this Spring and the tight-end crew has taken it upon themselves to sticker up Brockel's visage in the team room whenever they can.

Other childhood carryovers that may help motivate the Broncos this Spring:
Coach Pete draws a smiley face on players' playbooks.
10 minutes extra recess.
High fives.
Pizza party.
May pick one toy out of bin.

Star Power in Spring [Press Tribune]


You don't see this crossover much...

Could you put topspin on the football?

Crossover athletes. They were made all the rage by Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. There have been scores of athletes in the modern-era who were great at multiple sports...or great at one and had enough cache to at least attempt another...Michael Jordan? Oftentimes a soccer player will become a place-kicker, or a basketball player will become a wide-receiver—well how about this one: a tennis player becoming a football player? Did you immediately picture Pete Sampras returning punts? Didn't end well did it? Well, Boise State fans may just get a chance to see what would happen when a tennis player trades in his headband and sneakers for a facemask and cleats. Clancy Shields, nationally-ranked tennis player and brother of Luke, may just take a run at the blue next season.

According to the Montgomery Observer, Clancy thinks his athleticism, competitiveness, and unusual build (by tennis standards) may lend themselves well to the gridiron. After all, he'll have a year of eligibility left when he plays his final match for the Broncos.

"My brother who played tennis for Boise last year told me I should give football a shot," Shields said. "I mean when I work out in the gym I'm as big or bigger then some of our football players."
Shields later admitted he was talking about Brock Jaramillo.

Coach Greg Patton thinks that Clancy may have the right stuff as well:
"I love Clancy like a son," Patton said. "I'm a little biased because I'm a tennis coach, but I would love to see Clancy become a professional tennis player. But, I talk with our football coaches about Clancy possibly playing defensive back or running back. They like the idea."
They "like" the idea means that they'd love to have another practice squad tackling dummy that doesn't risk injury to any of the starting defensive backs or running backs. I mean, the idea is intriguing, but it's hard to imagine Clancy (love the name, by the way) pushing Kyle Wilson or Jeremy Avery for playing time. You have Bronco Nation's blessing though Clancy, you deserve a nice rest riding pine after an illustrious career on the courts.

Boise's Shields may catch football fever [Montgomery Observer]


This didn't hurt.

Must be the shoes...

After Ian Johnson turned heads and calmed nerves at the NFL Scouting Combine last month many just hoped he would sit back and ride out the wave of goodwill till Draft day. Ian wasn't hearing any of that. On St. Patrick's Day, IJ took to the FieldTurf again to show the scouts what he's got, and once again, impressed those in attendance. Johnson, who wisely chose to stand on his Combine 40-time of 4.4, ran agility drills for about 12 NFL scouts at the Caven-Williams Complex on Tuesday afternoon and garnered high praise from the reigning BMOC, Coach Pete:

“He’s as big as he’s ever been and moving as well as he’s ever moved,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “… He looked fast and he looked powerful.”
Chrissy, must be slipping some whey protein into the Hamburger Helper.

Also showing off for the scouts were Vinny Perretta and Jeremy Childs. Perretta may have piqued some interest from scouts with his blazing 40 times of 4.48 and 4.43 as well as some solid numbers in the agility tests, and Childs had to have improved his stock as he was able to make them forget his so-so Combine sprints by finally posting some sub-4.5 marks.

All-in-all...a good day for the newly-minted Bronco alums. Hopefully we'll see all three of the aforementioned sneak onto Kiper's big board.

Ian Johnson looks 'fast, powerful'...[Statesman]
Intriguing prospects work out at Boise State Pro Day [NFL.com]


Are you ready for some volleyball?

Big Hank and Bocephus want you to attend.

The annual rite of Spring is upon us. No, I'm not talking about flowers blooming or daylight savings time...I'm talkin' about ex-Bronco football players spiking volleyballs at J Bates head (for charity). Bronco legend and comentarista del color Alex Guerrero alerted me to this Saturday's proceedings at Sawtooth Middle School in Meridian. This year's event, sponsored by the Boise Area Crime Stoppers will feature the aforementioned Guerrero as well as BSU Alums Korey Hall, Vinny Perretta and Jerard Rabb...and if we're to take cues from the event poster...the game may or may not include a volleyball the size of a small planet. If you ever found yourself wondering what sound it would make when an NFL-caliber athlete bounced an inflated ball off of Joe Hughes' mustache*...this is the event for you.

Event starts at 6. Be there or be a quadrilateral.

*Joe Hughes and his mustache may not be in attendance.


Blue collar team...white collar business

We're gonna need a bigger hammer.

As a freshman at Boise State in 1999, I used to pick up my free game tickets at the Student Union info desk on the day of the game. A couple of years and a couple of championships later, I was camping out in front of the ticket office the Mondays before games for hours. By the time I was a senior...the writing was on the wall—I had to become a season ticket holder while the getting was good. Now, after 5 years as a season-ticket holder—more writing-on-the-wall arrived in my mailbox on Thursday: I don't know if I can afford it anymore.

The "Decade of Dominance" factsheet was what you were supposed to see first. That part was supposed to make us feel better...maybe a twinge of guilt that we might be taking all of this success for granted. Keep reading...turn the page. "We're raising ticket prices almost 20% AND you'll be paying BAA membership fees on top of that". Nice.

I always pictured myself being a lifelong season ticket holder...I got in when the getting was good...now my kids can attend games with me. Sure, there would be lean years with the pocketbook, but we could always just renew and sell the tickets to someone for the season. That way, we'd keep our tickets for a better day. But, the thing is—I'm starting to see a trend and I'm just not sure I can keep up. The worst part is, it may affect the lifelong ticket holders and the younger fans alike...the younger fans, incidentally, being the lifelong ticket holders in the future. Now, the dilemma...the winning has brought the fans in droves—but will the fans be there to see the winning product if they keep getting priced right out of their seats?

So, I've got till May to figure out what to do. For the short term...for the long term. Do we downgrade our seats? Sell them off for the year in hopes that next year's a better fit? Do we drop them altogether (perish the thought)? Should I sell off a kidney?

I know, Gene, I know...we have to support the team and "keep up with the Joneses"...but weren't those shiny new Skysuites supposed to foot the bill for future expansion? I'd sooner part with a limb than my season tickets, but in the grand scheme of things, tickets aren't life's top priority. I'll continue mulling it over...in the meantime, make room in the South End Zone...we may be coming down!


Doug Mad...Doug Smash

"Did somebody misplace this hammer?"

Horrifying news, everyone...Doug Martin wants to tackle you. Well, not you personally, but all the offensive "yous" out there. The coaches seem to feel that Martin has just had too few opportunities to kill someone while blocking or carrying the ball—so this Spring will turn him loose on a terrified second-team offense in Spring Ball. Just for the record...THIS is what Doug Martin looks like on offense...and THIS is an artist's rendering of what he may look like on defense. Nate Enderle just peed a little.

Coaches announced today that Martin will be given the opportunity this Spring to try out for the hybrid/linebacker position vacated by Ellis Powers...and he's already a finalist...

Martin, junior safety Jason Robinson and junior-college transfer Winston Venable are the top contenders to replace Powers, who turned nickelback into a staple of the Broncos’ defense last season.
God, I love Boise State football.

In other awesome news, linebacker Dan Paul has jumped the line of scrimmage as well and will be playing fullback in 2009. Personally, I thought that Paul was a natural at fullback when he filled in for a gimpy Richie Brockel last season...this too is a great move. Oh yeah, and DL Chuck Hayes couldn't stand all the exciting switches going on and decided to move to Offensive Guard.

Remember, Bronco Nation...position switches are our friend—WR Legedu Naanee came in as a QB, DE Ryan Winterswyk walked on as a Safety, RB Lee Marks came in as a cornerback and Coach Chris Petersen came in as an Offensive Coordinator. The coaches routinely get these guys in the best position to contribute so look for these to be very fruitful changes for the Bronco squad this Fall.

Martin to try defense full-time [Statesman]
Oh, look...the Lombardi Award watch-list just got Swiked [Statesman]


Watch it again...

Sorry, Sean Penn...Z's acceptance speech was better.

Found a little website that lets you watch Out of the Blue in streaming format without commercial interruptions (and in its entirety). Watch this great little doc about our beloved Broncos again...or for the first time. Here's to a slow day at work tomorrow.

Out of the Blue


IJ just made some money

You can get all the yarn you've ever dreamed of

No one has ever questioned Ian Johnson's heart or character, but after IJ's stellar sophomore campaign, his NFL draft stock appeared to be dropping precipitously. Ian suffered some freak injuries throughout his career and had to deal with a retooled offense that no longer gave him the ball as much as he was accustomed...and then there were the questions about his speed. All in all, I don't think things were looking great for IJ, draftwise. But the all-time WAC rushing TD leader has been turning heads at the combine this weekend and quieting some naysayers that thought his sophomore season was a fluke. Ian just finished running his 40-yard dash in Indianapolis and officially has run the second fastest time of the day...just 1/100th of a second behind Virginia's Cedric Peerman at 4.46 seconds. Ian also put up impressive numbers on the bench press, finishing with 26 reps of 225 lbs. Those finishing with more reps than Ian among the running backs were mainly fullbacks. Ian also finished 4th and 5th amongst running backs in the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttle runs, respectively.

With Ian's character speaking for itself, and now being backed up by solid combine numbers and experience on special teams—I think that Ian just made himself (and Chrissy) some cash.

Nice job, Ian.

By the way, Jeremy Childs ran a 4.57 in the 40—not amazing...but not terrible. Hey, nobody ever said JC was a burner, right?

Combine top performers [NFL.com]


Vinny wants to wish you a happy birthday

Vinny likes ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins...write that down.

The biennial Boise State Auction is fast approaching so bust out your paddles. The auction, which raises money for academic and athletic scholarships, picked the "something for everyone" as the them of this year's event...and according to the Broncosports.com press release, they mean everyone.

Items for bid include a game football used in Boise State’s historic BCS Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma in 2007 autographed by Ian Johnson and a golf outing with former Bronco and current Green Bay Packer Korey Hall.
Ooh, Fiesta Bowl memorabilia AND an afternoon of awkward conversation about divots and mulligans with Korey Hall? Decisions, decisions.

But what else can I bid on?
Poinsettia Bowl logo’d Tommy Hilfanger Watch
Tommy Hilfanger? Is this like the Rolix watch that I bought in Tijuana? And who wouldn't want a watch commemorating a heart-wrenching one-point loss?

Anything else?
A birthday party with Bronco football graduate Vinny Perretta
I'm confused. Are you attending Vinny's birthday party? Is he attending you or your kids' birthday? Will he be providing entertainment for said birthday or just awkwardly sitting in the corner while your family reminisces about how you used to wet the bed? I know what I'd be doing if I was attending a complete stranger's birthday party—and it more closely resembles the latter (but with more cold sweat and tremors). Screw it, I'm bidding on this one...hope you like Chuck E. Cheese, Vinny.

Online auction [www.boisestateauction.com]
Press release [BroncoSports]


Kellen Moore receives award at Touchdown Club

Better get used to giving speeches, kid.

The Touchdown Club of Columbus presented Kellen Moore with their prestigious Award of Distinction on Saturday. Kellen was one of six returning NCAA players to earn the award at the Touchdown Club's 54th annual Sports Awards Banquet. Joining Kellen among the honorees with the distinction "Players to Watch in 2009" were quarterbacks Adam Weber (Minnesota) and Case Keenum (Houston), running back MiQuale Lewis (Ball State), and defensive standouts Kurt Coleman and Ross Homan of Ohio State.

The short press release can be found HERE.


Class of 2009 could have immediate impact pt. 2

That other Prosser kid: Bronco WR commit Kirby Moore

—continued from yesterday's article.

In 2007, the Defensive Line struggled at times to contain the run. In 2008, with the infusion of some young blood, the D-line made great strides, but by years' end injuries mounted and caught up with the defensive front in the biggest game of the year. 2009 should see a resurgence on both lines as the fresh faces of 2008 become the experienced vets and the newbies push them for playing time and add depth to the roster spots. The Broncos fared very well this recruiting cycle and landed some names that are sure to be of the household variety among Bronco Nation in the coming years.

A very deep and productive spot for the Broncos last year with the emergence of youngsters Ryan Winsterswyk, Byron Hout, Jarrell Root, and Shea McLellin looks to become even deeper once the new crop of DEs sign on the dotted line today.

Kharyee Marshall may just be the next Mike T. Williams. Much like Williams, Marshall will come in with a need to add bulk to his 6'3" frame, but if he can add about 30-40 lbs. to his lanky frame and maintain his excellent 4.6 speed, Marshall will terrorize WAC QBs in the next 4-5 years. Marshall, who hails from Phoenix and chose the Broncos over at least 5 other schools notched 64 tackles last season and 4 sacks en route to his 3rd consecutive All-Region selection. Marshall should redshirt.

Head down the road a bit to Saguaro, AZ and you'll find another Arizona standout DE, Justin Jungblut. Jungblut was nothing less than a sack machine at Saguaro High last season—racking up 11 total and chipping in 72 tackles. Jungblut already has good size at 6'5" and 235 lbs. and will surely add some "good weight" under Tim Socha's watchful eye. Jungblut was an Arizona All-Region first teamer last season and held offers from Oregon State and a slew of MWC teams. Jungblut, like Marshall will likely redshirt unless injuries pile up again.

Rounding out the new DE rotation is Los Angeles' own Nicholas Alexander—a powerfully built DE who is the grandson of NFL Hall of Famer Carl Eller. Alexander is already 6'4" and 240 lbs., which puts him right about where he should be sizewise. After being actively recruited by Washington State, Alexander chose the Broncos in mid-November and has never looked back. Alexander may be the strongest physically of the group and has the bloodlines for greatness, still, it's hard for me to see him step in next year with the current DE depth. WAC offenses should shudder at the thought of what the next 3-4 years will bring, though...count on that.

While any of the aforementioned Defensive Ends could find their way into the interior of the Defensive Line...the Broncos only really landed one true Defensive Tackle in this class...but it was a doozy. Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (pronounced 'Chong-a-Chew'), another native of the Netherlands, literally burst onto the recruiting scene in January and immediately garnered scholarship offers and interest from Oregon, Washington and Washington State. Tjong-A-Tjoe moves well for a big man (6'4" 300 lbs.) but is extremely raw at this point, having only competed in one year of organized American football at Boise High. Tjong-A-Tjoe doesn't look like a project though...he's got the footskills and power to make a huge impact on the line for years to come—he just needs a little time with Coach Kwiatkoswki to master some of the fundamentals. Tjong-A-Tjoe was named a first team All-State selection in his sole year of competition.

Defensive Backs
The Broncos defensive backfield was brilliant last season. Switching to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme and gaining a new philosophy under coach Marcel Yates, the Broncos DBs shut down opponents and didn't give up the big plays. True Freshmen Safety George Iloka thrived in the new scheme en route to Freshmen All-American honors and another True Frosh, Jamar Taylor contributed heavily. There is no age discrimination in the secondary...the best guys can and will play. So who'll leave their mark this year?

Kyle Wilson will return for his senior season and likely be a first or second round pick in next year's draft—that's one CB position locked up. Brandyn Thompson manned the other corner spot last year and showed flashes that he may be the next great Bronco cover man—that's another CB position locked up. The veteran cornerbacks are unlikely to yield much playing time for the youngsters...but the two deep will see some new blood this year and any number of players could be one injury or rotation from seeing the blue up close and personal.

Quaylon Ewing was the first CB to give the Broncos the nod all the way back in May. Ewing was High School teammates with George Iloka at Kempner and almost followed the greenshirt path of Iloka as well. Ewing doesn't necessarily have lockdown speed at 4.6, but has good size for a DB (6'1" 180 lbs.) that may translate better into the Safety position. Obviously the new 4-2-5 scheme always has room for athletic DBs and with the departure of Ellis Powers, anyone could see immediate playing time. Ewing is rated as a 3-star recruit by Scout.com

Ebenezer "Ebo" Makinde is another recruit from the suddenly Bronco-friendly recruiting grounds of Arizona. Makinde was heavily recruited by a slew of MWC teams and by the nearby Arizona Wildcats. Makinde was a standout on Offense, Defense and Special Teams for Paradise Valley and possesses great fundamentals at the corner position. He doesn't have "elite" speed, but plays with enough poise and aggressiveness that he may well develop into a real ballhawk. May sniff the two-deep this year, but likely will be a scout team standout until the 2010 "Wilson-less" season rolls around.

The 4-2-5 is here to stay. With the spread option being adopted nationwide...it makes good sense to keep the DB-heavy scheme in place. The 4-2-5, which relies on good fundamental play from the Safeties, made George Iloka an All-American and the seldom-used Ellis Powers an All-WAC first teamer. Will a current Bronco like Jason Robinson or Garcia Day ascend the depth charts next season to fit into Yates' scheme or will a newcomer again roam the blue?
Winston Venable may be the next big thing in the Bronco Defensive secondary. The lone JC transfer in the 2009 class has good size at 6'1" and 210 lbs. and hits like a Mack truck. An all-league performer at Glendale Community College, Venable (who also punts) is already on campus and may have the best shot of landing Ellis Powers' slot LB/S hybrid slot. Venable, as a freshman, ranked 6th nationally with 77 solo tackles including 8 TFLs, 1 INT for a TD and 2 sacks. Venable's father Max played 12 seasons of baseball in the MLB.

Encinal's Jonathan Brown will bring athleticism and smarts to the Safety spot. Brown, who played QB at Encinal in Alameda, CA, was recently named the All-East Bay Player of the Year (QB Joe Southwick was named All-East Bay Offensive POTY). Brown has excellent speed and mainly played OLB on defense at Encinal, where he racked up 92 tackles, 8 sacks and 2 blocked punts in 2008. Despite, Brown's obvious talents at linebacker, he was recruited as a Safety and will likely stay there. Look for Brown to get into the mix on Special Teams and vie for a slot in the vaunted 4-2-5 in the next year or so.

The O-line has been a strength for the Broncos for years, producing such names as Daryn Colledge and Ryan Clady...but last year growing pains finally caught up with the line. With only one upperclassman as a mainstay in 2008, the line saw a different combination almost weekly...and while the pass protection was adequate, the run blocking took a definite step back. This season, with the youngsters now seasoned vets and some behemoths like Faraji Wright, Brenel Myers, Tom Swanson and Joe Kellogg coming off their redshirt years—the line may finally have the size to start pushing some guys around and sparking the run game on a more consistent basis. Don't be surprised if some of the 2009 recruits make a push for playing time, however, on a line that desperately needs to find a cohesiveness.

When you hear people calling you the next Ryan Clady, you've got a lot of potential...and that's just what folks have been saying about San Leandro OT Charles Leno. ESPN featured Leno as an premier "under the radar" recruit who "runs like a Tight End". He's nearly as tall as Clady at 6'5", but needs to put a bit more bulk to match Clady's girth. Beyond that, his footwork and athleticism appear to be on par with Clady, who came in largely unheralded, like Leno. Leno had looks from the likes of Oregon and Washington, but liked the atmosphere and team-first mentality in Boise. Leno seems to be as good a candidate as any to play right away, though lineman rarely do play as true Frosh.

Jake Broyles is another OT commit with room to grow. Broyles is already 6'6" and 250 lbs. but looks like he could take on another 40-50 lbs. easily. Broyles definitely flew under the recruiting radar and was only offered by the Broncos after playing his career at Foothill High (NV) in Chris Ault's backyard. Broyles, who played both ways for the Foothill Falcons, may have been a victim, recruiting-wise, of playing on a losing team...but the Bronco staff has made a reputation for finding great diamonds-in-the-rough and I'm sure that Broyles is no different.

At the Offensive Guard spot, the Broncos had to look no further than west Boise. Bryant Thomas, a Capital Eagle isn't as tall as Broyles or Leno...but he has a sturdy frame and, at 265 lbs., should be where he needs to be sooner than later. Thomas can play at Guard or Tackle, or may even be a candidate for Center. He was an All-Idaho first teamer that Capital coach Todd Simis called "the most athletic lineman in the state". Thomas may be the next great Idaho lineman in the mold of BK grad Tad Miller.

Video and more stories from Bronco LOI day to follow.


Class of 2009 could have immediate impact pt. 1

2009 Running Back commit Malcolm Johnson

Boise State plays the best guys, period. If you don't believe it, look at the last few seasons. In 2007, five true freshmen saw the field, in 2008, Boise played 3 true freshmen and the starting QB was a redshirt freshmen. Yes, a youth movement is taking place at Boise State and the Broncos don't believe in "rebuilding", the Broncos simply reload year in and year out and 2009 looks to be no different.

Kellen Moore is the present and future of the Bronco program, garnering WAC Freshman of the Year Honors and Freshmen All-America status. With the departure of Nick Lomax and the graduation of Bush Hamdan, however, Kellen has little depth behind him. Right now, Moore has only Mike Coughlin and walk-on Drew Hawkins behind him and the Broncos took no quarterbacks last offseason. This year, things looked different on the recruiting trail and the Broncos look to have snagged some top-notch signal callers to add instant depth under center.

Joe Southwick, a 3-star prospect out of Danville, CA was the first verbal that the Broncos received in this recruiting cycle and may be one of the best. The 6'2" Southwick is rated as the #32 signal caller in the country and threw for 3,781 yards and 36 TDs this last year while running another 8 into the endzone. Southwick was named the All-East Bay Offensive Player of the year. Look for Southwick to redshirt next year.

Southwick likely thought he'd be the only QB taken in the '09 class. Well, things have a way of changing when you commit in May because by August, Nick Lomax had departed the Boise State program and QB depth looked to be a real issue. Enter North Gwinnett quarterback Mikey Tamburo—a Jared Zabransky clone that competed in Georgia's largest division and held offers from just about every mid-major in the Midwest. Tamburo is not the pure passer that Southwick is, but he is more of a pure athlete. Tamburo is a classic Boise State recruit...one who likely would've been heavily recruited by BCS conferences had he only been a bit bigger. A picture of consistency and a proven winner, Mikey threw for over 8,000 yards and nearly 90 TDs in his prep career. Tamburo is an intriguing player who may find his way on to the field sooner than later in option situations designed around his strengths. Still, I think Tamburo redshirts as well in 2009.

With Vinny Perretta graduating and Jeremy Childs declaring for the NFL Draft, Kellen Moore will have a few less experienced targets back in 2009. Speedster Titus Young will be back from suspension along with Austin Pettis (who snags every ball thrown his way). Hard to believe that in 2007, it was Young and Pettis foregoing their redshirt years to contribute immediately. Well, 2009 looks ripe for some newcomers to see the field and Boise State has some exciting commits this year.

Kirby Moore is the WR commit that grabbed the headlines nationally and locally. The "little" brother (he's 6'3" and 205 lbs.) of Bronco QB Kellen Moore was highly coveted in Pacific Northwest recruiting circles and this season became the national record-holder for career TD receptions. Moore is rated as a 3-star recruit by Scout.com and while he possesses a respectable 4.6 40-time, he is not a burner like Titus Young. The younger Moore will get the job done with his precision routes and great hands and I think he stands an excellent chance of seeing the field in 2009. You just don't get that many opportunities to catch touchdown passes from your brother and Moore will contribute right away.

The other intriguing WR commit for the Broncos is one that no one really knew much about when he committed in June. Aaron Burks is a 6'4" wide receiver out of Mansfield, TX who is already enrolled at Boise State. Burks did not play much wide receiver before his senior year, but managed to notch 500 receiving yards for the Mansfield Timberview Wolves last season. Burks will need to put some weight on that thin frame, but has good speed (4.5) for his height and following the lead of fellow Texan George Iloka and enrolling early can't hurt his chances to see the field in 2009. Burks should make the two deep rotation next year to give Kellen more options in the red zone. Imagine two lanky receivers in Austin Pettis and Aaron Burks running corner fade routes in the end zone. Can you say 'unstoppable'?

Can you say 'raw'? Boise State's third WR commit of the class is Geraldo Hiwat, a Capital High (Boise) product who is originally from the Netherlands and playing his first year of football. Hiwat is built much like Burks at 6'3" and 185 lbs. but may have a step on him speedwise. Hiwat will benefit greatly from more practice time as he missed a chunk of last year to injury and is still learning the American game. Hiwat is a likely redshirt candidate.

The Tight End position is one that the Broncos utilize more effectively and with more innovation than most teams in the country. Tight Ends at Boise State are expected to catch and block with equal aptitude and contribute to the endless amount of motion looks that the Harsin offense shows. Well, the 2009 class looks to have a nabbed a Tight End that can do it all. Trevor Peterson out of Placerville, CA is a 6'4" 220 lb. athlete with a big brain to match his big frame. Peterson entertained scholarship offers from Harvard, Utah, UC Davis, and SDSU. Peterson has a rare combination of size, speed and strength that may remind Bronco Nation of Derek Schouman, Richie Brockel and Jeb Putzier...combined. Peterson was a real steal for the Broncos in this recruiting class and will be a mainstay in the next few years, but with the current glut of capable Tight Ends, I say he sits until 2010.

Boise State has no shortage of quality running backs, but the Offensive Lines growing pains last year produced far fewer rushing opportunities than in years past. With Ian Johnson's graduation, the Broncos will be looking for a new feature back. The most likely candidate to lead the Bronco rushing attack is Jeremy Avery, but the Broncos backfield will be crowded with talent as DJ Harper and Doug Martin will get their touches too. Will a new face follow DJ Harper's lead and play as a true freshman in 2009? Could be.

The Broncos only picked up one running back in this class—but they got a good one...maybe even a great one. Malcolm Johnson from Sam Barlow High School in Gresham led the state of Oregon in rushing two years straight. His senior campaign saw him rush for roughly 2600 yards and 25 TDs. One game early in the 2008 season, Malcolm rushed for 458 yards and 5 TDs. Johnson's consistency and explosiveness will make him a mainstay in the Bronco backfield for years to come...but it's doubtful he'll burn his redshirt in 2009 out of necessity unless the Broncos have an injury in the rotation or he simply is THAT good. With numbers like Johnson has put up as of late, that may well be the case. Johnson held offers from Utah, UNLV, Air Force and Wyoming.

The Broncos look to have snagged some great linebackers this year and the recent coaching shake-up that moved runningbacks/special teams coach Jeff Choate to LB coach will hopefully pay immediate dividends.

John Michael Davis may be the star of the 2009 class. Rated a 4-star prospect and the #13 WLB in the 2009 class, Davis has good speed and a solid frame (6'1" 220 lbs). Davis battled through injuries his senior year, but should come in healthy and ready to go, and with the linebacking corps needing to replace outgoing Kyle Gingg, Tim Brady and Dallas Dobbs I wouldn't be surprised to see JMD make it onto the '09 depth chart.

Allen Mooney is another prototypical Boise State recruit...a little taller and every Pac-10 team would've been on him. Mooney is stocky and strong and just plain produces...he had over 100 tackles his junior year despite missing three games. Mooney also battled some injuries his senior year, but nothing that should impair his progression at BSU. Good pursuit and strong tackling will make Mooney an ideal middle linebacker for the Boise State system. Allen is rated a 3-star recruit by Scout.com and the #26 MLB of the class. I see Mooney redshirting in 2009 as Derrell Acrey and Daron Mackey will slug it out for MLB supremacy.

The strong side 'backer position in the 2009 class will be filled by a jack-of-all-trades with a familiar last name. Gabe Linehan out of Oregon played quarterback and linebacker out of Banks High and looks to come in as the third LB of the the Broncos' class. Linehan is an all-around athlete whose brothers Josh and Cole both played on the lines of Oregon and Oregon State. Linehan's bloodlines hint that he'll bulk up from his current sinewy 6'3" 190 lb. frame. Linehan's quarterback experience, athleticim and height will remind a lot of Bronco fans of Colt Brooks. I think Linehan will be a good one, but probably won't see real action until 2010.

Check back tomorrow for the an overview of the DBs and Lineman of the 2009 Bronco recruiting class.


Whole lotta shakin' going on

Everyone loves a good game of Musical Chairs

Coach Pete doesn't like the status quo. For this reason, among others (I hope), coach Chris Petersen announced today a bit of internal "realignment" on the Bronco coaching staff. Most notably will be the shifting of running backs coach Jeff Choate to linebackers coach, linebackers coach Villiami Tuivai to Director of Football Operations and Director of Football Operations Keith Bhonapha to running backs coach. Now say that five times fast.

Bhonapha was a defensive back and special teamer at Hawaii before landing at DFO for the Broncos. As running backs coach his main duties will be to a)keep Doug Martin angry, and b)not call Jeremy Avery "peanut". Jeff Choate has worn many hats in his career and will bring a fresh set of eyes to a linebacking corps that has underachieved a bit since the departure of Korey Hall and Colt Brooks. If Choate can put a burr in the linebackers' collective saddles, the move will have been a fruitful one. Villiami Tuivai is a high-energy guy on and off the field, hopefully he can bring his enthusiasm to the DFO position that he held before Bhonapha.

What was Coach Pete's rationale for the shake-up?

"As this program continues to move forward we want make sure we are playing to the different strengths of the entire staff, and I think these changes will allow us to grow and prosper."
Translation: "I felt like it." Now let's all play a nice long game of Don't question the 35-4 guy.


Childs' Combine invite was apparently lost in the mail


So about that article a couple of days ago...nevermind. It turns out that Jeremy Childs will be attending the NFL Combine in Indy next month, but nobody knew about it. The Statesman is reporting this morning that Childs is working out at Athletes' Performance in L.A. and prepping for the combine, one of only about 40 receivers on the list. KBCI reported a week or so ago that Childs had not been on the list of attendees and that Ian Johnson would be the lone Bronco participant. Furthermore, ESPN's Graham Watson corroborated the story saying that Childs' name was conspicuously absent among the list of non-BCS participants. Well, they were both wrong or simply jumped the gun, leaving me holding the bag as it were. J Bates, I curse your name.

Scouts will be particularly interested in Childs' 40 time which has been clocked previously as "fast enough"...but will need to increased to "faster than Brian Dawkins" by the time the Combine rolls around.

Childs gets his invite [Statesman]


Dutch Treat

Cheech and Tjong was a great flick...

All apologies about the headline because I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot of it in coming years...but it seems apropos as the Broncos received a huge verbal commitment just moments ago from Dutch DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. Scout.com just confirmed that Tjong-A-Tjoe committed to the Broncos after an in-home visit on Wednesday and on the tails of a month-long recruiting tour that had stops in Eugene and Pullman. Tjong-A-Tjoe (pronunciation guess is as good as mine) is 6'4" and 295 lbs. and had offers from Oregon, Washington State, San Jose State, Idaho and Idaho State. Originally from the Netherlands, Tjong-A-Tjoe made the most of his first season playing American football by tallying 35 tackles, two sacks and four forced fumbles—all which garnered him first-team All-State honors at Boise High. Ricky will join another Dutch transplant in Capital WR Geraldo Hiwat in the '09 class and Bronco sophomore DB Cedric Febis as well. Scout.com has not evaluated Tjong-A-Tjoe as of yet, but considering the number of offers held by the big guy, it looks like the Broncos got another steal. Check out the big red machine below:


Jadon Dailey is gone-zo.

"Losing good commentators makes me a sad Panda..."

Looks like everyones favorite color commentator will not be back in the booth next year. Jadon Dailey has apparently parted ways with Peak and will be heading back to Arizona. Now, I heard rumblings about this a few days back, but didn't have the stones to post it as fact...but now Idaho Radio News has posted the story and I'm confident it is ringing true. IRN states:

Multiple sources (basically anyone I’ve asked) say he liked doing the play-by-play but was frustrated with the other parts of the gig - selling ad time for Peak.
This may be true, but someone very close to the program told me the other day that an illness in the family might be in play here as well. Either way, we'll certainly miss Jadon's wit and wisdom and wish him the best in the future.


What can Brown do for us?

Who is this mystery man?

It looks like Boise State may have just snagged another recruit this weekend...but this one was so far off my radar that I'm having to do some major league sleuthing to bring in much info. Encinal's Jonathan Brown has been rumored to have committed this weekend after a recruiting trip with the likes of Kirby Moore. Brown was named the All-East Bay player of the Year this year as a two way standout at quarterback and linebacker (Bronco QB commit Joe Southwick was the All-East Bay Offensive Player of the Year). Now, I don't have confirmation on this yet, but it's certainly hard to believe that the talented Brown will be coming in at QB after the earlier verbals from Joe Southwick and Mikey Tamburo. Has Boise State nabbed its 3rd linebacker of the class? Could be. Brown's size, 5'11" and 200 lbs. sure seems to put him in Boise State linebacker range (smallish), but he looks athletic enough to play anywhere on the field. Update: Looks like Brown is coming in as a Safety. Brown notched 92 tackles last year, 8 quarterback sacks and two blocked punts. Colorado and Air Force were rumored to have interest or offered Brown. More to come when I find it out. Below is a short video showing Brown's explosiveness:

Two-way leader guides Encinal [SFGate]
Encinal's Brown commits to Boise State [Inside Bay Area]


Childs a no-go for the combine

Be the ball, Jeremy.

Jeremy Childs winding road to the NFL may have just gotten a wee bit more complicated. Whereas last years early departures, Orlando Scandrick and Ryan Clady, had a chance to show their wares at the meat market known as the NFL combine...Childs will have to hope that he draws a big crowd on Pro Day. The official invite list, out today, shows only one Bronco making the trip to Indianapolis, and that Bronco is Ian Johnson. Oddly enough, Johnson may have more to prove to the scouts than Childs...at least physically. The combine runs between February 18th and the 24th.

Story [KBCI]


Shamburger not headed to the blue

All roads don't lead to Boise...news to me.

Safety Will Shamburger, once Boise State's 12th verbal commit of the 2009 class, is a big softy. Shamburger decommitted from the Broncos on the 16th and will instead head to Seattle and join the Huskies. The writing appeared to be on the wall when Shamburger wavered from his commitment in early December, telling some scouting services that he'd switch commitments if Arizona State came calling...well, they didn't—but it was obvious that Shamburger's heart wasn't fully with the Broncos and he'll now head to greener turf (literally, not figuratively) in the Emerald city. After Shamburger's early December waffling, the Broncos quickly wrapped up JC Safety Winston Venable...effectively making Shamburger's decommitment a non-issue—but it is nice that Shamburger is no longer leading the Broncos on and infecting the Broncos commit sheet with a big, red "Soft Verbal" tag.

Have fun in Huskyland, Will...we're sure you'll look great in purple (like Grimace)


New feature

Not faster than a speeding bullet.

You've all seen the celebrated Chuck Norris facts, right? Well, not even Chuck can hold a candle to our resident immortal, Kellen Moore (just don't tell Chuck I said that). So in the spirit of full disclosure, FFBSU (that's us) is trotting out a new feature: The Kellen Moore Fact of the Day™. They're kinda like Chuck Norris facts, but with less roundhouse kicks. You can find The Kellen Moore Fact of the Day™ in the sidebar right below the RSS feed buttons. Enjoy...and if you have a few obscure Kellen facts, send them to me right HERE.

Also, you can join the newly created Kellen Moore Facts Facebook group so you don't miss any.


Yeah, you're in the same place...

A little remodeling is needed from time to time...

I decided to do a little housekeeping on the blog to make things a look and run a bit smoother. Hopefully, the new layout won't confuse anyone as it was done to streamline the blog a bit more and break out of the box that most blogger templates try to put you in. The content will remain the same and all the old posts are still here (virtually, anyway). You can now search Fight, Fight BSU all the way back to the beginning, but don't go digging for that blogpost about Mike Coughlin being the QB in 2008; I was a little off on that one. If you would like to see anything on the blog that you aren't seeing right now let me know.

Oh yeah, and I'll be unveiling a new series next week you should all like.


End of an era for snappy headline puns

A classic headline pun. Drink it in.

With yesterday's announcement that Jeremy Childs will be departing for the NFL—a wave of sadness swept over me. No, I'm not depressed about the void that will be left on the blue turf next season, but rather the void that will be left in newspaper columns and KTVB graphics as the 'Childs Play' pun headline will be forever lost. It is a little known fact that the Statesman employs an entire department for the sole purpose of coming up with headline puns (this blog, by comparison, employs only one) and, well, KTVB has Mark Johnson. These hard working people's jobs are now in danger, and in this economy, the shockwaves may be felt far and wide. Worsening the situation is the departure of Ellis Powers to graduation...'Powers that be' or 'More Powers to you' pun headlines will have to be retired—hence, more jobs lost.

The only hope is that a new wave of starters and recruits will be able to fill this gaping abyss on our headline spreads and segment intros. Obviously, the arrival of Kirby Moore will bring a glut of headlines like 'One more Moore' or 'S'Moore', but Kirby won't arrive until Summer and who knows how many will be unemployed by then?! Well, it's time to get proactive...we need new puns and we need them right NOW! To help stimulate the economy, I humbly submit to beat writers, journalists, video editors, Tom Scott and Mark Johnson the following headline puns to highlight these individuals:

George IlokaBy George! Iloka does it again.
Jeremy AveryA-very good outing.
Titus YoungYoung getting restless.
Doug MartinMy favorite Martin.
Kellen MooreThis one's a freebie.
Hunter WhiteThe Great White Hunter.
Billy WinnA Winn's a Winn.
Jarrell RootRoot, root, root for our home team.
Nate PotterScary Potter.
Ryan WinterswykNow is the Winter-swyk of our discontent.
Shea McLellinOh Shea can you see?
DJ HarperThe Harper Image.
Kyle Efaw'Faw he's a jolly good fellow.
Mitch BurroughsBurroughs before hos. (maybe don't run this one on front page)

Hopefully this list will help get us through these tough pun times—and hopefully will spark and new era in headline pun greatness the likes of which we've never seen.


Childs on graduation promise: "Never mind"

You'll never have it this easy again.

About a month ago, Jeremy Childs said that he would return for his senior season at Boise State. You remember, it went something like this:

...yadda yadda my mom, blah blah blah diploma...
Well, like goings-on in Las Vegas...Childs believes that 'things that happen in December, stay in December' and has promptly spun an athletic 180 and decided to depart for the NFL. Rumors to this effect started swirling last week from J Bates' general direction...but now it appears confirmed—Childs is taking his 10-yard outs to the big show, and Orlando Scandrick's senioritis has infected another big time Bronco player. Sadly, Childs was only 1 yard from jersey retirement.

In other news, Kirby Moore will start next year.

Semi-full story [Statesman]

Wilson will not follow in Scandrick's footsteps

Now now...it's not polite to point.

All-WAC/All-American cornerback Kyle Wilson is staying put. That mighty wind you just heard was Bronco fans exhaling. After a couple of weeks of speculation that the talented Bronco DB may go pro...Wilson's brother Gerry says he's on the blue for the long haul.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a tough call, but I wouldn’t say it was easy,” said Gerry Wilson, the oldest of three Wilson boys. “… It was a matter of evaluating what’s best for Kyle and what’s best for the team.”
Gerry, who played college ball at Princeton and is the CEO of yoonew, an online sports ticket trading company, obviously knows the importance of education and might have helped sway his little brother's decision. If this is the case, Bronco Nation thanks you. Wilson may be on track to be another first or second-round draft pick in the 2010 draft and will be a key cog on a Bronco D that should be amazing next season. Now, go and have a chat with Jeremy Childs, won't ya?!

Full Story [Statesman]


Poll position

Y'know who was awesome at this game? D.A.R.Y.L.

Boise State's final rankings are in, and they are about what we expected. The Broncos, who you may recall were 1 point from a perfect season, finished 11th in the AP poll and 13th in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. Also, take a gander at the respect TCU got by defeating the Broncos (by one point, I might have mentioned) in the December 23rd Poinsettia Bowl—they finish at 7th in both polls (and take a picture...that's the last time you'll see a 2-loss non-BCS team ranked that high). The final rankings also failed to hand Utah a share of the national title, placing them 2nd and 4th in the AP and Coaches' polls, respectively. In a fair bit of irony, Oregon is ranked higher than the Broncos in both final polls.

The final rankings for the Broncos cap a pretty darn good year that surprised many, given the youth of the team, and will no doubt give them the momentum to start the 2009 season ranked. Hopefully, the Broncos will not squander that goodwill in the opening weeks of the '09 campaign. All signs point to the Broncos having a real tough squad next year.


Ryan Clady don't sign no shoes

Clady blocks out the sun and...Oh my Lord! What happened to your index finger?

Ryan Clady, you've arrived. Third in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, a multi-million dollar contract, and the respect of every analyst and Defensive Coordinator in the country. What are you going to do with all your newfound fame and fortune? Not sign some middle-aged fan's Jordans, that's for sure! Don't give up middle-aged fan...he probably just didn't hear you.


New Year's Resolutions

New Year's resolutions—they're as predictable as death and taxes. Each and every January 1st, we look at ourselves in the mirror and resolve to quit smoking, quit drinking, lose some weight, and punch John Minegar in the head...heck, some of us even keep them until mid-February. Well, don't believe for one minute that the Broncos aren't taking a long look in the mirror this year and making a list of things that they'll do or do better in 2009. Just for the heck of it, let's speculate on a few, shall we?

Jeremy Childs—Don't listen to pal Orlando Scandrick's pleas to join him in the NFL.

Titus Young—Go to school, go to practice, go home, go to sleep...repeat.

Kellen Moore—Save some awesomeness for 2009. No need to blow it all on your Freshman year.

Bronco O-line—For the love of God, EAT SOMETHING!

Jarrell Root and Shay McLellin—Have titanium rods put into legs.

Jeron Johnson—Get all that blood cleaned off helmet.

Chris Petersen—Refinance mortgage.

Kirby Moore—Develop E.T./Elliot-like mental bond with older brother.

Byron Hout—Doin' fine...stay the course.

George Iloka—Gain weight, add a few more vertical inches to hair.

Bryan Harsin—Find "Austin Pettis Corner Fade" in playbook, circle it in red.

Derrell Acrey—Become motivational speaker.

Kyle Wilson—Stay for senior year.

Ryan Winterswyk—Tape pictures of WAC QBs to 2 x 4s, break them with bare hands.

Doug Martin—Go from being "angry runner" to "insane-with-rage runner"

4-2-5 defense—Doin' fine...stay the course.

Tim Socha—Start wearing TCU: 2008 Poinsettia Bowl Champions t-shirt every day.

FFBSU—Punch John Minegar in head.