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
Sorry, Sean Penn...Z's acceptance speech was better.
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 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 WatchTommy 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?
A birthday party with Bronco football graduate Vinny PerrettaI'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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.