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Boise State Football: Finalizing the Week 1 Depth Chart

Michael LaffertyCorrespondent IISeptember 3, 2016

Boise State Football: Finalizing the Week 1 Depth Chart

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    Cagey works—to a point. Sooner or later, Boise State had to set out its depth chart. After all, the Broncos are on the precipice of facing Michigan State to start off the 2012 season. It will be the first meeting between the two schools in football.

    Some positions heading into the game had been locked down; some were, as late as last week, still apparently up for grabs. The Bronco coaching staff had been keeping mum on some positional players but finally released the depth chart earlier this week.

    The most anticipated of the roster positions was quarterback. Joe Southwick—in a battle for the starting role with redshirt sophomore Grant Hedrick, redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea and true freshman Nick Patti—won the nod to take the first snaps Friday against the Spartans in East Lansing.

    There were actually not a lot of surprises in the depth chart released to the Idaho Statesman, but let’s break it down and walk through the probable starters and backups…

Offensive Backfield

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    Joe Southwick seemed to distance himself from the pack in the last fall scrimmage, and was rewarded with the starting quarterback job. No surprise there. Just as it was no surprise that sixth-year senior D.J. Harper was named as the starting running back.

    The Bronco coaches did say, though, that freshman running back Jack Fields might see some field time as well. Fields could be the Bronco back of the future. He has serious skills and is somewhat reminiscent of Doug Martin. Then there is Jay Ajayi, who red shirted in 2011, but has the size (6’, 222 lbs) to be a hard-pounding back.

    Boise State will also be using a fullback more this season. Dan Paul red-shirted in 2011, but at 6’1” and 262 lbs, he plays like a lineman in the backfield. Paul can also catch passes. Little wonder that second on the depth chart at fullback is Chandler Koch, who is a tight end.

    The Depth Chart

    Quarterback: Joe Southwick (6’1”, 187 .lbs), R-Jr.; Grant Hedrick (6’0”, 190 .lbs), R-So.; Jimmy Laughrea (6’1”, 200 .lbs), R-Fr.

    Running back: D.J. Harper (5’9”, 205 .lbs), R-Sr.; Drew Wright (5’9”, 203 .lbs), R-Sr.

    Fullback: Dan Paul (6’1”, 262 .lbs), R-Sr.; Chandler Koch (6’2”, 246 .lbs), R-Sr.

Offensive Line

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    While BSU graduated a lot of talent following the 2011 season, the Broncos are fortunate in that they return a lot of experience across the offensive line.

    Cory Yriarte, awarded a sixth year of eligibility because of a season-ending injury in 2011, was lost earlier in the month with an injury. The Broncos did have others that had snapped the ball. Matt Paradis, who did start at center in one game in 2011, has been moved into the starting job. The depth and experience of the Bronco line bodes well for quarterback Joe Southwick and the running backs.

    The Depth Chart

    Center: Matt Paradis (6’3”, 289 .lbs), R-Jr.; Spencer Gerke (6’3’, 296 .lbs) R-Jr.

    Left Guard: Joe Kellogg (6’[3”, 305 .lbs) R-Sr.; Marcus Henry (6’3”, 297 .lbs) R-Fr.

    Right Guard: Michael Ames (6’4”, 293 .lbs) R-Sr.; Brenel Myers (6’3”, 282 .lbs) R-Sr.

    Left Tackle: Charles Leno, Jr. (6’4”, 294 .lbs), R-Jr.; Faraji Wright (6’3”, 300 .lbs) R-Sr.

    Right Tackle: Jake Broyles (6’5”, 290 .lbs) R-Jr.; Rees Odhiambo (6’4”, 297 .lbs) R-Fr.

Wide Receivers and Tight End

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    If the Bronco receivers lack overall size, they compensate with quickness and sure hands.Matt Miller has received the most attention in the preseason, but if the opposition thinks that is all the Broncos have, they are in for a rude shock.

    When Kellen Moore was the quarterback, he spread the ball around. It was not uncommon for eight different receivers to be registered on the stat sheet at game’s end. With running backs and fullbacks capable of hauling in passes, defenses may have their hands full. Toss in a bevy of talented hands in whatever formation the Broncos throw out on the field, and opposing defensive secondaries could well have their hands full.

    The Depth Chart

    X: Matt Miller (6’3”, 215 .lbs), R-So.; Aaron Burks (6-3, 200 .lbs), R-Jr

    Z: Mitch Burroughs (5’9”, 193 .lbs), R-Sr.; Troy Ware (6’2”, 195 .lbs) R-Fr.

    H: Kirby Moore (6’2”, 203 .lbs), R-Jr.; Chris Potter         (5’9”, 159 .lbs), R-Sr.

    Tight Ends: Gabe Linehan (6’4”, 241 .lbs), R-Jr.; Chandler Koch (6’2”, 246 .lbs), R-Sr.; Holden Huff (6’5”, 213 .lbs), R-Fr.

Defensive Line and Linebackers

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    There are only five seniors among those slated in two-deep positions across the defensive front and in the linebacker corps. If Friday’s game is determined by the battle in the trenches, then those seniors will have to provide a lot of leadership.

    With veterans like Michael Atkinson, Tommy Smith, and J.C. Percy in the mix, the Broncos could be fine. Another plus is that there is only one junior and the rest are freshmen or sophomores (with true freshman Tyler Horn slated behind Percy at linebacker). If the Broncos can survive Friday’s war, the experience that the younger players pick up will serve them well down the road.

    The Depth Chart

    End: Tyler Horn (6’5”, 265 .lbs), R-So.; Demarcus Lawrence (6’3”, 242 .lbs), R-So.

    SE: Beau Martin (6’2”, 250 .lbs), R-So.; Sam Ukwuachu (6’4”, 222 .lbs), R-Fr.

    Tackle: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (6’3”, 296 .lbs), R-Jr.; Darren Koontz (6’3”, 274 .lbs), R-Sr.

    Nose: Mike Atkinson (6’, 306 .lbs), R-Sr.; Greg Grimes (6’0”, 293 .lbs), R-Sr.

    Linebacker: Tommy Smith (6’1”, 238 .lbs), R-Sr.; Blake Renaud (6’2”, 239 .lbs), So.

    Linebacker: J.C. Percy (6’, 227 .lbs), R-Sr.; Tyler Gray (6’4”, 227 .lbs), Fr.

Defensive Secondary

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    Injuries hit the Bronco secondary hard in 2011. It forced younger players to step up, and the experience should prove invaluable heading into the 2012 season. The leadership of veterans Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins is another big bonus for the Bronco defense as a whole.

    True sophomore Lee Hightower could be poised to have an outstanding season, while bothTaylor and Gavins (if they stay healthy) can make the BSU secondary a tough proposition for any offense.

    The Depth Chart

    Safety: Jeremy Ioane (5’10”, 197 .lbs), R-So.; Hazen Moss (6’, 201 .lbs), R-Sr.

    Safety: Lee Hightower (6’2”, 192 .lbs), So.; Darian Thompson (6’1”, 197 .lbs), R-Fr.

    Cornerback: Jamar Taylor (5’11”, 196 .lbs), R-Sr.; Ebo Makinde (5’10”, 181 .lbs), R-Jr.

    Cornerback: Jerrell Gavins (5’9”, 169 .lbs), R-Sr.; Bryan Douglas (5’9”, 166 .lbs), R-So.

    Nickel back: Dextrell Simmons (5’11”, 200 .lbs), R-Sr.; Corey Bell (5’11”, 206 .lbs), So.

Special Teams

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    The Bronco kicking game has been a thorn in Coach Chris Petersen’s side for several seasons. In the last pre-fall scrimmage, the kickers were nailing field goals and extra points. If they can do that during the season, that will ease Coach Pete’s pain considerably.

    When it comes to the opposition kicking the ball away, Mitch Burroughs was eighth in the nation in punt returns in 2011. D.J. Harper returned five kickoffs for 66 yards in 2011. The Broncos will need to utilize the athleticism of both those players to get good starting field position in the 2012 campaign.

    The Depth Chart

    Placekicker: Michael Frisina (5’5”, 162 .lbs), Sr.; Dan Goodale (5’10”, 191 .lbs), R-So.

    Kickoffs: Trevor Harman (6’3”, 216 .lbs), R-Jr.; Dan Goodale (5’10”, 191 .lbs), R-So.

    Holder: Matt Miller (6’3”, 215 .lbs), R-So.; Joe Southwick (6’1”, 187 .lbs), R-Jr.

    Snapper: Chris Roberson (6’, 228 .lbs), Sr.; Kevin Keane (6’, 208 .lbs), So.

    Punter: Trevor Harman (6’3”, 216 .lbs), R-Jr.; Dan Goodale (5’10, 191 .lbs), R-So.

    Punt Returns: Mitch Burroughs (5’9”, 193 .lbs), R-Sr.; Chris Potter (5’9”, 159 .lbs), R-Sr

    Kickoff Returns: D.J. Harper (5’9”, 205 .lbs), R-Sr.; Mitch Burroughs (5’9”, 193 .lbs), R-Sr.

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