Boise State and all of Bronco Nation should be excited about the 2013 football season. The Broncos finished 11-2 in the 2012 season, which was a rebuilding year, but the coming season shouldn't be nearly as big of a construction job.
The Broncos have a decent corp of players coming back, even if they lose a large number of "official" starters.
The talent returning are quality players who have experienced quality playing time. The list includes several key defensive players, a talented running back, a spark plug, a.k.a. Shane Williams-Rhodes, a quarterback who is playing with passion, some very good offensive linemen and an amazing receiving corp.
Add to that a kickoff specialist who is also an excellent punter and some very good young talent just chomping at the bit to hit The Blue, and you have a recipe for another successful Boise State season.
With that in mind, let's look at some predictions for who might be making the depth chart for the Broncos in 2013.
You may remember that recently the offensive depth chart for the 2013 Boise State Broncos was projected here on Bleacher Report.
The offensive line features several players with large amounts of playing time. Center Matt Paradis, right guard Jake Broyles, left guard Spencer Gerke and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. have all made their mark for the Broncos. However, now they will be looking to take it to the next level in 2013.
Running backs Jay Ajayi and Jack Fields will be back. However, they will be challenged by a junior college transfer named Derrick Thomas and a true freshman commitment named Aaron Baltazar—if he signs with the Broncos.
At fullback, Jamal Wilson will be back as will Connor Peters, a tight end turned full back when needed.
Quarterback, tight end and wide receiver positions will see many familiar faces next season. Joe Southwick will be back under center for his senior year, and he will have plenty to throw to.
Wide receivers Matt Miller, Kirby Moore, Dallas Burroughs, Geraldo Boldewijn, Aaron Burks and Shane Williams-Rhodes will return for the Broncos. Tight ends Gabe Linehan and Holden Huff will return as well.
Offensive line prediction for 2013:
LT: Charles Leno Jr., Steven Baggett
RT: Rees Odhiambo, Marcus Henry
LG: Spencer Gerke, Chris Tozer
RG: Jake Broyles, Travis Averill
C: Matt Paradis, Spencer Gerke
Offensive backfield predictions for 2013:
RB: Jay Ajayi, Jack Fields or Derrick Thomas or Aaron Baltazar
FB: Jamal Wilson, Connor Peters
Quarterback, tight ends and wide receiver predictions for 2013:
QB: Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick or Jimmy Laughrea or Nick Patti
TE: Gabe Linehan, Holden Huff
X: Matt Miller, Aaron Burks
H: Kirby Moore, Geraldo Boldewijn
Z: Dallas Burroughs, Shane Williams-Rhodes
Boise State did some impressive and downright amazing things on defense in 2012. It will lose some very key starters, but who it has coming back should be able to sustain the effort.
At the end positions, the Broncos should be excited. Demarcus Lawrence and Sam Ukwuachu certainly proved their worth in 2012, and both will be back. Ukwuachu will only be a sophomore and Lawrence a junior in 2013.
Tackles Tyler Horn and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe should make the middle solid, and Blake Renaud and Tyler Gray should take up where Tommy Smith and J.C. Percy left off at linebacker.
The secondary will be a bit of a puzzle, but with the likes of Corey Bell, Ebo Makinde, Darian Thompson, Dillon Lukehart, Jonathan Brown, Donte Deayon and Jeremy Ioane coming back, Boise State should be sitting pretty.
The Broncos also have a couple of junior college players who could earn some playing time right away. Commitment Mercy Maston out of Bakersfield College and signee Cleshawn Page out of L.A. Harbor College could be exciting cornerbacks to watch in 2013.
2013 Two-Deep Defensive Depth Chart Prediction:
E: Demarcus Lawrence, Beau Martin
T: Tyler Horn, Armand Nance
N: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Jeff Worthy
SE: Sam Ukwuachu, Khayree Marshall
LB: Blake Renaud, Ben Weaver
LB: Tyler Gray, Dustin Kamper or Andrew Pint
SS: Jeremy Ioane, Chancellor James
FS: Darian Thompson, Dillon Lukehart
N: Corey Bell, Jonathan Brown
CB: Ebo Makinde, Bryan Douglas or Mercy Maston
CB: Donte Deayon, Deon'tae Florence or Cleshawn Page
Boise State finally won one on a field goal in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas in 2012. However, the Broncos will be without their kicker, Michael Frisina, who was a senior, when the two teams meet in the 2013 opener.
But all is not lost for the Broncos. They have picked up a very good junior college kicker in Tyler Rausa, and he should be more than adequate to do the job. He is a quality kicker and should be able to stretch the comfort zone at least 10 yards for coach Chris Petersen.
Boise State will also have some solid punt and kick-return specialists. Dallas Burroughs and Shane Williams-Rhodes should give opponents headaches and Bronco Nation some things to cheer about.
Punting should be solid again in 2013, as Trevor Harman will be back for his senior season. He did an excellent job in 2012 at giving the Broncos an edge in field position, and that should only continue and then some in 2013.
2013 Prediction of the Two-Deep Special Teams Depth Chart:
PK: Tyler Rausa, Dan Goodale
KO: Trevor Harman, Sean Wale
HD: Matt Miller, Joe Southwick
P: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale or Sean Wale
SNP: Kevin Keane, Jake Holsteen
KR: Dallas Burroughs, Shane Williams-Rhodes or Jack Fields
PR: Dallas Burroughs, Shane Williams-Rhodes
Boise State will start the 2013 season the same way it ended the 2012 campaign. It will be a game against the Washington Huskies. However, this time it will be in Seattle.
It should be a hard fight for Chris Petersen and his team, but with the talent the Broncos have coming back, they can feel good about it and any other contest the season throws at them.
The Broncos should start the season ranked in the Top 15 and looking to make another BCS busting run. They remain in the conference they once left without actually leaving, and they will try to defend their Mountain West title.
It was a shared title, and you have to believe the 2013 Boise State football team won't be in a sharing mood this time around.
Bronco Nation should be excited for the upcoming season.