Boise State Football: 5 Freshmen the Broncos Can Build Around
Boise State has just put the finishing touches on one of its best possible recruiting classes in school history. Of course, what the Broncos do on the field in the coming years will be the true determination of just how good the class of 2013 really is.
In total, there are 28 new players slated to join the orange and blue for the coming season, and among those, there are a handful of guys that could truly become foundational in the continued success of the Broncos.
Let's look at five of those incoming freshmen and how they could be key building blocks for years to come.
Mat Boesen: Linebacker, Nickel
Mat Boesen has the potential to be something very special. All of Bronco Nation should keep an eye on this guy. Boesen stands 6'4" and weighs 220 lbs. He doesn't look like a high school senior, nor does he play like most.
Boesen is an incredible football player, but he is also an all-around amazing athlete. He was a top-notch wrestler in high school, and that has translated to an incredible ability to manhandle the competition on the football field.
He is listed as a linebacker on the BroncoSports.com website right now, but don't be surprised if he ends up playing elsewhere. Nickel is where he will probably end up, but Boesen could, if needed, play defensive end one day, or even tight end.
No matter what happens, Boesen is no doubt a player that the Boise State coaches could build around. If Boesen dominates at the nickel position, which is a possibility, it could set a new standard for that spot on the roster for years to come.
As a senior he was named the CIF Northern Division Defensive Player of the Year, according to his profile on BroncoSports.com, and he had over 100 tackles and broke his high school's single-season sack record his senior season.
The Boise State defensive coaching staff is probably chomping at the bit at the possibilities of what Mat Boesen can do.
Joe Martarano: Linebacker
Boise State coaches are probably hoping that Joe Martarano chooses football, but if he doesn't, who could blame him?
Martarano is most likely going to be drafted fairly high in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. When that happens, he will have a decision to make.
If he chooses football, Bronco fans should be very excited. This Idaho home-grown prospect could become a dominant linebacker for Boise State. In fact, his abilities should put him in a position one day to be looking at a career in the NFL.
But, again, if seven figures get waved in the young man's face, who in the world could blame him for taking a shot on the diamond?
Would it be a possibility for him to do both?
Who knows? In fact, there is no way to know for sure how this will turn out for Martarano or the Broncos. But, if for some reason football gets the nod, Boise State could build a solid defense with Joe Martarano as one of the foundational stones.
According to his profile on BroncoSports.com, Martarano was named honorable mention PARADE All-American after his senior season, and that makes him only the third player in Idaho history to do so. He has also helped to lead his high school to four straight state title games.
Aaron Baltazar: Running Back
The Boise State coaching staff has to be excited about this one. Aaron Baltazar is rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN.com. He got looks from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Notre Dame. He also got legitimate offers from San Diego State, Cincinnati, Washington and UCLA.
However, Bronco fans should be delighted that the senior from Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California chose to bring his talents to The Blue.
Baltazar has good speed, great hands, excellent vision and is extremely elusive. He is tough, smart and plays with the kind of passion Chris Petersen loves to see.
According to his profile on BroncoSports.com, Baltazar rushed 218 times for 1,855 yards and 23 touchdowns his senior season. He was also a defensive star who racked up 73 tackles, an interception and knocked down 14 intended passes. He is one of those guys that could play defense or offense.
Now wait, didn't Boise State have another player who did something like that?
What was his name? He plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now.
There have been quiet comparisons between Aaron Baltazar and Doug Martin. However, Baltazar has a long way to go before he could fit into those cleats.
Still, he is the type of player that has the talent, ability and the mindset to become something special for the Broncos. The offensive coaching staff can certainly build around Baltazar.
Andrew Tercek: Offensive Line
Boise State seems to always have an outstanding offensive line. Over the years, the Broncos have produced some solid players and some very good NFL draft picks. Players like Daryn Colledge, Nate Potter and Ryan Clady have all come up through the Boise system.
Among the incoming 2013 recruiting class, there are a couple of prospects who could follow suit: Eli McCullough and Andrew Tercek. McCullough will probably need more development, but Tercek may compete for playing time his first season. He is that good.
Tercek is rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN.com, and he is known for his physicality and ability to block in space. He is a dominant lineman, and if you watch his highlights, he makes some players look downright silly.
A product of the great state of Texas, Tercek has the type of pedigree any coaching staff loves. He was well-coached and has been in an atmosphere similar to the college football environment in San Antonio.
According to his profile on BroncoSports.com, Tercek was a four-year starter. He started three seasons at left tackle and his senior season he moved to center.
Look for the Broncos to make him the center of the offensive line construction one day. For now, look for him to compete for playing time in 2013.
Ryan Finley: Quarterback
Most of Bronco Nation knows the name Nick Patti. Last season, as a true freshman, Patti competed for the starting quarterback job at Boise State. However, Joe Southwick won that contest, and Patti completed a redshirt season in 2012.
Heck, even Kellen Moore took a redshirt.
Still, many fans were high on Patti, and for good reason. Nick Patti is a very good quarterback, and you have to believe he is going to be competing hard for the job once again in 2013.
Nick Patti will likely become the starting quarterback for the Broncos at some point, probably in 2014. But a new question then forms. Who will be his replacement when he leaves?
Enter Ryan Finley.
He is coming to Boise State with much less fanfare than Patti. Of course, that is to be expected because the vacuum that Kellen Moore left has somewhat dissipated. Fan expectations are now nearing reality, and it probably bodes well for Finley.
Still, Ryan Finley is a special player, and no one should overlook him.
According to his profile on BroncoSports.com, Finley was named by the Arizona Cardinals as the Arizona Player of the Year in 2012. He was also named by the Arizona Republic as a first-team all-state quarterback among all divisions.
Finley is extremely smart, he has a good arm and throws with tremendous accuracy. He is also mobile when he needs to be, and has a bit of similarity to a certain Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback now doing well in the NFL.
In his senior season, Finley ran 96 times for 282 yards and four touchdowns. He also completed 270 of 424 passes for 3,442 yards and 35 more scores according to BroncoSports.com.
Ryan Finley has a ton of potential, and it shouldn't be long before he is competing for the starting quarterback job for the Broncos. Look for him to take a redshirt year, but after that, he is probably going to make the 2014 quarterback competition very interesting.
If he develops, like it appears he can, the Boise State coaching staff will certainly have a quarterback they can build an offense around.