Boise State Football: Previewing the 3 Biggest Position Battles Headed into Fall
Boise State enters fall practice with a decent amount of mystery. They must replace 11 starters from the 2012 season. However, the talent waiting in the wings looks to be more than capable, and many of those competing for starting spots have a fair amount of game time experience.
There are also a number of new players that will be competing for some playing time. Among those fresh faces are 21 true freshmen and 21 redshirt freshmen.
Head coach Chris Petersen likes competition, and he will no doubt push every player on the team to step it up. The final product should look like the kind of Boise State team we are all used to seeing, but there could be some intrigue along the way.
Let's look at the most competitive position battles for the Broncos as they enter fall practice and breakdown what it might mean for their 2013 campaign.
Cornerback is one of the most competitive position battles for the Broncos.
True freshmen Dionza Blue, Cameron Hartsfield and Jonathan Moxey will make their way to camp where the Boise State coaching staff will get their first looks at these three as Broncos. All have talent and ability, but it would be very surprising if any of them win a starting spot this fall.
JUCO transfers Mercy Maston and Cleshawn Page will be competing for playing time as well. Page was with the Broncos in the spring but Maston joins the team this fall.
Maston is a 5'10", 187-pound junior corner out of Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, California. In his two seasons with Bakersfield, Maston had 42 tackles in his freshman season and an impressive 68 tackles as a sophomore. That included 10 tackles in the CCCAA State Championship game according to BroncoSports.com.
Game film on Maston shows a very aggressive playing style. His ability to close is quite impressive and he doesn't shy away from contact. He looks like the kind of player that Boise State loves at corner.
Look for Maston to make serious waves on the blue this fall.
Redshirt freshman Chaz Anderson is another impressive player. Quick, nimble and aggressive are words that come to mind when watching his film. He also has very good hands, which bodes well for a defense that prides itself on turnovers.
Anderson looked good in the spring, and don't be surprised if he competes strongly for one of the starting positions at corner this fall.
Of course, to win the job, Anderson will have to fend off the likes of junior Bryan Douglas and sophomore Donte Deayon. Those two seem to be penciled in, for the moment, as the Broncos starting corners. However, junior Deon'tae Florence might have something to say about that.
Overall, it should be a very competitive fall camp for the cornerbacks at Boise State. If nothing else, it should produce solid starters and decent depth going into the 2013 season.
Boise State fans are simply tired of hearing about kickers.
However, this fall one of the biggest battles in practice for the Broncos will be the position of field goal kicker.
Sophomore JUCO transfer Tyler Rausa and junior Dan Goodale will be kicking, and perhaps screaming, for their chance to be the Broncos go-to guy.
Both Goodale and Rausa looked decent in the spring game. However, it just looked like Goodale was kicking with a bit more leg. However, if you look at some footage of Rausa, leg does not seem to be a problem for him.
It may have just been a confidence issue for Rausa, and if so, you have to think that will get better as the fall progresses. If not, Dan Goodale will give Rausa all the battle he can handle.
The competition should produce a solid kicker for the Broncos, as both players have the ability to get the job done.
The real question will be—which one has the confidence?
The offensive line for Boise State has three starters already penciled in.
Senior center Matt Paradis and senior left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will lead the line along with fellow senior guard Spencer Gerke. Paradis and Leno started every game last season, while Gerke started six times.
The remaining starting spots will be the battle to watch. However, as most fans knows, depth is a real issue on the line, and those who don't win starting jobs will certainly get some snaps during the season.
Sophomore Marcus Henry will be battling hard to win a guard spot. He will get some serious competition from redshirt freshman Mario Yakoo.
Sophomore Rees Odhiambo and senior Jake Broyles will battle it out for a tackle spot, but don't be surprised if one of the hand full of young players push them this fall.
There will be three true freshmen in camp—Archie Lewis, Eli McCullough and Andrew Tercek.
Lewis actually delayed his enrollment after signing with the Broncos in 2012, according to BroncoSports.com. He did however, participate in spring practice this year. Lewis was also a good tight end in high school, and his athletic ability should serve him well.
Eli McCullough is a local player out of Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho. He was a dominant player in high school, and with some development he could do the same as a Bronco. However, as a true freshman it would be difficult for him to see the field in 2013. A redshirt is likely in his future, but look out for him in 2014.
True freshman Andrew Tercek was a four-year starter for East Central High School in San Antonio, Texas. According to BroncoSports.com, Tercek started three years as left tackle and one year at center. It will be interesting to see if he can find playing time this season.
Tercek's game film shows off his athletic ability and his upper body strength. At times, he looks like a bully out there pushing players around at will. However, that was high school, and only time will tell if it translates to success at college level.
Robert Ash is a former defensive lineman that Boise State moved to the offensive side of the ball. With an issue at depth on the defensive side you have to wonder if he might move back Either way, he was a very good player in high school and he is a player that brings some intrigue.
Senior Chris Tozer played in one game last season and he may have what it takes to get more involved in 2013.
Redshirt freshmen Travis Averill and Steven Baggett might impress enough to earn some playing time as well. Both of them should find the field in some capacity this season. However, Averill could make a push to be more than just a backup in 2013. He is strong, athletic and versatile enough to move around the line as needed.
Redshirt freshmen Kellen Buhr and Avery Westendorf are local players that will be doing all they can to prove their worth.
Overall, the line should be fun to watch this fall for Bronco fans. In total, there are 16 players on the roster who will be battling it out in fall practice.