Although the impact of this year's Fiesta Bowl appearance is yet to be felt, it is very clear that Boise State's 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma has had a positive effect on BSU's recruiting efforts.
The additional exposure on the "big stages" of college football, the Bowl Championship Series games, has helped Boise State raise the quality level of the recruits they have signed.
In the 2006 recruiting class, Boise State was able to sign three three-star recruits and 15 two-star players, which was about "average" for BSU in years prior to 2006.
If you're counting "stars", that would be a total of 39 "stars" in 2006. Divide the 39 "stars" by the number of recruits (18 total) and you arrive at a 2.16 "average star per recruit" figure.
For comparison purposes, USC, the number one recruiting team in the past five years, averaged 4.02 "stars per recruit" over that five year span.
The following is a breakdown of Boise State's recruiting success as measured in "average stars per recruit" since 2006:
2006 - 2.16
2007 - 2.18
2008 - 2.26
2009 - 2.52
2010 - 3.00 (based on commitments)
The improvement is steady. The largest jump is in the years following the 2007 Fiesta Bowl appearance.
To move from an "average star" of 2.16 in 2006 to an average of 3.00 stars this year is a major improvement. It also doesn't hurt that BSU has a record of 49-4 since Chris Petersen was named the Bronco's head coach prior to the 2007 season.
While BSU was able to attract a total of three three-star players in 2006, they were able to sign 11 in 2009.
The 2010 class is very small in number of recruits. BSU has seven commitments, including Tyronne Crawford, a four-star defensive end from Bakersfield Community College.
Crawford will be the second four-star recruit in BSU's history as a Division I program.
Also included in the 2010 class are Grant Hedrick (QB), Brian Douglas (DB), Matt Miller (WR), Tyler Horn (DE) and Troy Ware (WR). All five are listed as three-star recruits.
Kyle Sosnowski (DB) from Boise's Capital High School is the final BSU recruit and is listed as a two-star player.
The "average stars per recruit" of 3.00 for the 2010 class puts Boise State in a class with other outstanding programs. Again, for comparison purposes, Oregon averaged 3.00 "stars per recruit" over the past five years.
National Champion Alabama averaged 3.46 "stars per recruit" over that same five year period.
While Boise State may not get the five-star athletes and only a rare four-star player, they have made more than steady gains with the three-star recruits.
What has made BSU special in recent years is the ability of the coaching staff to recognize potential talent in many players who were passed over by the larger, more "elite" BCS programs.
Those players are called “diamonds in the rough”.
Kellen Moore, BSU's All-American quarterback, was a three-star player out of high school, but did not receive any recruiting offers from BCS conference schools. In fact, he had only a few offers to choose from.
BSU's coaches saw something in Moore that others simply didn't. If you look down the BSU roster you'll find many like Moore who were not heavily recruited, yet have turned out to be outstanding football players.
As Boise State's program continues to rack up top five rankings and appear in major BCS bowl games, the recruiting numbers are sure to keep moving up.
While those "average stars per recruit" move up, BSU will continue its present recruiting practice of finding those players who have great character and potential, but are also players that fit into their system.
There will continue to be many "diamonds in the rough" for BSU to recruit, but as the program moves forward they just won't have to find as many.