This is the second of two articles describing the Boise State Broncos' run for a title and why they will be there. Because of the small graduation class and one defect, there was only need for six letters this season. The Broncos chose seven, and two are grayshirting. There will be a follow-up article released on Saturday or Sunday that will elaborate more fully on the 2010 “confirmed commits” and their part for Broncos.
Boise State's football team has lost only five seniors and one underclassman; freshman Tom Swanson has left the team. Although some of these guys were very talented, BSU will not be missing any of them—except sentimentally.
The Broncos, as good as they were last season, are adding 18 players from the redshirt squad—and these kids are players. They're winners; some of them never lost in high school.
Quarterback Kellen Moore is the star. He is highly accurate and should be better this season—if that’s possible. Moore’s backup should be redshirt freshman Joe Southwick, who has been at Moore’s side since he arrived.
That said, don’t expect the talent to drop off there at all. Mike Tamburo will also be pushing the QB coach for playing ground. Don’t be surprised if they teach him how to hold kicks.
Tamburo likes to scramble and has a good arm. Indeed, the Broncos love those fourth-down gadget plays.
The offensive line will be better this season because it has everyone healthy, and the O-line is deep. The redshirt freshmen add pure talent and size to the mix. Charles Leno, Jake Broyles, and Spencer Gerke are all top-dollar additions.
Some have compared Leno to Ryan Clady, and he will spark. But watch Gerke; he is a fierce competitor. Swanson left the Broncos last month, but with the new additions, he may have struggled to find playing time anyway.
The O-line are solid pass blockers, and a wall of 300-pounders should open a hole or two for the ground game. Ex-linebacker Dan Paul will start again at fullback, his brother Joey should rest him, and if needed, Michael "Canadian Bacon" Atkinson is more than able to stick his 300 lb-plus size into the line.
Jeremy Avery and D.J. Harper will reunite at tailback, with Matt Kaiserman, Jarvis Hodge, and Doug Martin backing them up. This will be the best running back corp the Broncos have ever had.
The Oregon high school phenom Malcolm Johnson will make sure of that. Many believe the redshirt freshman is going to step up immediately with his tremendous vision, balance, and speed.
Tommy Gallarda and Kyle Efaw head up at tight end. They have tremendously improved; if they get any better, they will be heading for the league. Redshirt additions Trevor Peterson and Gabe Linehan offer talent, size, versatility, and great hands.
Speaking of great hands, Austin Pettis, Titus Young, Tyler Shoemaker, and Kirby Moore line up at wide receiver. Moore is a hard-hitting physical receiver who uses his size to his advantage. Shoemaker, Pettis, and Young are finesse guys.
There aren't many colleges with receivers this good, but it doesn’t end there. Geraldo Hiwat and Aaron Burks from the redshirt squad have amazing speed; those lined up with Young will make covering them very difficult.
Mitch Burroughs and Chris Potter give the Bronco wideouts excellent depth.
On defense, DE's Ryan Winterswyk, Shea McClellin, Jerrell Root, and Byron Hout command once again. Redshirt freshmen Justin Jungblut, Nicholas Alexander, and Kharyee Marshall give the Broncos mastery at the ends.
Defensive tackles Billy Winn, Darren Koontz, Chuck Hayes, Greg Grimes, and Atkinson, plus a very strong and physical 300-pound newbie DT named Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, will bolster the team big time.
The secondary is all back minus one—Kyle Wilson—who is, according to the NFL powers, the best senior cornerback going into the draft. The secondary is all that good; DB coach Marcel Yates knows how to get the best from his players.
Corners Brandyn Thompson and Jerrell Givens start. George Iloka, Jeron Johnson, and Jason Robinson are the safeties. The nickel, hybrid position is owned by supertalented safety Winston Venable. Doug Martin is available at nickel when not running for 100-yard games at tailback.
Redshirt freshmen Jonathan Brown, Quaylon Ewing, and Ebo Makinde are as good as it gets. Boise State has no weaknesses. The only area of marked concern was the pass rush, and with the added secondary and ends, the speed, and strength to get the quarterback will be a steady occurrence.
The very best talents on the Broncos play special teams. The kicking game is sound with quality backups at both positions—punter and place kicker—if needed. There are many quality players that were not even mentioned. Some of these will challenge for starting positions.
Unlike a year ago, Boise State will score big time with their second and third string players. This season's third and fourth string will be tremendously talented. The big question when these kids go on the road is: Who has to stay behind?
That will not be an easy question to answer for the coaches. Thus, when a team is this talented and this deep, there is not much keeping them from winning a title. As stated before, the BCS will have opened the door with a top five ranking. Then it will be up to Boise State to win big—go undefeated—and enter in.
That’s another story. Go Broncos.