Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen has laid down the rules for spring football practices.
"We're starting over, starting from scratch" Petersen said at a news conference on Thursday. "Every starting position is officially wide open."
Petersen, who has concerns that his team might let their new lofty position as a top five team go to their heads, made very clear that every position on the team is up for grabs.
The Broncos finished the 2009 season as the number four ranked team in the final polls and many college football experts have already tapped BSU as a contender for the national title.
"Everyone needs to be extremely paranoid and have and edge," Petersen said. "If we do that and get that, then we'll have a chance. And if we think we are going to repeat because of the guys we have coming back because of what we did last year, I promise you we won't."
"This is a great situation for coaches to have and I hope the lineup looks much different than it did in the Fiesta Bowl," Petersen said "That's our goal as coaches, to constantly upgrade talent. If one of our younger guys can beat out an older guy, that's the way we want it here."
Petersen thinks that some of the starters may be a bit too confident about their starting jobs. "Some of the guys come up and say 'we got ya coach' and I say 'no you haven't got me'" Petersen said.
The Bronco's head man also made it clear that he thinks his All-American junior quarterback, Kellen Moore, needs to improve. "He's (Moore) got to step it up a notch next year."
That might be difficult considering that Moore threw for 39 touchdowns against only three interceptions.
"Because we have so many talented redshirt freshmen becoming eligible, I think it's only fair that every position starts from scratch" Petersen added.
The top priorities for the Bronco coaching staff will be identifying which young players might be able to work their way into roles and sorting out what is expected to be a messy competition for five starting spots on the offensive line. 10 returning offensive linemen have started at least one game.
Petersen also informed the media during the news conference that guard Kevin Sapien's career is over because of multiple injuries.
He also said about a dozen players will not participate in spring drills, including K Kyle Brotzman, WR Kirby Moore, C Thomas Byrd, and DT Chase Baker.
Petersen also said DE Byron Hout will move to middle linebacker in the spring.
Boise State returns 23 of 24 starters from their undefeated 2009 team and besides some outstanding redshirt freshmen, the Broncos also expect a few of their incoming true freshmen to compete for playing time.
BSU's spring practice begins March 8 and ends April 16 with the Spring Game. The Broncos open their 2010 season Sept. 6th at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland against the Hokies from Virginia Tech in a nationally televised Labor Day game.