The second Spring practice took place yesterday, immediately bringing to mind the ancient Chinese riddle: If a Spring practice occurs, and no one covers it, did it really happen? This may be a top 5 team next year, people...look lively!
Despite the local media blackout, I still found a few items to discuss, though my boredom may become clear about midway through the article.
Story of the day
Monday's double-take moment may be gaining traction, paving the way for a long-term O-line switcheroo. The previous sentence brought to you by the stately hyphen.
Nate Potter was an All-WAC first teamer last season at tackle and, when he's been healthy, has made the gaping, Clady-shaped void easier to stomach these last two years. Now the behemoth Timberline product may be shifting his considerable weight to the guard slot for good...and it kinda makes sense when you think about it. Statesman sez:
The Broncos have high hopes for sophomore Faraji Wright and freshman Charles Leno Jr., who are playing left tackle, and sophomore Brenel Myers, who is playing right tackle. They also return Garett Pendergast, Matt Slater and Michael Ames, who have started at tackle in the past.
Leno was the rated the 24th best OT in the country when he signed on with the Broncos in 2009, and Brenel Myers handled TCU's All-American Jerry Hughes impressively in what was essentially his first ever start. With no real upperclassmen along the line and with Potter's un-tackle-like ability to play low—Chris Strausser's Spring experiment may help clear the logjam that is rapidly developing on the line. So far...
"It’s a little bit of a rare situation where we have some decent depth at tackle. I know Nate can play tackle. I need to find out what he can do at guard, (Strausser said)…I’ve been impressed."
Nationality of the day: Dutch
Tom Scott was his slanty self yesterday, bringing to light the interesting recruiting pipeline the Broncos have established over the last few years. The Broncos have 3 players from the Netherlands currently on the roster in S Cedric Febis, WR Geraldo Hiwat, and DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (it's pronounced "Chong ah Chew"...get ready for Mark Johnson to slay it) and the latter pair, who redshirted in 2009, will get their chance to shine.
Tjong-A-Tjoe is already tipping the scales at close to 300 lbs., and was coveted by several Pac-10 programs before picking the Broncos—he should be a threat to crack the DT rotation this year. Q: If you're a running back, how do you squeeze between Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and Michael Atkinson? A: You don't.
Geraldo Hiwat is my pick to make the biggest splash amongst the WR newbs. The "Flying Dutchman", as I'm sure Mark Johnson is itching to call him, is 6'4" and fast. During Hiwat's senior year at Capital High, he finished 1st and 2nd at State in the 200m and 100m, respectively, and also won a State title in the long jump. Anybody want a 6'4" fast guy that can jump? Only everybody. Hiwat was a tad on the slim side when I saw him last season, but hopefully he'll take to America's second favorite pastime (eating) like he's taken to America's favorite one (football). Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP Kyle Efaw is also a former Capital Eagle...here's what he had to say about Hiwat (HT: Scott Slant)
"His best attribute is his athletic ability," said Efaw. "I think he’ll play quite a bit next season. He’s taken a big stride understanding the game of football. That will make him even more dangerous."
And you thought the Dutch were only dangerous on ice skates.
Pop quiz, hotshots:
Which flag is the flag of the Netherlands?
answer at bottom of page
Titus Young already in championship Twitter form
Titus Young has been the Twitter MVP of Spring Camp thus far, tweeting Wednesday from the moment he crawled out of bed to the moment he crawled back in. Most of Young's tweets were standard Stuart Smalley-esque affirmations:
If ur not tryna b the greatest then why are u lacing them up?
Didn't come back this yr to b average
Though the self pep-talks may not have worked as Titus tweeted the following around dinner time:
How did I practice today? Like S**t... Titus who?
and then upon further review decided he'd been a bit rough on himself and tempered his earlier statements
Ok it wasnt as bad As I thought... On to the next one
Looking forward to some in-huddle tweets this Fall.
Nonplussed by local Spring coverage thus far
If you aren't going to give Kevan and I press passes...could you at least step up Spring camp coverage? Of course, I'm addressing the local "media", who apparently feel that after their blistering Winter Olympics coverage they can take a few months off. The Statesman seems to be the only outlet that realizes Spring camp has started...even then, their coverage has been spotty at best. The one-time standard bearer, the Idaho Press Tribune, has all but cried "Uncle" in this race...posting no coverage to speak of through day two of camp. Heck, the IPT even seems to have yanked down the venerable Bronco bastion known as boisestatefans.com. What gives?
A bit more about walk-on Nick Vlad
Reports out of the first day of camp listed walk-on Nick Vlad among the new Broncos. For those not "in the know", Vlad is an Aussie who somehow found his way to a Bronco football camp over the summer and impressed the coaches with his athleticism. Vlad held scholarships at Haileybury College in Keysborough for rowing and Australian Rules Football (ARF), and was "state selection" (whatever that means) for a Junior World Cup qualifier against New Zealand in the latter. Vlad will likely get some work punting this Spring and Fall, but Vlad says "I can play different positions and I’m quite fast for my size", so I guess you never know . Vlad will also be the recipient of the world's most obvious nickname...if only he can manage to impale someone in a game situation.
Nickel's worth o' nickels
Magic Valley Times shows a mercifully Doug Martin-free group of nickelbackers this Spring: Winston Venable, Hunter White, Jonathan Brown, Ebenezer Makinde and Billy Derome.
Venable is the man and White's switch has been ballyhooed, but Ebo Makinde's presence there is intriguing to me. Makinde was expected to make a run at Kyle Wilson's vacated spot, but this could mean that Jerrell Gavins, Jamar Taylor and Quaylon Ewing are the top-three for now. I also had Jonathan Brown tentatively penciled in behind Jeron Johnson and Travis Stanaway, but it looks like the staff is giving these tweeners lots of looks with the suddenly Jason Robinson-less depth chart.
Dustin Lapray quote of the day
Today's Lapray quote of the day comes from Sir Dustin's Padawan, Bradley Guire. Bradley either stole Lapray's copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, or this is Dustin's new nom de plume...because the similarities are striking...and beautiful. Has the bandanna been passed?
There is no room for error here. Detractors to the team/family/unit/position/legacy don’t seem to exist in this dome.
Go Team/Family/Unit/Position/Legacy Save Money!
Bored with Spring coverage already? Me too. Bring on the way-too-early-in-the-workday scrimmages!
The correct answer is b, but with a national flag that non-descript...does it really matter?