One of the more lamentable things about being a football fan is that the season eventually ends. A great depression sinks in and a search for any news about Boise State starts me on a Google frenzy. While I’m no expert on the game of football, I thought I would start picking through the recruits and post scouting reports based on 2 minutes of fuzzy film, and a quick knee-jerk.
Subject: Ryan Finley, Paradise Valley HS (Trojans), Div III
6’-4”, 190 lbs. Speed: Unreported.
Interest: Finley had interest in BSU, Arizona, ASU, Cal, Northwester, and (seriously?) Nevada, But reports say he only received one offer...BoiseState.
Finley has the stats that would (and apparently did) catch Chris Peterson’s eye. Pete values a game manager over an athlete, with high expectations on limiting mistakes; AKA turnovers. Of course, he would like both, but athleticism is relative. I’m sure Finley is plenty athletic for those of us who are speed challenged, but compared to Grant Hedrick, he might not be so athletic; who knows. It takes head-to-head competition with high level athletes to get a feel for this. But, Finley has one thing for sure; He’s a game manager that can put up great numbers, throwing only 7 interceptions on 25 touchdown passes as a junior, and only 8 interceptions for 35 touchdown passes as a senior. These are exciting numbers, and when you add that he averaged 291 yards and 313 yards a game for his junior and senior seasons respectively, Finley gets really attractive.
Finley has what appears to be great touch. He’s a pocket passer primarily, although he did rush for 282 yards his senior season, an average of 25.6 yards a game. On film, his passes are high-arching, looping, but accurate, but who posts the inaccurate ones? He tends to throw off of his back foot, but his mechanics look fairly good otherwise. What I wish his film showed more of are timed routs, ones where he is picking through the middle of the field or checking down to a running back or tight end. Like most high school athletes he will see a whole new level of closing speed and will need to flatten out that throw. Arm strength didn't stand out as a concern.
So, why didn’t he get more attention? Well…he got plenty considering that he played on average teams with 4/6, and 7/4 records his junior and senior years. And, coming from a division III Arizona school didn’t help with his exposure. But, the two-minute, knee-jerk take on this kid is that he’s under-rated. Consider that he increased his TDs 40% from his junior season to his senior season while only adding one additional interception to an already very low INT rate. He maintained a 63% completion percentage, and threw for over 300 yards per game in his senior season.
Time will tell if he’ll compete well, but he will certainly be exciting to follow. Oh yeah…he’s 6’4” and 190 at 17 years old. That will turn into 210 real fast. I’ve made the mistake of drooling over biometrics before (i.e. Mike Coughlin), so I’ll keep the drool in the mouth for the time being. Plus, he’ll be competing with the likes of Hedrick and Patti for attention by the time he’s done redshirting. But, it’s always nice to know that a game managing pocket passer is in the quiver. I have to say one thing for Pete and the gang; they know how to choose QBs. And, as always, I trust in Pete.