A new class of Broncos will be put on loan into the nurturing arms of Chris Petersen tomorrow morning. Some have been waiting a LONG time for this day, and others have just recently jumped on the Bronco bandwagon. We lost a few soldiers along the path and gained others...and while one long odyssey comes to and end, another one is just beginning. So how did the 2013 class shape up and are there still a few surprises left? I hope so...I love surprises.
Who's already signed?
Boise State has restocked their cupboards this year with as many JC transfers as I can remember—six to be exact. Some of the JC-transfers have opted to take all the suspense out of signing day and have already signed on the dotted line. These guys should already be on campus and enrolled for the Spring Semester:
Tyler Rausa, K (Riverside CC)
Derrick Thomas, RB (Butler CC)
Cleshawn Page, CB (Harbor College)
Deuce Mataele, DT (Mt. San Antonio College)
and hey remember these guys?
DJ Dean, WR (Eagle HS)
Archie Lewis, OL (Rancho Cucamonga HS)
Dean and Lewis aren't a slapstick comedy duo...they're our grayshirts from last year...they've done their time in grayshirt purgatory and are ready to roll with the rest of the class of 2013.
And seriously...remember this guy?
Darren Lee, LB (Lassen HS)
Lee signed with the 2010 class and then went on a two-year church mission. In my mind, he's been training for two years in the Russian wilderness like Rocky in Rocky IV and is now sporting a thick beard and in the best shape of his life.
Who's expected to sign?
First guys in = first guys listed.
Joe Martarano, OLB, 6'3" 230 lbs. (Fruitland HS) - Martarano committed to the Broncos before his junior year waaay back in June of 2011. Once again, June will be the month to watch with "Joe Mart"—that's when the MLB draft takes place. Joe's so-so at baseball as well.
Alec Dhaenens, TE, 6'4" 235 lbs. (Fruitland HS) - Seriously, is Fruitland high school near a nuclear power plant? They're growing large Broncos up there.
Ryan Finley, QB, 6'4" 180 lbs. (Paradise Valley HS) - Fun fact: Finley is 7 inches taller than me and weighs ten pounds less. Does he need to bulk up or do I need to trim down (hypothetically)?
Eli McCullough, OL, 6'5" 260 lbs. (Rocky Mountain HS) - Not a single recruit under six foot three yet. How do you like them apples?
Andrew Terceck, C, 6'3" 285 lbs. (East Central HS) - Boise State found a gem in the Lonestar State. Now he's headed to the Gem State. Weird.
Tanner Vallejo, MLB, 6'2" 225 lbs. (Nevada Union HS) - The first Tanner in the class, but thankfully not the last.
Durrant Miles, DE, 6'4" 225 lbs. (Bingham HS) - This year's Darren Lee. He's officially a member of this class, but don't expect to see him for another 2+ years. Church Mission is his plan right now.
Mat Boesen, DE, 6'4" 220 lbs. (West HS) - Boesen's listed as a tight end on the commit list, but he'll likely groomed to play OLB or the hybrid position. Looks like Jeff Spicoli and plays like Urlacher.
Justin Taimatuia, DT, 6'2" 300 lbs. (Fort Scott CC) - The "Bacon" of the 2013 class.
Aaron Baltazar, RB, 5'11" 190 lbs. (Eastlake HS) - One-time UW commit will join the Broncos' decidedly bulky stable.
Mercy Maston, CB, 5'11" 190 lbs. (Bakersfield CC) - Early entrant for the next installation of the all-time names team.
Nick Terry, DT, 6'4" 270 lbs. (Pleasant Grove HS) - Was very concerned about DT depth next year, then Taimatuia and Terry committed in short order. Boom! Problem solved!
Kamalei Correa, DE, 6'3" 240 lbs. (St. Louis HS) - Received his first offer (from Hawaii) when he was just 15, but one of the island's best is headed to the blue mainland.
Gabe Perez, OLB, 6'5" 215 lbs. (Valencia HS) - That's a lanky OLB. TIP DRILL!
Kendal Keys, WR, 6'3" 195 lbs. (Helix HS) - Hails from Jamar Taylor's alma mater. Might have as big an impact.
Thomas Sperbeck, S, 6'1" 175 lbs. (Jesuit HS) - Sperbeck played everywhere for Jesuit, including QB. He'll likely land in the defensive secondary for the Broncos.
Jake Roh, WR, 6'3" 210 lbs. (Chaparral HS) - Just thought I'd point out now that there's only two guys on this list so far under six feet tall. Trees of terror?
Dionza Blue, CB, 6'0" 175 lbs. (Bishop Amat HS) - Another early entrant to a future Bronco all-time names team.
Jonathan Moxey, CB, 5'10" 170 lbs. (Dwyer HS) - Floridian a part of a late CB push by the Broncos. All-time names team first ballot? I think so.
Tanner Shipley, WR, 6'2" 185 lbs. (Wilsonville HS) - The Cougs' loss is our gain.
Cameron Hartsfield, CB, 5' something (Allen HS) - Last one in is a rotten egg! Don't worry...there might be one or two more...
Who's still on the board?
This is a short list.
A.J. Richardson, WR, 6'1" 185 lbs. (Narbonne HS) - This one-time Cal commit is a very exciting prospect and made a weekend visit to The Blue. Boise State has a few things going for them—one being that we're not Cal. Another being that Bronco CB Bryan Douglas was a former teammate of Richardson's at Narbonne...oh, and his HS coach thinks that he'll choose the Broncos as well. So, will he or won't he? Some think Richardson to Boise is already a done deal after a nice weekend visit, but I'm taking an optimistic "wait and see" approach, since basically Richardson has said "wait and see". We'll know tomorrow.
Who'd we lose?
We're not counting the guys that waited too long to pull the trigger only to see their scholly taken by another contender. These guys were with us until they weren't.
Chris Seisay, ATH, 6'2" 185 lbs. (American Canyon HS) - Seisay had the Broncos at the top of his list and pulled the trigger after he was offered at the BSU Summer Camp. Problem was, he was on a summer camp circuit and the next stop was Eugene. We got Knight'd.
Jack Austin, WR, 6'3" 205 lbs. (Chino Hills) - Austin was another Summer Camp pickup, except he made it all the way until January. Cal snagged Austin out of our verbal pile, but it opened up a slot for Tanner Shipley...who in turn, dropped his previous suitor (BYU).
Chris Collins, DE, 6'3" 203 lbs. (Santa Monica HS) - Collins was a 2012 grayshirt for the Broncos that never made it to campus. Chadd Cripe says he's enrolled in a JC.
Who'd we steal?
"Steal" is such an ugly word. Besides...they did it first. The following guys were at one point committed to another program. That's recruiting, folks.
Cameron Hartsfield (Nevada)
Dionza Blue (Fresno State)
Tanner Shipley (BYU)
Aaron Baltazar (UW)
A.J. Richardson (Cal)...oops got ahead of myself.
Stars of the class
Two Boise State alums were Pro Bowlers this year, and both were two star recruits, so take this with a healthy grain of salt. However, on paper, the stars of the 2013 class are:
Andrew Tercek, Center - 21st ranked center in the country according to Scout.com. Scout rating of 80 from ESPN.
Aaron Baltazar, Running Back - 49th ranked RB in the country according to Scout.com. Scout rating of 82 from ESPN.
Tanner Vallejo, MLB - 27th ranked MLB in the country according to Scout.com. Scout rating of 77 from ESPN.
Joe Martarano, OLB - 37th ranked OLB in the country according to Scout.com. Scout rating of 75 from ESPN.
Ryan Finley, Quarterback - 49th ranked QB in the country according to Scout.com. Scout rating of 79 from ESPN.
Mercy Maston, CB and Justin Taimatuia, DT - Both ranked in ESPN's JC Top 100.
Not sure the Broncos have room for many true surprises tomorrow, the name "Nick Highberger" was floating around on Twitter yesterday—and while the name does sound made up...I assure you it's not. Highberger is a strong safety and teammate of Tanner Shipley that some were claiming was headed to The Blue. Frankly, I can't find anything to support these claims, but Highberger does have a nice high school resume, so I suppose we'll see about that one.
As the fax machine hums to life tomorrow, we'll keep a running tally of the guys that have inked with the Broncos. If you have any pictures, links, or other LOI day stories to share please do so.