Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE
For a few moments this weekend, the clouds parted and the sun shone through and things were almost warm. Maybe it was God's way of telling us that the long winter is nearly at an end and Spring Ball is a week away. Maybe.
Boise experiences a different kind of March Madness each year when fans reach their lack-of-football breaking point. It makes people do strange things like write fake tweets for all their favorite Boise State players. Some are drawn to basketball—something that has been easy this year with the success of the Bronco basketball team. Personally, I'm happy for the resurgence on the hardcourt, but can't deny that Spring Camp, which opens a week from today, is my primary focus.
The state of the media
Spring ball is usually our first chance to see last year's redshirts compete and check out the voids left by the winter graduates. For me, it's our first chance to see how the local media responds to football returning, albeit briefly, to the Treasure Valley. Boise State can be a tad tight-lipped about goings-on within the program, and they'll make the local media outlets really work to dig up valuable info. In the past, the traditional media hasn't always picked up that flag and we're given table scraps until the public scrimmage. This year, I'd settle for updated heights and weights from the players and at least one daily practice report. Don't make us beg.
These are the JC guys that are already on campus...and it's a pretty big list this year. Only two of the 6 JC signees have yet to join the program (Justin Taimatuia and Mercy Maston). The rest have already gone twitter-silent and are ready to compete. Did Boise State find more JC gems this season? We're about to find out. CB Cleshawn Page will have just a small group of CBs to work with, but also a bigger chance to shine. RB Derrick Thomas can make a case now for inclusion in the Fall stable. DT Deuce Mataele will look to soften the blow of Mike Atkinson and Darren Koontz departures, and K Tyler Rausa gets the unenviable task of needing to hit every single kick this Spring to keep the sky from falling once again among area Chicken Littles.
Last year, Boise State's offense didn't live up to the standard set by past Bronco squads and Coach Pete was determined to find out why. The Spring offense has more scoops of vanilla than the Fall offense will contain, but we might start to see hints of what the Peterson/Prince offensive audit concluded. If it were me, I'd hand off to Jay Ajayi every play, let him get five yards and then lateral the ball to Shane Williams-Rhodes, who I assume is good for at least 65 more.
We've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Boise State lost an elite corner to graduation in Jamar Taylor...another solid 3-year contributor in Jerrell Gavins, and—at least for Spring Ball—will be without the services of our #3 CB, Bryan Douglas. Spring is the time to shine for the oh-so-tiny CB corps. It may not mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, but this group will get a higher number of snaps in the coming weeks than they might've normally. When a true sophomore with just a few games under his belt is the seasoned veteran in the group (Donte Deayon), things will be interesting.
More Spring storylines will come to light in the coming weeks. What are the ones you'll be keeping the closest eye on (provided the local media decides to cover it)?