I would like Boise State to be able to offer scholarships to every Idaho high school football player in the state. I would like roster sizes to be 285, a giant wall to be built around the border of the state, and a Best Buy to be erected in the business plot in front of my home's subdivision.
I'm not going to get what I want. Is that okay?
The topic came up with news that Eagle HS QB Taylor Kelly committed to Nevada this week. A local kid turned Colin Kaepernick understudy - I get visibly sick just thinking about it. I understand that Boise State just received a commit from a quarterback of its own in Central (OR) High's Grant Hedrick, and I feel some sense of smug satisfaction that Hedrick is a two-star player compared to Kelly's one-star (for whatever stars are or aren't worth).
But my heart still sinks at the sight of a local kid turning elsewhere to play his college football.
Kelly is not an isolated case, either. The following chart shows eight of the top football players in the state of Idaho last year and where they decided to go to school.
|TE Billy Sanders||Miami (FL)|
|LB Darren Markle||Washington State|
|QB Taysom Hill||Stanford|
|LB Jared Heston||Idaho|
|LB Jeffrey Bediako||Idaho|
|OG Bryant Thomas||Boise State|
|DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe||Boise State|
|WR Geraldo Hiwat||Boise State|
Boise State doesn't get them all. Is this okay?
You bet it is.
In fact, Boise State not scoring every single high school recruit from Idaho is probably a good thing. The talent of local players cannot yet compete with the talent from surrounding states, especially down in the fertile recruiting bed of California. The Broncos make a play for the best athletes in Idaho who fit their system; then they hit the road looking for others to fill up the roster.
It's a system that works, even if it is a system I wish didn't have to exist. Would it be easier on me if Idaho had a college roster size of D-1 talent at the high school ranks? You bet. Would I sleep easier if Boise State existed in an athlete Eden like Florida or Texas? Of course. But that's not reality, and Boise State coaches have done what is necessary to further the program by looking elsewhere for great players.
The Broncos will lose the occasional Taylor Kelly. Then they'll score the occasional Kellen Moore.
So long as the ideal Boise State HS athletes stay home to play for the Broncos (and with 19 local kids on the roster, I'd like to think this is true), I should be happy. And I am happy. When stories like Kelly's pop up, I just have to remind myself that the Broncos have everything in control.
(But Nevada? I mean, come on! Taylor Kelly, you are dead to me.)