Hard to believe, but we are officially under 90 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer I embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. So far this year, we're batting a thousand, so drop me notes of encouragement now and again so I can find the strength to get through the next couple months without breaking the streak.
We've got 82 days until kickoff ... so today we'll be taking a look at number 82 on the Bronco roster—Geraldo Hiwat
#82, Geraldo Hiwat, RS Freshman, WR
Weight: 189 lbs.
High School: Capital High School, Boise, ID
How'd he get to The Blue?
Hiwat definitely had one of the more interesting journeys to the Blue. Born and raised in the Netherlands, the lanky speedster only came to the U.S. as an exchange student his senior year, where he subsequently played his one and only year of American football. What a year it was. Despite having his season cut short by injury, Hiwat was named first-team All-SIC and second-team All-State after catching 41 passes for 502 yards and 5 scores, rushing 3 times for 51 yards and a TD, returning 8 kickoffs for 303 yards and a score, and returning six punts for 107 yards and a TD. The Broncos extended Hiwat his only scholarship offer (that we know of), which he graciously accepted. Hiwat redshirted in 2009.
The Flying Dutchman [flahy-ing duhch-muhn]
This nickname isn't just a cutesy coincidence...Hiwat won the state title in the long jump and 200m in 2009. Plus, it's inevitable that Mark Johnson or Tom Scott will call him this—get used to it.
Getting a scholly after one year of American ball has to be high on the list.
Injury shortening lone season of football at Capital.
Wide receiver depth never seemed like much of an issue in 2009...until it was one. Late season injuries to Austin Pettis and Tyler Shoemaker left the Broncos receiver corps dangerously thin. Kirby Moore had burned his redshirt part way through the season, and his development certainly helped—but Michael Choate, Mitch Burroughs, and Chris Potter did not look fully prepared to take the glut of snaps with the first team. This season, with Burroughs, Potter, and Moore all one year wiser and with talented youngsters like Hiwat, Aaron Burks, Matt Miller and Troy Ware ready to do battle in Fall camp, the Broncos may have another problem at receiver in 2010—too much depth. The way I see it; Austin Pettis and Titus Young are the obvious incumbents at the "X" and "Z" wideout positions, and chances are, Burks will line up behind Young leaving Hiwat to contend with Burroughs for the spot immediately behind Pettis on the depth chart. Hiwat obviously has certain advantages over Burroughs and possesses similar speed—I say he'll be the #2 at the close of Fall camp.
Now—what kind of output can we expect from the slim Dutchie? Good question, Drew. Thanks.
Hiwat is said to have good hands and we know has good speed, so the only question is his route-running. Bronco coaches even admitted when he was recruited that he was very raw, and this usually points to the technical aspects of the game, route-running and blocking assignments. If Hiwat's redshirt year was a productive one (we already know he's bulked up, thankfully), he should be ready to get meaningful snaps for the Broncos and I see him having a redshirt freshman year similar to Austin Pettis' true freshman year—a slow start, but a torrid finish. If Hiwat could truly mimic Pettis' frosh year, he'd have 40+ catches and 400+ yards, however, the WR unit is much more crowded in 2010 than it was in 2007 and 40+ touches are a lot to ask—even with Kellen Moore under center. Hiwat will probably have catches in the 20s, but as a bigger deep threat may still approach the 400 yard mark on the season. I understand this is setting the bar high, but with the flashes we've seen with Hiwat, it is attainable.
Completely made up fact
WIth the threat of NCAA sanctions, Nampa's Dutch Goose restaurant has decided to end their lucrative endorsement contract with Hiwat.