Boise State football just announced its 2011 recruiting class, so quick, let's speculate on every detail of the next five years of these kids' lives like the true fans we are. First off, playing time. From Coach Pete's press conference:
Boise State only has five scholarship players in the senior class of 2014, so coaches would like to play several true freshmen this year. That would move those players into the class of 2014 and help prevent another tiny recruiting class.
With the obvious disclaimer that I know nothing, join me after the jump for some guesses on who those "several true freshmen" may be, and feel free to share your predictions in the comments. Don't be afraid to say Jay Ajayi. Follow your heart.
For your reference, here is the complete list of Boise State recruits in the 2011 class:
- QB Jimmy Laughrea, 6-2, 185, Rocklin (CA) (info)
- DE Sam Ukwuachu, 6-5, 205, Pearland (TX) (info)
- WR Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 165, Rocky Mountain (ID) (info)
- DT Jeff Worthy, 6-4, 280, Whittier Christian (CA) (info)
- DE Robert Ash, 6-3, 255, Cosumnes Oaks (CA) (info)
- S Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 195, Kelowna (BC) (info)
- OG Rees Odhiambo, 6-3, 298, Mansfield Legacy (TX) (info)
- RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 200, Liberty (TX) (info)
- LB Blake Renaud, 6-2, 230, De La Salle (CA) (info)
- OG Marcus Henry, 6-3, 275, Bellevue (WA) (info)
- CB Eric Agbaroji, 6-1, 180, Midlothian (TX) (info)
- NB Corey Bell, 5-11, 200, Capital (ID) (info)
- CB Darian Thompson, 6-2, 172, Paraclete (CA) (info)
- TE Hayden Plinke, 6-4, 230, Glencoe (OR) (info)
- K Jake Van Ginkel, 5-11, 185, Upland (CA) (info)
- LB Dillon Lukehart, 6-1, 200, Eagle (ID) (info)
- OT Adam Sheffield, 6-5, 300, Branham (CA) (info)
- NB Dextrell Simmons, 6-0, 210, Blinn College (TX) (info)
- S Lee Hightower, 6-1, 170, Loyola (CA) (info)
Five true freshmen who could play for the Broncos in 2011
Here are my picks for the five most likely true freshman who could play this fall. Guesses are based on Boise State's depth at certain positions, quality of recruits, gut feelings, tea leaves, fan crushes, and what I had for breakfast. Strawberry Pop Tart, FYI.
Note: Dextrell Simmons does not count because he is a junior college transfer. For the record, I think he will play this season, much like Venable did as a juco when he arrived.
Players are listed in order of playing time likelihood:
K Jake Van Ginkel
Out of all the newcomers in the Broncos' 2011 class, Van Ginkel seems like the most obvious one to play as a true freshman. Boise State needs a kicker. Jake Van Ginkel needs to fulfill his destiny as the next Tyler Jones. The Broncos have Jimmy Pavel and Trevor Harman on the roster, but they're no Jake Van Ginkel. Or so I'm told by YouTube.
OL Marcus Henry
Henry may be the most college-ready offensive lineman in the 2011 class, and he just so happens to specialize in an area with an opening on the roster. With Will Lawrence gone, someone new will be starting at guard on opening day. Why not Henry? Well, because Boise State doesn't typically let linemen play as true freshmen. But other than that, I can't think of any good reasons.
CB Eric Agbaroji
The Broncos love playing true freshmen in their secondary (Tadman,
Wilson, Scandrick, Taylor, etc.), and they were willing to offer 4-star CB Stefan McClure a spot in the lineup right away. That has to bode well for Eric Agbaroji and Darian Thompson, the two new corners in the '11 class. I went with Agbaroji here because I understand him to be the better prospect and because he comes first alphabetically.
DT Jeff Worthy
See above for my reservations on Marcus Henry playing as a true freshmen since they also apply to Worthy. Then throw those reservations out the window because Worthy is most definitely the second coming of Billy Winn. You can never have enough defensive line depth, especially when the Canadian parts are suspended, so I wouldn't be too surprised if Worthy cracks the rotation and/or cracks Wyoming QB Austyn Carta-Samuels.
RB Jay Ajayi
If Van Ginkel is the most obvious starter, Ajayi might be the most anticipated one. Bronco fans want to see him on the field, probably due to some sort of repressed Malcolm Johnson regret. For that to happen, coaches are going to have to deem Ajayi worthy of sharing carries or backing up starter Doug Martin and RB2 D.J. Harper. Running back is not a position of need for Boise State in 2011, so Ajayi will have to be too good to sit.
Coach Pete also mentioned that one to five players from the 2011 recruiting class might grayshirt, thereby delaying their arrival on the Boise State football team until next spring. S Taylor Loffler will be one of them, according to Chadd Cripe and courtesy of a torn ACL. Previously, Hayden Plinke admitted to being a grayshirt. The rest will be decided and announced some time after spring ball.
Who do you think could play as a true freshman this fall? Which positions need the most immediate help? Share your thoughts in the comments.