Boise State has been practicing real, live football for over a week now, and thanks to the intrepid reporting of the local media, we Bronco fans can start stitching together our depth chart quilts. They won't be pretty or complete, but at least they'll keep us warm for the next couple weeks. Here is a rundown of the top position battles.
Strong safety: Cedric Febis. I get the impression that coaches want Febis to start at this position and that it will take some abhorrent coverage lapses for Febis to lose his spot. Sounds like he's been solid so far, so the job is his.
Slot wide receiver: TBD. Presumably, this spot is Chris Potter's, but by now it could very well be Kirby Moore's or - gasp - Mitch Burrough's. Nothing definitive has come out yet, and all we have is this quote from Coach Pete:
There's some guys right now if you have to list a depth chart would be on the lower end and it would look much different in three to four weeks. I'm anxious to watch that as much as I think a lot of people are, the progression of that crew.
Speculate at will.
Right guard: Chuck Hayes or Jake Broyles. If the season were to start tomorrow - and good heavens wouldn't that be FANTASTIC - Hayes would be the starter at right guard. But since there are still three weeks to go until kickoff, there is still plenty of time for Broyles to be named the starter, Hayes to be moved to defense, and/or a third Cavender twin to found and inserted into the starting lineup.
Right tackle: Charles Leno. No one has been able to challenge Leno for the tackle job he snatched during spring camp. His closest competition appears to be Michael Ames who started at right tackle ages ago (2009) against Oregon.
It's worth noting that in Chadd Cripe's rundown of offensive linemen, he named five backups who have been playing well, and none of them were Brenel Myers.
Nickel: Hunter White. Coaches like White's experience and knowledge of the defense, so he is the safe bet to start at the nickel spot. Dextrell Simmons and Jonathan Brown figured to see a lot of playing time, too.
Backup quarterback: Joe Southwick. The majority of reviews on Southwick so far have been glowing, and he seems to have put his turnover troubles from spring behind him. QB coach and Bronco OC Brent Pease wants to go with a clear-cut backup this year rather than the dual backup role of last fall. Tough beans for Grant Hedrick.
Placekicker: No clue.
Punter: Also no clue.
No one is really saying what's going on with the kicking game, so your guess is as good as mine. My guess, for the record, is that Jake Van Ginkel has yet to miss a field goal, Trevor Harman boots every punt to the one-yard-line, and Michael Atkinson has played himself into the kickoff specialist role.
Chase Baker doing very well, thanks for remembering
The large, ugly people on the Boise State defensive line have received much ballyhoo this offseason and for good reason. They are terrors - Billy Winn, Shea McClellin, Tyrone Crawford, and uh ... er ... what's his face ...
Kwiatkowski also said that DT Chase Baker has had the best camp of any defensive lineman.
Not bad for a player who would be the fourth one if you were naming players. Fun fact: He played with the newcomers earlier this week. Hilarious (not for the newcomers).
Your list of players playing well
There's Chase Baker, above. And there are also these guys, below.
- RB Malcolm Johnson, according to Kyle Efaw
- N Corey Bell and S Lee Hightower, according to Pete Kwiatkowski
- QB Joe Southwick, according to Chadd Cripe
Southwick led a 70-yard drive for a score against the backups yesterday. Impressive. Kellen Moore led a 7-yard drive against the starters. Equally impressive.
The Broncos will hold their first scrimmage of Fall Camp today, allegedly. Neither the public nor the media are invited. Chris Petersen has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, and presumably press will be invited to that one.
Chadd Cripe had a splendid conversation with Keith Bhonapha about Boise State's running backs and completely forgot that Raphiel Lambert was a running back. That probably doesn't bode well.
Matt Miller will be good some day, if this story by Dave Southorn is any indication.
Jarrell Root's afro is dead. Long live Jarrell Root's afro.
Dustin Lapray made-up quote of the day
Former local newsman Dustin Lapray inspired Bronco Nation with his wordsmithing and bandanna-wearing several summers ago at Boise State practice. He is chasing his dreams elsewhere now, probably through a meadow. Here is what he may have written after yesterday's practice:
As sweat poured down the nape of Joe Southwick's neck, the young quarterback prodigy calmly called signals, dropped into the perfect half-moon pocket, and slung a spiral into the arms of Burroughs The New. Sideline ecstasy for the Bronco offense. Dejection for the defense. Floating the Boise River for me. What a day!
What is your take on the Boise State position battles? Who do you want to see in the starting lineup? Where would Chase Baker rank on your list of favorite D-linemen? Share your thoughts in the comments.