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Boise State roster preview: Offensive line, starting combos, and peach fuzz goatees

I do not envy the Boise State offensive line - being huge, squaring off against the Bronco defensive line every day, heavy sighs from patrons at Chuck Wagon. But I sure do love them. As the Bronco O-line goes, so goes the Bronco offense. This year's line is solid on left, green on the right, and by season's end could be one of the best groups Boise State has ever had.

Read on for an O-line preview, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

You are reading a position preview for the upcoming Boise State football season. Enjoy yourself immensely.

Position overview

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Nate Potter          
Joe Kellogg Joe Kellogg        
Thomas Byrd          
Chuck Hayes          
Charles Leno Charles Leno Charles Leno      
Jake Broyles Jake Broyles Jake Broyles      
Brenel Myers Brenel Myers        
Faraji Wright Faraji Wright        
Matt Paradis Matt Paradis Matt Paradis      
Bronson Durrant Bronson Durrant        
Michael Ames Michael Ames        
Cory Yriarte          
Greg Dohmen Greg Dohmen Greg Dohmen Greg Dohmen    
Chris Tozer Chris Tozer        
Zach Waller          
Spencer Gerke Spencer Gerke Spencer Gerke      
Adam Sheffield Adam Sheffield Adam Sheffield Adam Sheffield Adam Sheffield  
Marcus Henry Marcus Henry Marcus Henry Marcus Henry Marcus Henry  
Rees Odhiambo Rees Odhiambo Rees Odhiambo Rees Odhiambo Rees Odhiambo  
  Steven Baggett Steven Baggett Steven Baggett Steven Baggett Steven Baggett
  Travis Averill Travis Averill Travis Averill Travis Averill Travis Averill

Projected starters are in bold. Projected redshirts are in italics

What are the odds ... ?

I have come up with a handful of scenarios that may befall the Broncos along the offensive line this fall. OBNUG's Nick and I will assign a prediction in the form of a percentage based on the likelihood that each scenario may happen. Everyone confused enough? Good. Let's begin.

Boise State starts the same five guys for every single game this year

Kevan: Haha, that's hilarious. Zero percent

Nick: I guess in order to have odds there needs to be some way to take the opposite side so I guess by rule I have to award at least 1 percent chance. But we all know that Boise State loves to be versatile on the offensive line. It may be abnormal for most teams, but it works for Boise State.


Chuck Hayes is the starter against Georgia

Kevan: The Chuck Hayes - Jake Broyles cage match is too close to call at this point, so here I go calling it: 75 percent chance Hayes starts against Georgia. The Broncos have good reason to be high on Broyles, but with all things being even, I believe BSU will go with the veteran for the biggest game of the year. Age before beauty, er, seniors before sophomores with peach fuzz goatees.


Nick: I'll put Broyles' chances to start against Georgia at an even 50 percent. Even with Brenel Myers' recent entry into the starting right guard sweepstakes, I have to agree with you, Kevan, that Boise State will probably default to Hayes' experience. But Boise State has been known to switch up it up at the last second, so it's always a possibility. 

The O-line gives up more than the eight sacks it did last year

Kevan: This would seem to be a universal certainty, like Idaho not going to back-to-back bowls. What football team gives up eight or fewer sacks in three consecutive years (the Broncos gave up five in 2009)? Space Jam football team? That said, I think there's a 33 percent chance the Broncos pull this one off (I am less optimistic about the Vandals' bowl chances). Kellen Moore moves so smoothly through the pocket, and the O-line is three-fifths as good as it has ever been with Nate Potter, Joe Kellogg, and Thomas Byrd. Lightning has struck three times before (ask Lee Trevino).

Nick: Kellen Moore knows his way around a pocket and makes up for his lack of scrambling skills with his ability to elude and throw on the run. That being said, Boise State is replacing two starters on the line and last year's senior-laden line did give up eight sacks, so I'm going to put this at an even 50 percent.

The Broncos fumble zero snaps from center this season

Kevan: Thomas Byrd is one of the best centers in the West, and I believe that his snap-fumble problems are long behind him. If we're talking severe case of the rumpsnaps where everything Byrd touches hits the ground, I just don't see that happening again. If we're talking the occasional fumble here or snafu there, then I'd give it a 30 percent chance. Go big or go home, Thomas Byrd.

Nick: I had totally blocked out the center/qb exchange issues we had a few years ago. Then, lo and behold, you have to go and pose this question. I would really prefer it saying something like "2 or fewer snaps" as the occasional hiccup does occur. So I will put this at a modest 25 percent chance because no matter how good Thomas Byrd and Kellen Moore are, they are not infallible.

Completely arbitrary rankings

Rank the following offensive linemen based on whatever criteria you deem important: Nate Potter, Ryan Clady, Daryn Colledge, Tad Miller, the two Cavender twins combined.

  1. Clady
  2. Potter
  3. Colledge
  4. Miller
  5. Both Cavender twins

Kevan: I am basing my list on pro potential. The Cavender twins would have been higher, but I could not decide if they would be like a two-headed siamese twin thing or if one's strength and mind would be melded into the other's.

Note: I did consider basing my list on people who have emailed OBNUG looking for a job, in which case Tad Miller would have been tops.  

  1. Both Cavender twins
  2. Clady
  3. Colledge
  4. Potter 
  5. Miller

Nick: I have based my list on weight. Isn't it nice to have adequately sized linemen now? No disrespect to the linemen that paved the way for the current crop of Boise State linemen, but it's nice to know that we routinely line up guys that are 300+ pounds as opposed to high 200s. 

Bold predictions - Fear their boldness!

Our powers combine to come up with the following bold predictions. Feel free to come back here after the season to see how we did. 

  • Boise State places three linemen on the all-Mountain West teams at the end of the year
  • Charles Leno deserves to be the fourth, but gets snubbed
  • Kellen Moore makes some tasty sandwiches
  • The Broncos rush for a higher yards-per-carry average than they have in three years
  • Brenel Myers is in the starting lineup by year end
  • Players who start at least one game this fall: Potter, Byrd, Kellogg, Leno, Hayes, Broyles, Myers, Cory Yriarte, Michael Ames, and Matt Paradis
  • Nate Potter catches a TD/2-pt conversion in a tackle eligible play during Senior Day
  • Nate Potter gets flagged for excessive celebration

Your turn

Who do you think will start at right guard in the season opener? How many line combinations do you predict? Pizza combos or Bugles? Share your thoughts in the comments.