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Boise State fall practice report: Febis starts, Johnson returns, Gavins shines

Warning: Actual football news ahead.

Cedric Febis is the starting strong safety of today

Febis was in the starting lineup on Day One of Fall Camp, ahead of fellow SS-wannabes Travis Stanaway and Jeremy Ioane. It would appear that the starting spot is Febis's to lose or Ioane's to take or Stanaway's to steal, like some sort of modern day Jacob and Esau thing. Febis in the starting role is interesting since the senior wound up there on opening day despite not participating in spring ball due to injury. This brings up some important questions:

  • Were Jeremy Ioane and Travis Stanaway really that bad? 
  • Is Cedric Febis just that good?
  • I thought Jeremy Ioane was the second coming of Ronnie Lott. I'm confused.

To hear Bronco defensive backs coach Marcel Yates tell it, the best thing Febis might have going for him is his in-game experience.

Ced has played in some critical games. He's a guy who has the experience to where when you put him in a game, he won't have that glassy-eyed look.

Ah yes. I believe that look is called The Tom Brandstater.

Doug Martin speaks! Oh, and Tyler Shoemaker and Cedric Febis, too was nice enough to take video of the post-practice interviews of some Boise State players. Enjoy. 


RB Malcolm Johnson returns to the team. Where does this leave Jay Ajayi? 

I imagine fans have sort of forgot about Johnson and his 7,000 high school rushing yards and the way he made you feel when you thought of him in the starting lineup. Well, those feelings are back now that Johnson has been reinstated following a year off due to academics.

So let's reassess this running back situation: Doug Martin is the starter, D.J. Harper is the No. 2, and Johnson, Jay Ajayi, Drew Wright, and Raphiel Lambert are vying for the No. 3. Who knows what shape Johnson will return in (he was out of football altogether last year), so for the time being, we'll assume everything is status quo and Ajayi is on track to play as a true freshman. This seems like the responsibly speculative thing to do.

Jerrell Gavins for Fall Camp MVP

The consensus best performance from Fall Camp Day One was new starting corner Jerrell Gavins who made a handful of pass breakups and scored the play of the day with an INT of Kellen Moore at the goalline during 11-on-11 drills.

Jamar Taylor the next Brandyn Thompson or Kyle Wilson or Orlando Scandrick or what have you

According to everyone at Bronco camp, Taylor did not take a day off during the offseason, choosing instead to work out with Jerrell Gavins at city parks and in sand volleyball pits. Did someone say sand volleyball?

"I want to get better with everything - hands, feet, improving my technique," Taylor said. "I dropped four interceptions last season, so that's a big focus. I want to be a big part of the defense, be a leader, too. I'm trying to set a good example that guys like Brandyn and Kyle did for me."

Kind of reminds me of the summer I spent writing dollar movie reviews and submitting stories to ESPN the magazine, except I think Taylor's might work out for him.


  • OL Zach Waller is dealing with some personal matters and is not with the team. He was listed as Nate Potter's backup on the preseason depth chart.
  • WR Anthony Clarke is not with the team, either. He was not listed as anyone's backup.
  • TE Hayden Plinke will be the only player from the 2011 recruiting class to grayshirt.
  • Here's that Boise State walk-on list for 2011 that you've been waiting for: RB Phillip Hogan (Honolulu/Waipahu HS), RB Zach Keiser (Coeur d'Alene HS), FB Jamal Wilson (Fontana, Calif./AB Miller HS), LS Dakota Shackleton (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista HS), DL Beau Martin (Lakewood, Colo./CSU-Pueblo) and WR Cory Brehm (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS).
  • Jeron Johnson decided to check in on how Fall Camp was going.

    Yes they did. RT @showoff23: Defense dominate today?? @IDS_BroncoBeatless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

  • According to Cripe, the most physically impressive newcomers were Jay Ajayi, LB Blake Renaud, DE Sam Ukwuachu, the many DBs in camp, and walk-on FB Jamal Wilson. 
  • A tip of the hat to all the readers who linked to practice reports yesterday. Keep up the good investigative work, friends.

Dustin Lapray made-up quote of the day

Former Magic Valley Times-News scribe Dustin Lapray will not be attending Fall Camp this season, and the world is worse off because of it. Though I cannot do his masterful prose justice, I will try. Here is a sample of what Lapray may have filed from Boise State practice yesterday:

Hark! The popping of pads, the crunching of cleats, the aroma of life! Football returned to the city of Boise with a resounding bellow on Friday, and God in his heavenly papasan chair saw that it was good. 

Your turn

Are you okay with Cedric Febis in the starting lineup? What about this Malcolm Johnson fellow? Share your thoughts in the comments.