We public people won't get our first look at the 2011 Boise State football team for another two weeks, so while Fall Camp continues in its secret shroud, my many questions remain unanswered. Here are five of them now. Feel free to add some of yours in the comments.
Question No. 1: Who will play nickel and will we love him as much as we loved Winston Venable?
When it comes to the most giant hole on the Boise State defense, people like to point and say, "There's a giant black void of blown assignments at strong safety." Well, that may be true, but the position is at least equally as wide open as nickel. Hunter White, Dextrell Simmons, and Jonathan Brown are in a three-way battle for the starting role (White is in the pole position). Let reader MKingery bring you up to speed on where we're at with things:
I think the play of our Nickel is pivotal. We were spoiled in how seemless Venable came in and morphed into the position and a defensive leader. That probably put too high of expectations on Dextrell Simmons to do the same as a JC transfer this year.
I would love for the Dex to be our starting nickel, but mostly I just want someone who can do the job capably if not at the same level as Venable from a year ago. There are enough other defensive studs on this team to compensate.
Question No. 2: What has Brent Pease been up to this summer?
The new offensive coordinator at Boise State has a lot of shiny toys to work with on the Bronco offense, but he also has some obstacles. No returning starters on the right side of the O-line. Two new go-to receivers. Mitch Burroughs (I kid!). The Pease angle is flying under the radar, probably because people think that the offense won't change much with Pease in charge. Drew and I even had a friendly debate about just that topic, so it will be nice to get some closure. Our blood feud has gone on long enough.
Question No. 3: Is Jake Van Ginkel the next Tyler Jones?
I don't think I've been this excited about watching special teams at a scrimmage since Michael Atkinson was returning kicks.
Question No. 4: What offensive line shenanigans will we see?
So far through Fall Camp, no tackles have been moved to guard or guards to center or centers to tackle. I think coaches are lulling us to sleep though. Be ready for anything, Bronco fans.
The biggest changes could happen as a result of the new right side of the O-line where Charles Leno and Chuck Hayes are currently playing. Or those two could turn out to be really good and Boise State goes into the season with a stellar starting lineup - then BLAMMO! Thomas Byrd is a tight end and Brad Elkin is snapping.
Question No. 5: Pass defense or run defense?
I fully expect the defense to be ahead of the offense at the fall scrimmage. But will the pass defense be ahead of the run defense? Or vice versa? There are a lot of moving parts on the Bronco D, so it will be interesting to find out whether teams will have a better chance running against the Broncos, passing against the Broncos, or bowing down to worship the Broncos.
What questions are plaguing you at Boise State's Fall Camp? Any unresolved issues? Any burning questions? Share your thoughts in the comments.