Say what you will about the new Bronco coaching staff...but they know how to do things big. Without having won a single game (or even coached one) and running a fairly vanilla Spring game, the new Bronco regime is pumping a new shot of adrenaline into a somehow flagging program. For all of Chris Petersen's strengths—and they were considerable—he just wasn't all that interested in coughing up intriguing sound-bites or shaking things up (except, inexplicably, the offense). To a large degree, it worked...so we just quietly counted the "without questions" in Pete's weekly pressers, accepted the fact that social media was less-than-social and moved on. But since Pete's departure to the literally greener pastures in Seattle, Coach Bryan Harsin has done a hell of a thing: he has fans and recruits geeked out of their minds by selling a product of which no one know the contents. Consider that Chris Petersen signed TWO verifiable four-star recruits in his eight years at the helm—a number Harsin's staff has doubled in about 3 months. Sure stars aren't everything, just ask Doug Martin and Ryan Clady, but it was why Petersen never landed the so-called big fish that left many scratching their heads. Telling a Seattle radio station he felt "handcuffed" in recruiting at Boise State—the same Boise State that he said was a "hidden gem" and one of the best gigs in the country. So, maybe the big difference is the new staff—many of them Boise State alums—actually believe it...and preach it whenever they get the opportunity.
Recall a story I heard during recruiting season, when Harsin and staff had roughly a month to build an entire class...a class that had looked close to finished in early December before Petersen took the UW job. The Broncos were going hard after Miami QB commit Brad Kaaya. the blue chip Chaminade QB—and some time after his visit to Boise rolled up to his school in an SUV containing virtually the entire Boise State staff. That was more than a courtesy call, that was a all-out attack. Now you see why the #ATF or "Attack the Future" mantra has caught on so well with fans...we know they mean it, and they're out every day demonstrating it. Whether it's Eliah Drinkwitz showing up at Chase Blakley's house at 12:01 in the morning as the dead period lifted, or Mike Sanford flying to Florida to work out Alex Ogle (then offering him a full ride at Steak n' Shake). These guys believe they can get any recruit in the country and now we're starting to believe them too. And why not? This is the winningest program in the last decade..a perennial top 15 (save last year), and a constant conference title threat.
Now the Broncos are heading out on an epic four day tour-de-Gem-State. Pledging to hit all 130 football-playing high schools in Idaho to make sure in-state talent stays in-state...and schools like Capital, Centennial and Bishop Kelly don't get all the blue turf glory. And it's a smart tactic too. Shea McClellin comes from tiny Marsing, Korey Hall from Glens Ferry, Matt Paradis from Council...and by 2015 the Broncos will have THREE players from the bustling berg of Fruitland, Idaho. These are places out-of-state institutions often fear to tread, but the Broncos should never be—and luckily, haven't been. But I'll admit, North Idaho has been given less consideration than it deserves, and the Broncos shouldn't cede one Couer d'Alene/Post Falls kids to Idaho or Wazzu any more than they should consign eastern Idaho talent to ISU, BYU or Utah State. The new staff has no "traditional territories" and that's exactly how things should be. If we can manage a trip to Orlando...taking a peek at Firth or Notus is a no-brainer. There aren't necessarily talent-rich institutions peppering the state, but if an un-recruited lineman from Council now has Boise State on his radar, and wants to walk-on...well, that unrecruited lineman from Council could end up being 2-time All-MWC selection (Matt Paradis).
On a broader scale, it says the new Bronco regime is excited about the future and they're determined to make sure everyone else is too. There will be more high-profile recruits in short order...and now, because of the "blitz" a few more that we've never heard of that will come to Boise to turn their shoulder chips into blue chips.