The countdown is coming. That may be the best evidence (besides me wearing jorts) that summer is right around the corner. And while most of the incoming freshman will be in Boise in a few short weeks participating in the bridge program, it's who shows up in Fall Camp that will have the biggest impact. Graduation and NFL dreams left the Broncos cupboard less well-stocked at some key positions, so which newbies need to hurry up and get here? Let's discuss.
Jabril Frazier, DE
The departure of Demarcus Lawrence left a sizable hole at defensive end…a hole that needs patching in a hurry. Boise State has bodies to throw at the problem, but need to find a guy that fits the athletic D-end mold that we've missed with the departure of Sam Ukwuachu and now D-Law. Lucky for us, the Broncos scored just such a defensive end late in their 2014 recruiting cycle when they landed 6'4" 225 lb. Jabril Frazier out of Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles. Frazier, who picked the Bronco over offers from Arizona, Utah, SDSU and a rumored gray shirt offer from USC, has all the tools to be great—and is still considered "raw" by some, despite registering 99 tackles and 19 sacks as a senior. Frazier has been dutifully packing on "good weight" since his signing to prep for his arrival, and could be up to 240 lbs by the time camp opens. Something tells me he'll have plenty of opportunities to see the field in 2014.
Antoine Turner, DT
Another key departure for the Broncos was that of standout defensive tackle Ricky "Dutch Treat" Tjong-A-Tjoe. TAT's presence in the middle had been a nice, thick security blanket masking the fact that our depth there had been in rough shape dating back to the Chase Baker/Billy Winn era. Armand Nance has come along nicely, and should plug things up in the middle quite well, but he'll need help and a heaping helping of help should arrive in shortly named Antoine Turner. The Fullerton College transfer is listed as 6'3" 265 lbs. but most importantly has a motor that just doesn't quit. He had six sacks and 13.5 TFL last season and should provide opposing QBs a bit more heat than they'd like. Turner's tape says it all—he'll be playing early and often.
Rondell McNair, DE/DT
You might start to notice a pattern here with my third early-PT pick and also get a hint at my biggest area of concern—it's the D-line obvs. McNair is another JC transfer (this one from Contra Costa College) that put up similar numbers to his community college counterpart Antoine Turner. The 6'4" 255 lb. "tweener" also racked up six tackles last season at CCC and tacked on 8 TFL. He's a bit longer and leaner than Turner, so may be shifted around from interior to exterior ala Tyrone Crawford…but that's the best problem you can have on a unit that is experiencing a playmaker vacuum of late.
Sean Modster, WR
The Broncos should be in pretty good shape this Fall with their WRs, but there is always room for a playmaker…and Modster easily fits that bill. Matt Miller and Shane WIlliams-Rhodes are pretty set in stone at two of the receiver spots and Thomas Sperbeck impressed in Spring Camp at the other…but plenty of guys are going to get in the mix and Modster, fresh off a 783 yard season (with 13 TDs) has a knack for getting open—a valuable skill to add to somewhat untested WR two-deep.
Chase Blakley, TE
While the Princing of the offense is largely what marginalized the TEs the last two seasons, injury and graduation did us no favors. Immediate help is coming however, and in a BIG way. One-time UW commit and four-star Coeur d'Alene tight end Chase Blakley is Boise bound and already has the size and athleticism to cause some serious problems for Mountain West secondaries. Jake Roh looked good in Spring, but he'll need help beyond walk-on Jake Hardee and the oft-injured Holden Huff. Expect Blakley to step in right away.
Which Bronco commit do you wish could get here sooner? How many true freshman or newcomers do you see playing immediately?