There's a reason we call Eliah Drinkwitz "The Closer". Three years in a row, he's visited an other school's commit and persuaded them to join the Blue side...the latest being JuCo DT Daniel Auelua (6'2" 285 lbs)—currently at Mesa Community College. Drinkwitz visited Daniel (full name "Danielson"...seriously!) in AZ last week and shortly thereafter, he decided to step back from his Utah State verbal to explore his options, but by the time Scott Huff and Coach Harsin had made their way to the Grand Canyon State—and took him to Cafe Rio—he was ready to become a Bronco. Auelua is the 2nd known DT commit of the class (with a rumored 3rd "silent commit") and will provide immediate depth next season at a position that's losing a heaping helping of guys. The Broncos are still after several high-profile tackles to try to make a position of need a position of future strength. Fun fact: if you take me to Cafe Rio, I will also commit to whatever scheme you're cooking up (I draw the line at larceny, petty or otherwise).
With Kelsey Young and Jack Fields graduating after this season, that leaves us with Devin Demas, Ryan Wolpin, and Cory Young behind McNichols at my count. Any of these players are great backups, but that still leaves us with a few empty stalls in the stable. Same with our secondary, who will be losing Darian Thompson, Mercy Maston, and Donte Deayon (whose absence is definitely felt). The next players with the most experience are Jonathan Moxey and Raymond Ford, both juniors. After that, one sophomore and all freshmen.
So if Coach Yates hopes to continue running his 5-2-4 package, he’s going to either have to bring some more talent in, or bring these young guys up to speed. (The last thing we all want to see is another game where Air Force burns us through the air. I like them better when they’re Ground Force. Slightly.)
In other news, Byron Hout and Matt Miller will both join Jeff Choate as coaches at Montana State! Congrats to all of them!
Most of this stuff you might know already, but what we don’t know, is who has the best name and roster picture from NIU. You’re just going to have to wait for Drew’s preview.
Here is their strategy for winning this game in Taco Ballerina:
One: We can never leave rebounding behind because we are not the tallest team. Two: defensive transition — the stuff that isn’t sexy. Three: continuing to learn how to play off of each other, so that we find other ways to score.
So here’s my advice to Coach Rice, free of charge:
One: Be taller than them. Two: Fast break a lot. Three: Don’t let them play off each other or score.
(And I don’t even get paid for this!)