Spring Camp officially began yesterday we were told. I could have given independent verification, but alas this whole "job" thing. Boise State only has a few open practice dates this Spring and if one happens to fall on a day off, rest assured, I will be there with camera in hand and churro in other hand. Now that day one is in the books, let's take a look at what we know so far.
Bryan Harsin knows how to Twitter
The previous, twitter-skeered Bronco regime might have shunned millennial social media norms...but Harsin ain't afraid of no tweets. In fact, he responded to an escalating meme war between Dylan Sumner-Gardner, Jeremy McNichols and Jabril Frazier with this relevant pop culture reference:
Harsin will be talking in a muffled, high-pitched British accent in my head from now on.
Brett Rypien WILL be the game one starter...
...is the conclusion many can't wait to jump to, and the folks at Rivals gassed up the bandwagon by showing us video of Rypien completing a solitary pass.
Video of BSU Freshman Brett Rypien throwing at practice today. pic.twitter.com/0VkVVGjywu— Rivals/Blue-Turf.com (@Bleed_BlueTurf) March 9, 2015
That pass had to have propelled him into the driver's seat of the QB race, right? RIGHT? Some pundits detected a slight wobble in Rypien's spiral and called it a "fatal flaw", but I just fail to see a weakness in Rypien's game based on this one isolated play ran against no defenders. I think this will be clear to all OBNUG readers after our 8-part series "Rypien's pass: Good, great, or flawless?"
Vallejo ready to Valle-go
Tanner Vallejo had sort of a good season last year. He was named defensive MVP of the Mountain West title game AND Fiesta Bowl and racked up 100 tackles and sundry other defensive statistics playing every manner of linebacker role imaginable. This year, the Broncos hope to have the luxury of moving Vallejo back to his "natural" spot in the middle of the field. If Vallejo can wreck that much stuff out of his natural spot, I dare say I'm a wee bit scared for what he might do when he slides back in there. Vallejo, for the record, is totally fine with playing musical 'backers:
"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I feel like I'm going to make plays wherever I'm at just based on how I work at practice."
We feel like that too, Tanner. Keep working on your finishing moves.
4-2-5 is 4-2-itous
The key to some of Boise State's best defensive units of the golden era was running the 4-2-5 scheme effectively and running it effectively is dependent on solid nickel play. The Broncos simply did not have the bodies to have five solid DBs on the field last season (which, in part, is why Vallejo was "out of position"). This year, the Broncos hope to change that and have two solid candidates at nickel—senior Mercy Maston and sophomore signee Kam Miles. Both should lend a physical presence to the nickel spot that's been missing, but more importantly, allow Marcel Yates to run the type of defense he'd like to (hopefully one that can stop the triple option).
"That hurt us last year, not being able to have that extra DB on the field, which limited what I could call," Yates said.
Walking wounded better than walking dead
Spring ball always features some non-participants or partial participants (better partial pants are strictly forbidden). The list is as follows:
- S Chanceller James (but he's further along than coaches expected...good news)
- LB Joe Provenzano
- TE Holden Huff
- TE Alec Dhaenens
- OL Mario Yakoo
- DT Robert Ash
- DE Gabe Perez
- DT Armand Nance
- OL Rees Odhiambo
- Weapon Jeremy McNichols
- DT Deuce Mataele (because, of course)
- DE Sam McCaskill
- OL Sitini Kauvaka
- WR D.J. Dean
- DB Zavior Hoxie
- WR Dusty Fisher
- OC Mike Sanford
Let's hear it for the boys
Yes, football spores were released into the atmosphere yesterday unleashing a wave of euphoria in the Treasure Valley, but let's take a moment to recognize the RANKED Boise State men's basketball team...who not only won a share of the MWC regular season title on Saturday, but swept the "of-the-year" portion of the MWC awards today. Derrick Marks is your Player of the Year, Leon Rice is your Coach of the Year, and James Webb III is your Newcomer of the Year. Well done, cagers