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Where are they now?: The recruits that could have been

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Over the next few months, we will dive back into the annals of BSU recruiting history and reminisce about the kids that could have been Broncos. Maybe we recruited them heavily, but lost out to a bigger school. Maybe they committed, but flipped late in the process. Whatever the reason, these kids did not pick Boise State, but what are they doing now?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s begin with a familiar name: Marcus Rios


Marcus received an offer from Boise State, his #1 school, and became the earliest commit in Boise State history (at the time) on March 1st. Listed at 6’0 170lbs, the class of 2011 CB had a plethora of schools to choose from, but it was Boise who was quick to offer. Everything seemed great, but Rios had an itch; an itch to explore. He had been committed to Boise for a long time, but it had been the only school he ever visited. Being from Elk Grove, CA, he wanted to visit some other schools and really experience the recruiting process. He told Scott Kennedy of Scout.com in a December 2011 interview,

"I was committed a long time, and I was doing a lot of research. I called Coach Petersen up and told him I didn't want to decommit, but that I would be looking around, because I have a lot of respect for him. I wanted to see some other things that I hadn't seen before. He said if I still had any interest in Boise to call him back."

We are all fairly aware of Pete’s practices and feelings regarding commitment, and he obviously didn’t take too kindly to Rios’ inquiry. Most accounts say that Pete pulled his scholarship offer and moved on.

After receiving this news, Marcus hosted a slew of coaches at home as well as visiting Arizona State and Nebraska before finally choosing UCLA in December of 2011.

Marcus graduated early from school to join the team in January and compete for immediate playing time. But according to an article from Chris Foster in the LA Times in September 2013, the headaches started before he even left high school. The headaches, which doctors told him we cause by a sinus problem, didn’t get better. He slept less and less, and the headaches only got worse. He had surgery in November of 2013 to address a sinus infection. And another. And another. Nothing helped. Soon after, his eyesight in his left eye began to fail. A prompt trip to the emergency room turned into nearly a month of waiting, hoping, praying. He was eventually diagnosed with aspergillosis. Generally affecting those with deficient immune systems, aspergillus is a fungal spore that causes the disease Aspergillosis. Many people inhale THOUSANDS of these spores a day, but because of our immune systems, we are never affected. Unfortunately for Marcus, a well-trained and physically fit athlete, he was. He want from 180lbs to 130lbs.

It looked pretty grim for a while for Marcus to the point that some doctors weren’t sure he would walk out of there. According the the same article, 12 other patients were suffering from the same condition as Marcus and 8 had already passed away. But after numerous surgeries and countless prayers, he began to get better.

He was released from the hospital March 26th, but still needed medication daily. He practiced with the team and had his catheter removed in August.

As many of you may know, and many of you may not, Marcus made a game saving play for the Bruins this last fall. On the last play of the game, he intercepted an errant throw from Jared Goff to seal the win and preserve UCLA’s chance at a championship.



Playing sparingly his freshman year, recording 2 solo tackles, and one assist, he returned for his junior season making 12 solo tackles, 2 assists, 1 tackle for loss (a sack), and 2 interceptions returned for 9 yards total. To say that is remarkable is an understatement.

Marcus enters his junior season this fall, as he redshirted his sophomore year. According to ourlads.com, they believe Rios will be a back-up CB to Sr. Fabian Moreau this fall.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this foray into our recruiting past. Did you follow Marcus’ recruitment? Are there other players you followed that you might like to see featured? Let us know your comments and suggestions below. Go Broncos!