A wise man once said "It's always darkest before the dawn". I think it was the Moneytree caterpillar or something—the important part is that even after months of the soul-crushing despair that comes from NO FOOTBALL, there is a glorious dawn. Months and months of YES FOOTBALL from here until January. It goes fast, so don't blink...but Fall Camp has begun and you made it. We made it. What do you need to know about Boise State Fall Camp? Many things, and just going to be frank with you—there are many things you simply won't know, but the things that you can know we'll make sure you do know, you know? Here's an overview.
Five big questions that you'd probably like answered in Fall Camp
Who will emerge as the Broncos' starting quarterback?
There are a LOT of important position battles that begin TODAY, but quarterback is probably the most important. The Broncos return a boatload of guys on offense, but need someone to steer that ship and need production from the position immediately. That's where Ryan Finley, Thomas Stuart, Alex Ogle, and Brett Rypien come in (apologies to Anthony Upshaw). Sophomore Finley is the odds-on favorite to win the job, especially after it was announced he probably wouldn't face further discipline for his ill-advised brush with the local constabulary. If Finley is indeed named the starter, keep a close eye on the backup spot because any one of the current guys could grab that clipboard—and if it's the true frosh Rypien, things could get interesting...er.
What're we going to do with all those running backs?
You might have noticed that another fairly significant vacancy emerged on the Bronco offense in the offseason—a Jay Ajayi-sized vacancy. As much joy and restful sleep I would gain by having Ajayi back for his senior year, it's just not meant to be, and the J-Train's off in sunny Miami. The Broncos have numbers to throw at the spot, but Ajayi was such a force last season that we barely got to see any of the starting RB suitors. Any of the six RBs listed on the roster can play, but none share Ajayi's unique skill set. Will the Broncos go with the committee approach of the past, or try to isolate one guy to shoulder the lion's share of the workload? I guess we'll find out in fairly short order, but I think it's a safe bet that we'll see a more diverse running back rotation than in 2014.
Who will be the Yin to Donte Deayon's Yang?
Last season, Donte Deayon was pretty much the lone stalwart at CB. Cleshawn Page played great in spurts before sitting for a spell with a knee injury. Jonathan Moxey—yesterday's countdown honoree—had an up and down campaign that thankfully finished more up than down. The Spring brought JC-transfer Raymond Ford, who played a lot in the scrimmage and of course, true freshmen (and highly-touted ones, at that) Donzale Roddie, Tyler Horton, and Ladarryl Blair are now at the Julius Brown's disposal. Quarterbacks might not be too keen on testing All-MWC pick—and pick machine—Deayon, so the 2nd corner spot will be important and will need to play well and consistently so. I'd say it's a near lock that one of the true freshman will get in the mix for dime packages and such, so that'll be a spot to keep a weather eye on. And I apologize for bringing the term "Donte Deayon's Yang" into the lexicon.
The D-line: "Stupid good" or merely "really, really good"?
I don't want to put Steve Caldwell under too much pressure or make Marcel Yates lose any more sleep, but this year's D-line—on paper anyway—looks to be very, very good. Boise State loses just one key contributor (Beau Martin) and gain the services of several potential playmakers (Tyler Horn, Justin Taimatuia, and Deuce Mataele). The depth is virtually unheard of and they should be rather formidable. Even if running backs get to the "second level", they've got to contend with an amazing LB corps and a stout secondary. No pressure or anything, but it should be difficult for teams to score this year. *Should be.
Will OBNUG be covering Fall Camp?
I'm pleased to announce that for the second straight year, OBNUG will be welcomed at Fall Camp—I guess they didn't mind our awkward applause whenever Coach Harsin walked into the room. Last year we were learning on the fly how things work in Broncoville (the buffet in the recruiting lounge is NOT for us) and we hope this year we'll be better prepared to tackle the rigors of camp and the season. I've added Casey Joplin and Damien Alambra to our writing roster since last season, and in turn, they've been initiated into the "circle of trust" around the football facility. We all have full-time jobs, full-time wives and full-time kids, so our access—though the same as other media—is limited to our availability, but we'll try not to let a weekend or evening practice go uncovered. We'll also be experimenting with some live-streams of interviews on Meerkat or Periscope or Meeriscope; whatever the hot new app is by tomorrow evening.
One thing to keep in mind is that while access is somewhat looser than under Chris Petersen, there are simply things we can't report—even though as fans, we'd very much like to. If we start blabbing about playcalls, cadences, depth charts, or a new formation called "Nance-y Boy" wherein Armand Nance is the primary punt returner (for example)...we'd probably get ran out of University Drive on a rail and the party would be over. So, just trust that we'll try to provide whatever coverage we can and we love each and every one of you like our own kids (okay, maybe I embellished that last part a tad).
*may not apply to triple-option teams. No purchase necessary.