Harsin: McNichols going to NFL— Dave Southorn (@IDS_BroncoBeat) December 26, 2016
With this news, an era is over and a new one begins.
The news of McNichols declaring for the draft came out this morning, but the speculation has been rampant for months. With the season he has put together, I’m not sure it is surprising to anyone that he declared. While it might not be surprising, it brings up the question, “Who’s next?”
Enter Alexander Mattison. Listed by the official Bronco Sports website at 5’11” and 206 lbs, Mattison looked every bit the part of a collegiate back this fall. After carrying the ball 59 times for 307 yards , which is 5.2 yards per attempt, and 4 TDs, I think he put Bronco Nation’s collective mind at easy for the eventual departure of McWeapon.
After this video came out, everyone fell in love with Mattison. Not only does he exemplify the hard-hitting type of player we look for, but he oozes character and humility. He’s also incredibly smart, carrying a 4.7 GPA out of high school. I didn’t even know that was possible.
We have no doubt he will excel off the field and we are all glad he settled our nerves on the field.
To be fair, Ryan Wolpin has shown sparks the last few season. While I don’t think he takes over where McNichols left off, he will provide plenty of support for Mattison. Of course there is also Robert Mahone to mention, whom we haven’t even seen on the field yet. Mahone is listed on Bronco Sports at 5’10” and 209 lbs, very much in line with Mattison. It also wouldn’t have made sense to burn 2 red shirts, and based on what I have heard, Mahone is every bit as good as Mattison.
We could very well be looking at a two-headed monster in the backfield with Mattison and Mahone. There have been comments here and there on social media that we ride our running backs HARD. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can cause issues if the starter leaves early or is hurt and the talent behind him hasn’t developed. I could see Mattison getting the bulk of the carries with Mahone getting his fair share.
THEN comes the question of who we land at RB in the 2017 class! We have numerous offers out there, but no commits. This recent news, coupled with the departure of Young and graduation of Demas, could open the door for playing time as a true freshman to whoever does commit. We could potentially take 2 backs in this class as well.
Speculation and what-ifs aside, Mattison proved he is more than capable of carrying the torch for running backs at Boise State. Now the question is, what will be his nickname? Go Broncos!