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Roundtable Discussion: Signing Day review

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting is a year 'round ordeal super fun time(!) and after months of trying to keep the 2016 recruiting class intact while growing it's numbers to fit our needs...signing day is now in our collective rearview mirrors. OBNUG had some pretty epic access this year and we hope that there was plenty of fun had last Wednesday. Of course, now the race to secure the 2017 class begins and the 2016 class and their limitless potential must be tenderly tucked in until Fall Camp. We never had a chance to really have an old-fashioned discourse about this year's class though, so here it is. Here's looking at you, 2017!

Damien

Who was the biggest "get" of the 2016 recruiting class?

Curtis Weaver. It’s nice when we get these wins against big schools and his offer sheet was pretty impressive. With adding his size to the roster, the boon to the Broncos will be seeing him contribute pretty early and quite often. Harsin had mentioned that his mother was concerned about academics (as she should be) so having Kustra in on the sell to Boise State is pretty awesome as well.

Who was the biggest steal of the 2016 recruiting class?

(QB) Jake Constantine. Just with everything that went down and the fact he didn’t have a huge offer sheet is still boggling to everyone. But like the coaches were saying, it just takes that first one to get the ball rolling, then all of a sudden people jump on it. Especially considering the unique situation that Boise State has at QB, to get a guy of Constantine’s caliber is pretty great. Though he only had an offer from Boise State (we all know how THAT turned out) his interests included Cal, Clemson, Missouri (heh), and Oregon. So not bad company.

What was the biggest surprise of the 2016 recruiting class?

Josh Fatu’s flip to USC. The Boise State staff didn’t even see that coming. Nor did they plan for it. That one caught EVERYONE by surprise. Harsin wasn’t too happy with the move, but that is to be expected when he was not notified beforehand. Some of the other flips the Broncos had, at least came with some sort of heads up. So this loss was more a disappointment in that respect.

Who had the most impressive film of the 2016 signees?

Ezra Cleveland. Mostly because his highlights included a fat guy TD pass. I feel as though that needs to happen more often. Also the way he finishes blocks. The o-line has some holes what with attrition (Bacon, Su’eSu’e), graduation (Odhiambo, Henry...), and just plain get nicked up throughout the season, so having guys with size and thetenacity of Cleveland is a huge plus.

Which signee is the biggest threat to play immediately

There are a lot of guys coming in that could potentially see time. So I’ll say Jabari Watson has the best opportunity to play. With all the turnover on the defensive line, and with Watson a man-beast, he could easily fit the Broncos rotation. According to 247Sports he’s already 6-2 266 lb so it is not inconceivable that he’ll put some more weight on over the summer and fit in quite nicely. My second, and third, choices would be Mattison then Mahone. That size at RB is going to be nice.

Casey

Who was the biggest "get" of the 2016 recruiting class?

I’d say Weaver or Mattison. The fact that Weaver had some of the offers that he did (Wisconsin, Duke, Boston College, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington State to name a few) and picked the Broncos is huge. The fact that Mattison was still available was mind boggling to me. Mattison posted back-to-back 2,000 yard rushing seasons in southern California and was still available this late in the game is crazy. Borderline 4* with great size and sneaky speed. Mattison had offers from Washington, ASU, WSU and Colorado as well.

Who was the biggest steal of the 2016 recruiting class?

You know what, I’m going with Reid Harrison-Ducros. I feel like that kid flew under the radar all season. He is incredibly disciplined and a crucial position on the field. And honestly his size isn’t bad. He will gain some weight before fall, so I could see him playing right away. Honestly surprising to me that he flew as under the radar as he did.

What was the biggest surprise of the 2016 recruiting class?

For me, Jalen Walker. I had not heard his name until the night before LOI. One word I would use to describe him is violent. He’s a very dynamic, physical player that reminds me a bit of Venable in that he puts his body on the line nearly every play. He plays at a very high speed too.

Who had the most impressive film of the 2016 signees?

This is a tough one. Honestly, all of them are pretty impressive. While we didn’t get a "4*" kid, all of the kids we got are very high caliber. Weaver and Happle stood out to me. Weaver reminded me of Billy Winn. Incredible nimble and athletic. Happle immediately reminded me of Darian Thompson. Ball hawk, disciplined and a great open field tackler.

Which signee is the biggest threat to play immediately?

Again, we could see a few play. Chase Hatada, though, seems like a sure thing. Solid player, disruptive, and the size and speed to play immediately.

Drew

Who was the biggest "get" of the 2016 recruiting class?

We got a lot of good guys (I know, no one EVER says that about their signing class), but from an offers standpoint, I think Curtis Weaver might have been the biggest late pickup. He's already got great size, but has the footwork and agility of a much smaller man. His listed 40 time is 4.95 which is really moving for a guy with the "lineman" designation.

Who was the biggest steal of the 2016 recruiting class?

I'm going to say Jordan "I'm tight with Marky Mark" Happle. I hadn't heard boo about this kid until he was on campus and honestly figured he was some sort of preferred walk-on, but after seeing his tape and his accolades, I wondered why more schools weren't on him. From what I've read, it sounds like Happle wondered the same thing. Jordan was the two-time Metro League Defensive Player of the Year and he looks dominant on tape. I know, Oregon isn't necessarily recruiting central...but the state treated us well this year (and food for thought: Bronco all-timer Quintin Mikell came from the Beaver State, so clearly Happle is a future Pro-Bowler).

What was the biggest surprise of the 2016 recruiting class?

There were a few—most good...one bad—but I think I'm going to throw another Oregonian, Kayode Rufai, in as my biggest surprise. Rufai was a kid that had long been on the Broncos radar, but the closer we came to signing day...and the less open schollies we appeared to have, I think most were focused on one or two remaining interior linemen. Then out of the blue, Rufai announced his commitment and darn if that wasn't a pretty nice pick up. I think Oregon State was probably where most thought the 6'4" 240 lb end would end up, but Rufai quietly had other plans. The correct plans.

Who had the most impressive film of the 2016 signees?

Chase Hatada gets that distinction for me. Every guy has a "D1" tape, but Hatada looks darn near unblockable throughout his film. He's got an enviable combo of speed, strength, and tenacity that I think can transform him into an all-conference type player in the near future. Plus, the kid's a Bronco legacy player—his father, Ian, ran track for the Broncos ALLLLL the way back in the 90s.

Which signee is the biggest threat to play immediately?

With all the losses on the D-line, I think one of these fellas is the safest bet...and of course, when you talk about safe bets you usually think of JuCo guys with more experience and a shorter eligibility clock. That said, I think one D-lineman has the measurables at least to be an instant contributor and that D-lineman is Emmanuel Fesili. Fesili has the girth already (he's rumored to be nearly 320) and youthful knees (although he looks 35) to I think be a serious run lane blocker with a quickness. Let's be honest though, Boise State is going to play a lot of newbies in 2016 and a few of them are going to be true frosh. The Broncos didn't have near the need last year as we will this upcoming season and three true frosh played in 2015...so I'd expect that amount to potentially double in '16. It's a bit of a trial by fire, but there are plenty of guys in this recruiting class that have the skills and most importantly, size, to play immediately.