I've been doing recruiting articles for about half a year now, but I wanted to do something I hadn't done before. We know Boise State is the cream of the crop when it comes to the G5 conferences—that is—the non-Power 5 conferences, and they've been perennial over-achievers for over a decade. While the most recent season was maybe ho-hum by our standards, the Broncos are still right near the top of the heap.
This goes for both on the field ventures as well as the recruiting game. But how does Boise State compare to the rest of the Mountain West? Or rather, how does the rest of the Mountain West compare to Boise State? Let's take a look at the top 3 recruits for each school in the Mountain West. I'm going to use Scout and Rivals as my benchmarks simply because they are the most well known. Let's start with our beloved Broncos.
We didn't have any actual 4* recruits this year, but we all know that the star rating system is flawed. Just ask Doug Martin and Shea McClellin. It doesn't guarantee the player to be a home run or bust, but it provides a base evaluation of physical ability. How that translates to the next level(s) of competition is honestly up to the player AND the school that invests their time and energy into them. Boise State has built its house on blue collar kids that may not get a lot of looks, but produce on the field. Who might be the top producers for the Broncos in the '16 class? Let's speculate.
Alexander Mattison, RB, 6'0" 200lbs
I'll use Rivals as the main stat benchmark. They have Mattison listed at 6' and 200 lbs while Scout has him listed at 5'10.5 and 200 lbs. Not a huge difference between the two really. Rivals grades him at 5.7, which is on the cusp of being a 4*. Scout doesn't really have a comparable grading system, but they have him listed as the #48 RB in the nation. He had offers from BSU, Colorado State, Colorado, Arizona State, San Jose State, Washington, Washington State, San Diego State and Wyoming. That's a healthy list of offers, and he was on the table for a long time. He didn't commit to the Broncos until January 24th of this year, so if I'm not mistaken, he was holding out. He had back-to-back 2,000 yard rushing seasons his junior and senior years, averaging 12.5 and 13.6 yards per carry respectively. That's ridiculous. He had 48 rushing TDs between those two years as well. If that doesn't impress you, I won chubby bunny contest in 8th grade with 18 marshmallows. But back to Mattison—an enormous steal for this class. Here are his highlights if you happened to forget or live in a hole
Kole Bailey OL 6'4.5" 285lbs
Kole didn't get a lot of offers nationally, only garnering offers from Nevada and San Diego State. I don't say only as a diss on Bailey, but as a head shake to the rest of D1 college football. Kole was born to play offensive line, and being a home grown kid, he will be the next phenom on the O-line for the Broncos. He's listed by Scout as the #92 player at his position, while Rivals has him as the #65 player. Rivals also grades him at a 5.6. I recall him being labeled the #1 player in the state as well. He was a man among boys for the Bruins and me thinks he will be much the same on the Blue. Here are his highlights.
Jabari Watson, DL, 6'3" 255lbs
Scout lists him slightly smaller at 6'1.5", but the same weight. Again, minor differences that make little difference in the grand scheme of things. His HUDL film lists his 40 time at 4.7 second. There are running backs with the same 40 time that are 55 lbs lighter. His Scout time, however, is 5.2. That is quite the variance, but we can surmise he is at minimum somewhere in there. He was listed as the #47 DT in the '16 class and Rivals lists him at 5.6 as well. He was a former Arizona commit and also had offers from San Diego State, Fresno State, Utah State, New Mexico and Nevada. Nabbing a player from a P12 school is always a good thing. His highlights are below.
Now, I've been following the recruiting game for quite a while now, but I won't claim to be an expert in it. There are MANY players that could have ended up on this top 3 list. I simply tried to play the game of averages between the two sites. For example, Scout had Cedrick Wilson listed as a 3* and the #77 JC player in the nation. That's huge. But, Rivals didn't mention his JC ranking and had him as a 2*. Because of the variance there, I left him off. Again, there were plenty of other players that could have landed on this list for the Broncos and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In the next article, we'll check with the Mountain West Champion (gag) San Diego State Aztecs on who their top 3 signees were. I was originally going to do all schools in this article, but it would be ENORMOUS, so I will split it up between schools. Until next time, GO BRONCOS!