As I'm sure you're aware—Boise State will wrap up spring ball this weekend with a public scrimmage at 5 PM. It will be the last opportunity to watch live football until August, so I expect Bronco Nation to be out in force. Since our 100 day roster countdown won't start till next month, you probably don't have the 2016 roster memorized yet and therefore may need a little help putting names to numbers this weekend. Let's be honest here though...you simply don't have the time between watching the scrimmage and impulsively checking your phone to assess the performance of every player on the roster. Lucky for you, I was at last Saturday's scrimmage...so feel uniquely qualified to whittle down your Bronco viewing window. If you want to glimpse the real spring movers and shakers...try your best to focus on the following jersey numbers.
#9, Bryan Jefferson, WR
You know exactly what Chaz Anderson and Thomas Sperbeck can do, but the WR corps will need some other stepper-uppers this fall and the Sunshine State product has as good a chance as any. Most importantly, Coach Harsin thinks Jefferson is a guy to watch and who are you to disagree?
"Bryan Jefferson is a guy not many people have seen, he just quietly continues to make plays, he just goes out and does his job. I think we’re seeing a guy kind of emerging as a guy that’s going to have a role, a guy we can trust that we can put out there and he’s going to know what to do."
#14, Tyler Horton, CB
You got a Horton-eyefull last fall but his role is sure to grow in 2016 and we was "running with the ones" a good amount last weekend. Horton could be the next great corner at Boise State if he plays his cards right, so keep an eye on #14 this Saturday to see the strides he's taken since his true freshman campaign.
#18, Jabril Frazier, STUD
Frazier is the popular pick for breakout performer this upcoming season and Saturday might be your last opportunity to see why. Frazier has been disruptive on the edge and has grown in the game physically and mentally. I remember seeing Kamalei Correa living in the backfield during the 2014 offseason and got a similar vibe from Frazier on Saturday. He's hard to block, has a high motor, and has the long arms to interrupt the passing game, but like LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it.
#28, AJ Richardson, WR
We've been hearing about Richardson's upside for some time, but 2016 could be the year his potential is finally realized. The former Cal commit is looks every bit of his listed 205 lb. weight and could be tough to stop after the catch. He had 10 grabs last season for 113 yards, but keep an eye on #28 this Saturday for a tiny glimpse into what the future could bring.
#29, Dylan Sumner-Gardner, S
You should know plenty about DSG by now, but since he's coming off injury AND the most experienced safety in the lot, maybe get eyes on him this weekend to see how he's progressing. DSG is a fan of the Florida State style midriff jersey, so he probably won't be hard to spot.
#30, Ryan Wolpin, RB
Wolpin set the high-water mark for running backs in last Saturday's scrimmage and he runs with the kind of ferocity we've grown to expect from walk-ons. He's not going to usurp Jeremy McNichols, but he's a pretty good bellwether for the overall strength of the running back corps...strength that should only increase when two new prized recruits land in Boise this July.
#33, Gabe Perez, STUD
Perez is another guy that's a fairly known quantity, but one that we missed out on seeing some of his development as he sat out last season with an injury. Perez has traded his signature neckroll for a headrest, but coaches are extremely pleased with his contributions this Spring and you might be as well—so focus for a bit on #33 if you can.
Gabe Perez version 2.0. The neckroll is now a headboard. pic.twitter.com/6Uq3TL8ZQb— Drew Roberts (@mybrainissmart) April 3, 2016
#38, Leighton Vander Esch
"Baby Giraffe" is now a scholarship player, so no further need to give him pity attention. LVE got a good amount of playing time last Saturday (particularly because Ben Weaver wasn't suited up) and even deftly took a fake punt for a big gain. Vander Esch and Martarano could be the tandem you'll see on Saturday and it's a different look from the BSU 'backer spot, but one I think you'll enjoy.
#44, Darren Lee, LB
Lee recorded a safety and a scoop-and-score at last Saturday's scrimmage and is also donning the Gabe Perez-inspired linebacker headrest. Definitely key in on quatro-quatro...he has something to proof this year beyond just decapitating players on kick coverage.
#48, David Moa, DT
Boise State lost a heaping helping of lineman to graduation/attrition but Moa is here to help. He was roundly praised by Andy Avalos following the scrimmage and I think we'll be seeing a lot of him this fall. Of course, you can see him this Saturday...so look for #48 before you get too shook up about the D-line losses.
#59, Mason Hampton, OL
Hampton was a workhorse in the weight room this offseason and now no longer has to contend with the spectre of paying for his schooling (he was put on scholarship last season). Hampton can play guard and center and brings the attitude of a walk-on to the O-line. That worked out pretty well for Super Bowl Champ Matt Paradis if you hadn't noticed.
#68, Dan Urquhart, OL
I don't know if walk-on Urquhart will find himself in regular rotation this season, but he is a sight to behold just the same. At 6'7" and 325 lbs. he's pretty hard to miss and last Saturday, it appeared they'd run clean out of jerseys that would fit his massive frame.
#72, Will Adams, OL
Adams is almost as big as Urquhart and carries a somewhat larger pedigree. Adams is a grad transfer from Auburn with one year to play for the Broncos and he's going to make the most of it. Scott Huff joked after last Saturday's scrimmage that he's been chiding Adams at practice by shouting "this isn't the SEC, this is Boise State". The big man could be pivotal to getting the O-line back in a groove this fall.
#77, John Molchon, OL
Coach Huff is sky-high on last year's redshirts (Molchon, Quevedo, Larson) and Molchon got some time with the ones on Saturday. He's big, he's athletic, he looks like Bronco forward Nick Duncan...what more do you want?
#80, Cedrick Wilson, WR
This will be the public's first chance to see the lanky JuCo transfer in action and I think he'll endear himself well. He's mostly a head taller than the glut of the WR corps and he's already packing weight on his lanky frame. He could be a dangerous weapon for Mr. Rypien this fall and might inflict a little damage this weekend if you're lucky (unless you're a fan of defense).
#93, Jake Knight, TE
Knight took a rather circuitous route to the Broncos. A local product that signed with Oregon State as a TE then spurned the Beavs for Auburn track and field (a thrower, natch) and then found his way back to his local team. Roh and Blakley weren't suited up last Saturday, which left Knight looking like the behemoth in the crew. He's supposedly smaller than Dhaenens, but I'm not buying it. Knight is a big, strong kid that could really bolster the blocking and receiving portfolio of the Boise State TEs in 2016—he had a long TD in the last scrimmage that was all effort.
Jake Knight on his way to the end zone, with Brock Barr looking to block someone. pic.twitter.com/MLIzyt8xkO— Drew Roberts (@mybrainissmart) April 3, 2016