We've got 100 days until Boise State runs into Lafayette, Louisiana like the Vermillion River (geography jokes this early?). Today's honoree has yet to hit campus and thus has no jersey number—I can assure you, when he does receive one, it will not be #100...but you're getting a bonus day this year and Chase Hatada is the beneficiary.
#100, Chase Hatada, True Freshman, DT
Weight: 255 lbs
High School: Rocklin High School, Rocklin, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Hatada was the first Boise State recruit in the 2016 recruiting cycle to "stick". 3 other players preceded him in doling out a verbal pledge, but all 3 went wobbly and de-committed at various points before NSD. Hatada was the first of the class to stay true blue, so he's the first on our countdown as a reward. Hatada was a big-time player at Rocklin High...the alma mater of another "Chase" from Bronco lore—Chase Baker. Hatada's impact for the Thunder was equal to Baker's and he fielded a host of offers before, and during, his senior campaign but the Broncos captured his heart...in part due to being a Bronco legacy—his father, Ian, was a track star at Boise State in the mid-90s (feel old yet?).
As a senior, Hatada racked up 40 tackles and six sacks, despite having to sit out a few games due to a minor injury. For his efforts, he was named the defensive player of the year in California's Sierra League and also first team All-Metro, All-San Joaquin and All-Northern California. As a junior, Hatada had 45 tackles and 8 sacks and made the All-State squad. Before, and after, committing to the Broncos—Hatada landed offers from Air Force, Army, Fresno State, Nevada, UNM, Sacramento State, SDSU, SJSU, Washington State, and Wyoming. Behold the Hatada motor below:
3 sacks per game sounds good to me. No hats on the field, please.
Character actor Alan Tudyk
Ranked 67th best strong-side DE in country following senior campaign. Defensive POTY in Sierra League as a senior. Named All-Metro, All-San Joaquin, and All-NorCal as a senior. Made all-state team as a junior.
Boise State lost a LOAD of D-lineman after the season. You know this, I know this, and opposing O-line coaches know this and just tossed handfuls of confetti in the air. Not only did Boise State lose a glut of their interior D-line to graduation, but the player that kicked off last year's countdown, Dereck Boles, was summarily dismissed this offseason (for reasons that are just now coming to light). So, as good as Boise State's 2016 D-line recruiting was and despite how good a coach and mentor Steve Caldwell is—we have our work cut out for us. I'll get into straw-grasping on the D-line depth chart later in the countdown...but suffice it to say, Hatada's chance at early playing time is looking good...and frankly, so are the prospects of the other 2016 defensive line signees, JuCo product or not.
Hatada has the frame to pack on some meaningful weight in short order and I'd wager he'd make landfall in July weighing closer to 270 than his listed 255. For a kid with his motor, that should do just fine. Boise State recruited big on the D-line and they recruited versatile on the D-line in 2016. Outside of the experience gap, I'd say any one of the incoming recruits could be impact players and given the current state of the roster, some certainly will be asked to step right in. Fall camp will tell the full story, but I think Hatada is one of the most intriguing prospects of those incoming D-line recruits. He has the versatility to move inside or play outside, doesn't need a ton of help in the weight room and has a desire to contribute immediately. Odds will change throughout the remainder of the offseason, but right now I'd bet he has a better than 50/50 shot of seeing action in 2016 and will really be turned loose in '17 and beyond.
Is he on Twitter?
Completely made up fact
The origin of Hatada's surname is Japanese. In the native tongue, it means "tackler of Koi, devourer of tiny shrimp"