76 days until the Broncos visit Louisiana? Alright, sign me up. Today let's take a look at an as-yet-numberless newcomer, but one who could wear #76 in the future if the stars align—Ezra Cleveland
#76, Ezra Cleveland, True Freshman, OT
Weight: 275 lbs
High School: Bethel High School, Spanaway, WA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Coach Scott Huff was on Cleveland early and got him to commit in June of 2015...right as his recruitment was starting to take off. Cleveland had some schools take a late run at him, but thankfully for the Broncos, Huff had him riding lightning. Cleveland was a star at Bethel High on both sides of the line, and in fact was the #1 rated defensive tackle in the state of Washington as a senior after registering 41 tackles and 4 sacks from the defensive side in his final prep season. As a senior, was also named Bethel's defensive player of the year and to the Washington all-state team. Furthermore, Cleveland was named lineman of the year in his conference, first-team all-area as a DT and first-team all-conference as an OT. Cleveland even managed to squeeze his large frame into a singlet and wrestled for Bethel as well as competing for their baseball team. The big man harnessed the following offers aside from his blue and orange ticket: Air Force, EWU, Hawaii, Montana, Montana State, Nevada, Oregon State, Portland State, Utah State, and WSU. Whew.
When you have tractor-like proportions and capabilities, this happens.
The Mountain, Gregor Clegane (after a minor growth-spurt)
Named Bethel's defensive player of the year as a senior in 2015. Voted a member of the Washington all-state team in 2015. Conference lineman of the year in 2015. Named first-team all-area defensive line and first-team all-conference offensive line as a senior at Bethel.
Boise State had a nice little O-line recruiting class, but in my opinion, none are better than Ezra (that's a little 90s humor for ya). As you could plainly see from his highlight tape at the top of the page, the dude moves very well for a big man, and if Coach Harsin is correct (and why wouldn't he be?), Cleveland may come in significantly bigger than his listed weight of 275 lbs.
"Really, really excited about Ezra, he’s 6-6, close to 310 already," (source)
If that weight holds up, he'll hit campus taller than all but 3 current O-lineman (Dan Urquhart, Will Adams, and Andres Preciado) and heavier than all but two (Yakoo, Urquhart). That's certainly a load of Jeff Pitman (and anyone behind Cleveland in line at the buffet), and if Cleveland can maintain that weight and hang on to some of his foot speed, he could be a real gem for the Broncos down the line. We never expect offensive lineman to do anything but redshirt, but in the zany event that we did, I'd say Cleveland would be ready—bodywise at the very least. That said, Cleveland and his other 2016 linemates are near locks to don redshirts, and all the better for us, frankly—we'll lose a decent chunk of our line after this season and will need the youth movement to block us into the future. Don't quote me on this (unless I'm right...then quote liberally), but I think Cleveland has the makings of the next great Bronco offensive tackle, he just needs a bit of time and a bit of tutelage. 2017 could be the start of a lovely career and I'm sure Brett Rypien will enjoy having this so-called "mountain of a man" keeping would-be tacklers at bay for a couple of years.
Is he on Twitter?
Yep. And no cold feet on this one.
Completely made up fact
Cleveland can see Mount Rainier from his backyard in Spanaway. He's always harbored a secret grudge against the dormant volcano, as it was the only thing in town larger than him.