Now that we have finished out 2018 recruiting season, we can do some initial evaluations. It’s too early yet to start talking about the 2019 class as there won’t be a lot going on outside of offers being given out (which we have quite of a few of out there right now).
What I would like to do for the next few weeks/months is do a position-by-positions breakdown of who we are replacing, who is still on the roster, and any new players coming in the class. I’ll try and provide highlight info for each as well. First up is a pretty crucial, if not the most crucial, position on the field: quarterback.
Montell Cozart - 6’1 205lbs - 61-97 (62.9%) for 754 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT, 160.1 QB Rating. 86 rushes for 361 yards (4.2ypc) for 4 TDs. 3 receptions for 45 yards.
Tanner Bolt - 5’11 194lbs - walk-on, left team
Brett Rypien - True Senior - 6’2 208lbs - 197-310 (63.5%) for 2,515 yards, 14 TDs, 4 INT. Mountain West Scholar Athlete Award, All-MW Second Team, MW Championship Offensive MVP
Chase Cord - RS Freshman - 6’2 196lbs - 528-829 (63.7%) for 9,493 yards, 137 TDs, 20 INT (career). 391 rushes for 2,393 yards (6.1ypc) and 38 TDs (career). Arizona HS All-Time leader in touchdown passes.
Jaylon Henderson - 6’1 210lbs - 100-187 (53.5%) for 1,081 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT. 85 carries for 385 yards (4.5ypc), 3 TDs.
Riley Smith - 6’5 215lbs - 223-346 (64.5%), 31 TDs, 14 INTs. 183 rushes for 997 yards (5.4ypc), 10 TDs.
Brandon Bea - 6’3 215lbs - walk-on from Independence CC - 28-46 (60.9%) for 353 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT.
We will miss Montell Cozart immensely this fall. His ability to make things happen with his feet while still being very accurate passing were crucial as a back-up. He made solid decisions more often than not and delivered big plays when needed. Cozart is working to play at the next level. Tanner Bolt generated a bit of a cult following due to his flowing locks and him being from Prosser, WA. I don’t recall where he went off to, unfortunately.
Brett Rypien will be in his final season this year, which happened quickly and seemed to take forever at the same time. He has had a bit of an up-and-down career at Boise State, but honestly I’ve been very happy with him. I’ve never been of the mindset that he should be benched, despite some questionable play here and there. I felt like this last season was a microcosm of his career at Boise State in which he experienced both highs (MW Championship OMVP) and lows (Virginia loss at home). I anticipate a much more complete senior campaign out of Ryp.
Chase Cord is the heir-apparent to Rypien, and based on comments out of spring and fall camps, he is the real deal. Setting the Arizona state high school passing touchdown record is stellar. rushing for 2,400 yards in his career AS A QUARTERBACK should prove useful as the likely back-up this season. Not only does he have the wheels, but he has a big, accurate arm as well.
Jaylon Henderson will fill in the junior spot on our roster since we have had so much attrition at the position. (Right now we have 2 TOTAL quarterbacks listed on the roster, though Henderson and Bea are on campus). Jaylon could see time in run-pass option packages, though Cord will see some time there as well, I have no doubt. Henderson’s JC experience will be helpful to him and provide much needed depth at a position in dire need of it.
Riley will red shirt and hopefully begin to even out our quarterback classes. He’s a very intriguing prospect. At 6’5, he’s the tallest QB on the roster, and already at 215, the heaviest. I anticipate that he will gain at least 10 lbs before the end of the 2018 season, potentially even 20. That’s a formidable specimen if you ask me. He has a solid arm and is mobile enough to cause problems for opposing defenses. He is also extremely difficult to bring down. Add 20 lbs onto that? Look out.
Brandon most likely will not see much playing time. He has good size, but hasn’t seen a ton of action up to this point. I imagine him and Riley could split some scout team reps, or he might see some time on special teams. I don’t anticipate meaningful playing time for him, but I don’t think any player should ever be written off.
This particular class was crucial to get solid players at this position, and I think it was a success. When Wilson left just weeks before the early signing period, I about had a heart attack. The coaches had a few options, and I think we came out on top here as Smith is rated higher than Wilson was anyway. Spring will be interesting to see how Henderson gets integrated as well as seeing what kind of improvements and involvement Cord has in the offense. Fall will be fun to see all of them playing together.
If you have any insights, dear reader, don’t hesitate to comment below. Next up: Running Backs. GO BRONCOS!