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Revisiting the Boise State 2015 Recruiting Class : Linebackers

Boise State v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Welcome to a fun off-season series that Casey (of OBNUG), Zach, and Mike (both of MWCConnection) are rolling out for your viewing enjoyment (hopefully). Back in February, excitement was at an all time high for fans and coaches alike as the 2019 class was officially signed. Like every year, fans often tout a class as potentially one of the best on paper. This year it was actually the case. However, once players get on campus and actually on the field, the true story begins to reveal itself. It can often take years for a class to truly be judged as the impact of many players won’t be seen for a few seasons. That being said, this series will aim to revisit and evaluate Boise State’s 2015 class. There has now been enough time that many members of the class have either left or are entering their final seasons, which means players are able to be looked at for their production (or lack thereof) rather than projection and hype.

Anyway, each week, Casey, Zach, and Mike will look at a different position group from the class. While we will contribute a post each week, the location of the post will change (one week on one site, the next week on the other) so readers of both sites can follow along. Each post will have all of us weighing in on the same talking points for each season: our expectations of the player from when they signed, the production they gave each season on the team, and their overall impact, which we will fit into one of 3 categories (exceeded expectations, met expectations, or below expectations). We will each keep a running tally of our totals and then at the end we can each determine the over impact the 2015 class had. It should be a fun and interesting study to see what kind of careers each player had and revisit some names that may have been forgotten.

This week moves on to the linebacker position, and we will throw in the STUD as well. These spots will have a total of three players. Two didn’t stay in the program very long, and may be names you haven’t thought of in awhile. The third player went on an LDS mission and is technically part of a future class. However, another player returned from a mission, so we’ll look at him instead. Read below for our thoughts on Drew Berger, Marquis Hendrix, and Durrant Miles.

Drew Berger

Casey

Expectations when he signed

Local standout picks the Broncos? I’m in. He was the #2 player in the state that year, which is awesome. 247 even had him listed as a 4*. While he really only got an offer from Boise State, I was pretty stoked.

2015 Season

Red shirt. Expected.

Overall Impact

After his red shirt season, Drew peaced out before spring even started. “He wanted to do something else” according to Harsin. Whatever that something else was, it was a bummer to not have him on the team. He definitely failed to meet expectations by virtue of never playing.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

Sky high. Berger was a four star recruit and an Idaho kid. Fans were very high on Berger and he was expected to make a significant impact.

2015 Season

Redshirted, before leaving the team and quitting football.

Overall Impact

Berger was another case of what might have been. He was highly touted coming out of high school. There wasn’t a lot of information on what led to him leaving the team. With that being said, he failed to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

Drew was an incredible get for Boise State. It helped that his adoptive brother, Chase Blakley, came to the blue the year before. It also helped that Drew was hidden away in Idaho, so many schools didn’t come calling after he committed (although I think Oklahoma did an all out blitz the week of signing day if memory serves right). He looked to be a fixture at linebacker for years to come and one of the crown jewels of this class.

2015 Season

Drew redshirted, which was a bit of a surprise but not totally out of line. What was surprising is that Berger left the team before spring practices that same season. The only info was Harsin saying “he wanted to do something else”, which most took as his heart wasn’t in it. Drew never resurfaced anywhere else (unlike others), so almost took it at face value. Although one vocal man on twitter never seemed to move on from the situation, so maybe there’s more to the story.

Overall impact

Unfortunately, Drew failed to meet expectations, only lasting in the program for around nine months. We will never know what could have been.

Marquis Hendrix

Casey

Expectations when he signed

We don’t generally sign players from Florida, so it was kind of cool to dip into the player pool in the south. Because of that, I wasn’t sure what to expect really. I liked the idea of having some more depth though as we still had Vallejo, Darren Lee and Joe Mart at MLB.

2015 Season

I expected Hendrix to red shirt, which is what he did. Considering the depth, that wasn’t surprising.

Overall Impact

Zero. Well, next to zero. He showed promise his red shirt season, but after his involvement in some unacceptable activities, he, along with Donzale Roddie and Darreon Jackson, were expelled. He went the JC route through Coffeyville and ended up at Bethune Cookman as part of their 2017 class. He failed to meet expectations.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

Hendrix was a late addition to the class. He impressed coaches during his redshirt year and looked like he would be an impact player. Not much was known about Hendrix coming out of Florida, so I would say that expectations were not all that high.

2015 Season

Redshirted, before being dismissed from the team.

Overall Impact

Hendrix never played on the Blue, he ended up at an FCS school. He failed to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

Marquis was another recruit out of Florida when Boise State was determined to get a foothold in that state. As you may remember, he met the same fate almost all of the other Florida recruits did. I remember him being a tackle machine in high school, putting up big stats in the tackle department. With that in mind, my expectations for him were pretty high.

2015 Season

I expected him to redshirt and he did. I did not expect him to be expelled from the school in late May for a Title IX investigation into sexual misconduct. Through researching, I found the article and recalled that Marquis and his father maintained his innocence during the entire ordeal and vocally spoke out against the university (not the football program) about how the investigation was handled. They were planning to file a lawsuit, but the situation dropped from the media spotlight.

Overall impact

Not lasting a year on the team is bad, as it never playing a down on the field. Getting into off the field issues is even worse, especially these specific ones. For either reason, Hendrix failed to meet expectations, but for both is a double fail.

Durrant Miles

Casey

Expectations when he signed

I was reasonably excited to land Miles, though I knew very little about him and recruiting in Utah isn’t something we do often. I did know Bingham was a powerhouse of sorts there, so I imagined he was a solid player. I also knew it would be some times before we saw him as he had a 2-year church mission to tackle prior to coming to BSU. That was of concern as 2-years away from football can sometimes mean a loss of muscle/endurance.

2015 Season

Miles actually played as a true freshman, which was surprising considering the depth at the position with McCaskill and McNair on the roster still. He appeared in 11 games and made 3 tackles. While it was a modest contribution, it was a glimpse at things to come.

2016 Season

With the graduation of McNair, Miles saw an expected increase in play time, playing in all 13 games and starting in 6. He contributed 35 tackles, 4.5 TFL and a sack. While he wasn’t a full time starter, he showed his potential.

2017 Season

The depth at DE was much lighter in 2017 and Miles found himself as the full time starter. He started all 14 games and contributed 33 total tackles, 6 TFL, 2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles on his way to earning All-MW honorable mention. Miles showed he was a model of consistency and could keep himself healthy despite playing a physically demanding position.

2018 Season

Chase Hatada came on as an impact player, much like Miles and had contributed as a true Freshman in 2016. In 2018, he took some of Miles snaps as he dealt with injuries. While playing in all 13 games, he started 8 of them, finishing 3rd on the team with 4.5 sacks along with 24 total tackles and 6.5 TFL. He also earned All-MW Honorable Mention.

Overall Impact

I can’t say anything other than Miles exceeding expectations. I wasn’t sure what to expect, coming out of Utah, on top of being away from football for two year, but to have an immediate impact as a true freshman and remain a key component of the defensive line for all 4 years can’t be overlooked. We will definitely miss his consistency in 2019.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

A local kid who left to go on a mission. Miles was the forgotten recruit. One thing was clear when he stepped on campus, Miles had the build to be an impact player. He played right away and saw some significant playing time early in his career.

2015 Season

Miles wasn’t your normal true freshman, he was returning from a mission and was two years older than his fellow classmates. For that reason, Miles saw that field and played in 11 games. He recorded three tackles and seemed poised for a big career.

2016 Season

Miles had a major impact in his sophomore season, playing in all 13 games while starting six. He recorded a sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 35 tackles.

2017 Season

Miles started all 14 games as a junior and was Mountain West Honorable Mention. He had 33 tackles, two sacks, and six tackles for loss. Another solid season for Miles.

2018 Season

Miles did appear in all 13 games, but he was limited during part of the season because of some nagging injuries. Miles still had a solid season, finishing with 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.

Overall Impact

Miles had a really good career as a defensive end. He was the definition of a “blue collar Bronco.” He would do whatever the coaches asked out of him, including contributing on special teams. While his numbers may not pop off the screen, I feel like Miles exceeded expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

When he was originally recruited, in the 2013 class, I thought of Durrant as the “other player” at the STUD spot alongside Kamalei Correa. I figured he wouldn’t be much more than a depth player at that spot given the other talent in that room. Add on that he would be returning from a mission (and a coaching change) and it seemed like Miles had a lot going against him when he arrived on campus.

2015 Season

Surprisingly, he did not redshirt during his first year. He played in 11 games and although production was extremely minimal (3 tackles), Durrant was already redefining expectations.

2016 Season

That playing time served him well, as Miles found a larger role at the traditional defensive end spot, starting 6 of 13 games. He produced as well, with 35 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble.

2017 Season

More of the same for Durrant as a junior, starting all 13 games at DE and finishing the year with 33 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception. He cemented his status as a reliable and productive player.

2018 Season

Some may call it a step back as a senior, but with all the player-makers around him, Miles still did his job. He recorded 24 tackles, 6.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks all while starting 8 of 13 games. Not a bad finish to his career at all.

Overall impact

Durrant was never a star, but he definitely starred in his role, which makes him a true Bronco. He developed into a solid secondary pass-rusher and aced his assignments on plays more often that not. His was a tough, physical, and reliable player and for all of that, he exceeds expectations in my book.

Running Totals:

Casey: 3 exceeded expectations, 4 met expectations, 6 failed to meet expectations.

Zach: 2 exceeded expectations, 4 met expectations, 7 failed to meet expectations.

Mike: 1 exceeded expectations, 6 met expectations, 6 failed to meet expectations.