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Revisiting the Boise State 2015 Recruiting Class: Safeties

Casey and Mike are back at it again, this time with Zach!

NCAA Football: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

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 we are wrapping up our look at the 2015 class, concluding with the safeties. The second half of the defensive backs in this class includes the final three players. One was a highly regarded junior college transfer who didn’t last long in the program. The other two have had longer careers but mixed results. Read below for our thoughts on Kam Miles, Evan Tyler, and Damion Wright.

Kam Miles

Casey

Expectations when he signed

I was sky high on Kam. Coming from Texas A&M and being a former 4-star recruit, I felt like he could be an instant impact player.

2015 Season

His redshirt sophomore season was solid, registering 25 tackles, 3 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. He played in 12 games and started 6, so I would say this is what I expected considering DSG, Darian Thompson and Chance James were all on the roster. I might have anticipated him taking more of a starting role, but starting half the games is good.

2016

Kam played in 11 games, though it isn’t clear if he started any of them. He finished with 10 tackles and 1 tackle for loss – a definite step back from his sophomore campaign.

Overall Impact

Miles failed to meet expectations. He was dismissed from the team in early 2017 for a domestic battery arrest. Honestly, I felt like he was headed for a disappointing career anyway as I recall some issues outside of the arrest.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

High! Miles was a big time recruit out of high school and transferred from Texas A&M. The Broncos snatched him up from the junior college ranks. Miles was another highly recruited player that had ties to former Boise State defensive coordinator Marcel Yates.

2015 Season

Miles made an immediate impact, playing in 12 games and starting six. He finished the year with 25 tackles and two forced fumbles. It was a successful first season for Miles.

2016

For some reason, Miles’ production took a noticeable dip. He played in 11 games, making only 10 tackles. He was dismissed after the season.

Overall Impact

It was a common theme for this class, off the field issues kept many players from reaching their full potential and Miles was no exception. He failed to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

Like most, I knew that Kam brought big expectations with him. Just like his good friend DSG did the year before. With the two of them in tandem, many (including) myself though the safety position would be set for years to come.

2015 Season

Kam made his presence known, playing in every game and starting half of them. He registered 25 tackles, forced two fumbles, and made some key plays over the course of the year. It seemed like the Broncos had found a great player from the JUCO ranks and past issues from TAMU were behind him.

2016

It seemed like the season never really got started for Miles. He played in almost every game but his stats decreased dramatically. Kam only made 10 tackles. Not sure if he was hurt or there were some off the field issues going on. After the season though, he was arrested and then kicked off the team.

Overall impact

Kam didn’t make it too far into early 2017 when he was arrested on a domestic battery charge in February. Unfortunately. It was another in the line of big hype little production recruits that Marcel Yates brought in. Needless to say he failed to meet expectations.

Evan Tyler

Casey

Expectations when he signed

I had decently high expectations of Tyler, though they were tempered with the signing of Wright and Miles ON TOP of already having Darian Thompson, DSG and Chance James already on the roster.

2015 Season

I expected Tyler to redshirt his true freshman season and that’s exactly what he did.

2016

Made four tackles and 1.5 for loss before tearing his ACL 3 games into the season. HUGE bummer as there was some hype on him coming out of camp and showed promise during playtime.

2017

Another huge bummer for Tyler as he tore his ACL again (though I think it was the other knee) prior to the start of the season.

2018

It looks like he finished the season with 8 total tackles and a sack. Honestly that’s a big deal after missing 24 games due to multiple knee injuries. I have a lot of respect for Evan for not throwing in the towel and fighting to come back from those injuries.

Overall Impact

With one season left, (potentially 2 dependent on if he applied for a medical hardship for the 2017 season), I expect Tyler to continue to function in a back-up role. With the depth we have at the position (Nawahine, Pierce, Happle, Jones, Buffalo and incoming JL Skinner) I don’t expect Tyler to come back and win a starting job. Through all his injuries, I have to say Tyler met expectations. Let me explain. One could see his tenure here as a failure due to his lack of playtime. None of that was his fault, and unfortunately injuries happen. Unfortunately they just happened multiple times to Tyler. To his credit, he trained hard after and overcame those injuries to keep playing.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

Tyler was headed to San Jose State before flipping his commitment to the Broncos. Tyler was an intriguing prospect with his size and range.

2015 Season

Redshirted.

2016

Tyler looked poised for a big season, as he started the first three games of the year. Unfortunately, he only appeared in three games because of a season ending knee injury.

2017

Suffered a preseason injury and did not play.

2018

Tyler finally made it through the field, but his time was limited as he was a third stringer for much of the season. His best game came against Connecticut where he recorded a sack and two tackles.

Overall Impact

Through no fault of his own, Evan Tyler has been limited for most of his Boise State career. He looked like a promising player, starting as a freshman. However, injuries have resulted in him failing to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

I don’t remember having much of a read on Evan Tyler when he committed. He flipped from San Jose State but was a solid three-star. So probably thought he would work his way into the rotation in a few years and be a constant contributor.

2015 Season

To no surprise, he redshirted.

2016

He was forced into a starting role, which was a surprise. He looked like he belonged and was primed for a breakout season, again a surprise at least to me. Then, three games in, he tore his ACL and was out for the season (again a big surprise).

2017

Tyler’s season was over before it even started, tearing his other ACL.

2018

Evan lost two years and some other safeties developed and entrenched themselves in big roles, leaving him to be a backup. He was healthy and played, which are really the important things after missing so much time. When he was on the field, he played pretty well.

Overall impact

Evan still has one more season left and hopefully he can be completely healthy and show more of the promise he flashed way back in 2016. He’s a hard one to place as he hasn’t contributed much as all but it’s really been out of his control. I’ll curve the grade in his favor and bet he has a pretty good senior year and thus can end his career at meeting expectations.

Damion Wright

Casey

Expectations when he signed

I didn’t know much about Wright, and with a bit more buzz around Tyler and WAY more buzz around Kam Miles, I didn’t anticipate much from Wright.

2015 Season

As expected, Wright redshirted his true freshman season.

2016

Wright saw zero action as a redshirt freshman.

2017

Again, as a sophomore, Wright didn’t see any meaningful playtime.

2018

Wright failed to see action as a junior, yet again. After graduating, Wright transferred from Boise State.

Overall Impact

I mean the stats tell it all. Wright failed to meet expectations for the Broncos. Not much was said of him in his career as a Bronco. That could be a good or a bad thing. Or both. Either way, best of luck to Wright in his future.

Zach

Expectations when he signed

Wright was sort of an unknown. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of him and did not anticipate him having much of an impact, especially considering who the Broncos signed in 2016.

2015 Season

Redshirted

2016

Did not see the field.

2017

Did not see the field.

2018

Once again, Wright struggled to see the field and was way down the depth chart. He earned his degree in December and left the school as a grad transfer.

Overall Impact

Wright was a great ambassador off the field and in the classroom. However, he never had an impact on the field. For that reason, he failed to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed

Damion was a three-star recruit out of Texas who played a good number of positions on both sides of the ball in high school. I figured it would take a season or two for Wright to develop at one position but still thought he would get on the two-deep before too long and have a 50/50 chance to be a starter at some point.

2015 Season

He redshirted, as expected.

2016

Wright failed to see the field.

2017

See above

2018

And again. After graduating in December, he grad-transferred to Azusa Pacific University.

Overall impact

On one hand, it doesn’t seem too common that a player spends four years in a program and doesn’t get to see any meaningful action on the field. On the other hand, how rare is it that a player sticks with the team despite not cracking the rotation and still buys into the program. That was Damion Wright. He bleed blue, got his degree and now will hopefully see the field for his final season. However, he unfortunately fails to meet expectations during his time here.

Final Totals:

Casey: 4 exceeded expectations, 6 met expectations, 9 failed to meet expectations.

Zach: 2 exceeded expectations, 6 met expectations, 11 failed to meet expectations.

Mike: 2 exceeded expectations, 8 met expectations, 9 failed to meet expectations.