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Revisiting the Boise State 2016 Recruiting Class: Wide Receivers

Casey, Mike and Zach are back at it again!

NCAA Football: Mountain West Championship-Hawaii at Boise State Brian Losness-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 2020 class was officially signed. Like every year, fans often tout a class as potentially one of the best on paper. 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 2016 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 one post each week for the next ten weeks, 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 2016 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 was the class that dubbed themselves “Dream Team 16” and was the first Boise State class to begin bonding on social media as well as a private group messaging app (which backfired when two flipped to Missouri as seemingly a package deal). It was the class that endured three coaching departures in the off-season, and nabbed a few late commitments at key positions.

The wide receivers came in as relatively unknown prospects. Out of the two, one may have been a better bet to have a strong career, but that wasn’t the way it worked out.

Julian Carter

Casey

Expectations when he signed - I was pretty high on Carter. Great size, good route runner and reasonably sure hands. Add in coming from a powerhouse like Saguaro, I thought there was a lot of potential for him to excel here.

2016 Season - Redshirt season. We were pretty deep at WR so this wasn’t unreasonable to expect. Plus we had a pretty large class of WRs in 2016.

2017 Season - Transferred mid-season...

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - Definitely failed to meet expectations. I don’t recall the reasoning behind him leaving, but you can’t really meet expectations if you don’t make an impact on the field.

Zach

Expectations when he signed - I was really intrigued by Julian Carter, he had great size and good hands on film. I hoped he could be the next Matt Miller.

2016 Season - Redshirted

2017 Season - Transferred during the season

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - He transferred early into his redshirt freshman year, so I have no choice but to go with failed to meet expectations.

Mike

Expectations when he signed - Carter was a pretty solid get at the time. A big-play WR coming from state-champion and Arizona powerhouse Saguaro HS. He was also the first of the new focus on wide receivers with size, a trend that has been noticeable over the years. It seemed like the coaches had big ideas for him, as they weren’t afraid to give him the #2 jersey right off the bat. I expected him to be a three-year contributor and a two-year starter over his Bronco career.

2016 Season - Julian redshirted, as expected.

2017 Season - I figured Carter would record a few stats in his first year on the field, but they never came to fruition. He announced he would transfer halfway through the season, I believe ending up at a junior college.

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - It’s hard to have any positive impact when he didn’t record any stats and was only eligible to see the field in a handful of games. Carter failed to meet expectations.

Cedrick Wilson

Casey

Expectations when he signed - I wasn’t overly stoked about Wilson, but I thought he would provide solid, tested depth at the position. You don’t get a ton of time with junior college players since they have usually used 2 years of eligibility at this point, so the hope is they can make an impact for the brief time they are here.

2016 Season - Earned All-MW Honorable mention after making 56 catches for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns. He quickly cemented himself as one of the top receivers on the team, right up there with Thomas Sperbeck. He was also the defacto deep threat we were needing.

2017 Season - 83 receptions. 1,511 yards. 7 touchdowns. Considering he spent some of it banged up, including a memorable game at Colorado State in which he recovered a crucial onside kick.

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - Exceeded expectations. Wilson played through injuries and proved to be a vital and dangerous piece of the Bronco offense for two years. The Cowboys ended up drafting him in the 6th round as well.

Zach

Expectations when he signed - I never get very excited about junior college transfers, they never seemed to live up to the hype. I just hoped that Wilson would become a reliable target for Brett Rypien.

2016 Season - Wilson was awarded the prestigious number one jersey and instantly my expectations changed. He quickly became the 1B to Thomas Sperbeck’s 1B and the two receivers combined to have a very special season. Wilson became a great deep threat.

2017 Season - Wilson emerged as a true number one receiver and a reliable deep threat. He had one of the better seasons of any receiver in school history and is now regarded as one of the greatest receivers in school history. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - Sometimes I wonder what he would have done if he would have been a Bronco for four years. Cedric Wilson was a special talent and an ultimate team player. Wilson played through injuries and had a memorable performance against Oregon in the Vegas Bowl. Cedric Wilson exceeded expectations and then some.

Mike

Expectations when he signed - Wilson didn’t have eye-popping stats coming out of junior college but he seemed to finally be the #1 target Brett Rypien had been sorely lacking in his previous seasons. He almost ended up going to Virginia Tech and visited their in mid-December. Expectations rose during spring ball when Ced’s name started popping up more frequently in interviews.

2016 Season - Wilson fulfilled those expectations almost immediately. He had over 113 receiving yards and a touchdown in his first game. He finished the year with over 1000 yards and double-digit touchdowns.

2017 Season - He followed it up with another stellar year, finishing with 1511 receiving yards, good for 2nd in all of Division 1 football.

2018 Season - N/A

2019 Season - N/A

Overall Impact - The NFL took notice of his talents too and he went through the Boise pipeline to Dallas in the 6th round. Overall, Ced was a revelation in the passing game and a total team player as well. I recall him being one of the happiest players when they won the MWC championship. It’s safe to say he exceeded expectations.

Running Totals:

Casey: 2 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 3 failed to meet expectations.

Zach: 2 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 3 failed to meet expectations

Mike: 2 exceeded expectations, 1 met expectations, 3 failed to meet expectations.