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National Signing Day: Class of 2022 megathread

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“We got better today”

NCAA Football: Boise State at San Diego State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the newer, earlier signing day option the Broncos get to basically put a bow on their 2022 recruiting class in 2021...and thanks to some nifty deal-closing, it’s one of their best classes ever (on paper, of course). Along the way they lost 3 of their highest rated commits (QB Katin Houser to Michigan State, DT Mason Graham to Michigan, and Kaeo Akana...likely to Utah) and still managed the best class in the MWC. They went heavy on “need areas” like instantly bolstering the pass rush, picked up another electric playmaker in the backfield, some height in the pass game, and a lot more. Let’s see who’s in the door

James Ferguson, P, Geelong, Australia

Ferguson’s highlights mostly come from Australian Rules Football, but for these rugby/Aussie rules types—punting is life. A lot of American clubs have been using the Australian kicking pipeline for a while and the Broncos are finally following suit.

Prince Strachan, WR, John Carroll HS, FL

Strachan is the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts rookie Michael Strachan...a 7th round pick last year out of Division II Charleston. DII guys don’t get drafted all that often unless they are 6’5” receivers that possess track speed. Guess what? Prince is also 6’5” and has track speed. He’s Bahamanian where track and field is a way of life. Intriguing.

Ashton Jeanty, RB, Lone Star HS, TX

This kid has shake, bake, and then some. Was the leading TD scorer in the NATION at one point this season and is still up for multiple awards in the state of Texas. He’s a military kid, so he started his football career in Italy—I’m glad he’s now “stateside”. Broncos got an early verbal out of Jeanty when he was relatively unknown, but by season’s end he was a 4-star recruit and one of the highest rated commits of the class.

Deven Wright, DE, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, MS

Dude will instantly help a Boise State pass rush that was just so-so last season. He’s lanky at 6’5” and as you can see from his highlights, knows how to get to the QB (he had 9 sacks in 9 games this season at MGCCC). He looks a bit like Demarcus Lawrence and sounds a bit like him too. I don’t mind that at all.

Maddux Madsen, QB, American Fork HS, UT

Admittedly, Madsen was “Plan B” for the Broncos after Katin Houser was spirited away by Michigan State...but that doesn’t mean he’s chump change. The smallish Madsen set a blistering offensive pace the last two seasons in Utah and started this season with a 600-yard, NINE TD game. Sheesh.

Roger Carreon, OL, Jal HS, NM

IMO, this is one of the gems of the class. The 6’4” 300 lb “kid” is a wrecking machine on the field and was 1,000% committed the second he verballed to Andy and the boys. He’s also stars on the basketball court and really is one of the most dominant players in the entire state of New Mexico. Lobos and Aggies are going to which they’d kept him home.

George Tarlas, DE, Weber State, UT

Tarlas hails from Greece but played his high school ball locally at Borah...after 3 all-conference seasons at Big Sky powerhouse Weber State he decided to transfer for his senior season and lo and behold, he ended up back “home”. Tarlas has offers from Arizona, Utah, UCLA, San Diego State and more once he entered the transfer portal so this was a big one for the Broncos to prioritize. Remember, our pass rush hasn’t been much to write home about (despite great individual efforts from guys like Shane Irwin, Isaiah Bagnah, and Scott Matlock).

JJ Talo, DL, Kearns HS, UT

Assistant coach Frank Maile said he was going to use his vast Utah recruiting relationships and knowledge to dip into the Beehive State for talent and that’s exactly what he did—snagging Talo’s verbal early on in the recruiting cycle. Talo can definitely add some bulk, but he’s already a pretty stout inside presence. Should be fun to see him develop.

Braxton Fely, DL, Timpview HS, UT

A one-time BYU commit...Fely visited both Utah State and Boise State late in this recruiting cycle and vowed to make a signing day decision betwixt those two. Looks like the Broncos prevail over the Cougs and Aggies one more time. Fely is a strong defender (I ALMOST feel bad for the blockers).

Cortez Hogans, DE, Snow College, UT

About that improved pass rush...it’s immediate. Hogans and Deven Wright HOPEFULLY will give Broncos flashbacks to Demarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford. These guys have high motors and are QB-seeking missiles. Plus, Hogans wears the Kareem/Dickerson goggles on the field. Unstoppable.

Kage Casey, OL, Clackamas HS, OR

A little birdy told me that Avalos was interested in getting more Pacific Northwest talent in the trenches and it looks like he’s a man of his word. Can one Kage the 6’5” 280 lb. Casey? I think not.

Austin Terry, TE, Tumwater HS, WA

247Sports has Terry at 6’5” 230 lbs...so maybe he’s shrunk a bit...but he’s definitely one of the higher-rated commits in this class and is going to be a blocking machine (who also catches the ball). That’s all you can ask from a tight end.

Cade Beresford, OT, Washington State, WA

Beresford was a surprise commit the other day when he and his little brother...both playing in Pullman, decided to transfer to Boise State as a “package deal”. Cade’s younger brother Jack was a walk-on with the Cougs, but has the size to give it a go on the D-line. Cade was a starter as early as this season for the Cougs before suffering an injury. The Broncos had actually offered big Cade out of high school and some thought he might commit then as he’s a Bronco legacy (his father Harry played for the Broncos in the early 90s) but he took the circuitous route to The Blue™ and that’s fine by me.

Zamondre Merriweather, WR, Valencia HS, CA

Merriweather fielded offers from Florida State, Maryland, Colorado State, New Mexico, Fresno State, and San Diego State but stuck with his Bronco pledge. When the ACC wants to snatch guys out of CA, you know they are putting some good looks on film.

Dishawn Misa, LB, Eastside Catholic HS, WA

The Broncos ended up with three 4-star guys in this class (so far) but Misa was the only “bell to bell” 4-star and had the requisite offers from basically the entire Pac-12 to underscore that point. At the end of the day, it was about relationships with Misa who struck a bond with Andy Avalos as a high school camper on The Blue when Andy was still DC. Then Jeron Johnson ended up a position coach at Eastside Catholic and he found himself enveloped in Blue and Orange from a young age (his uncle Faipea Avaava played for the Broncos back in the day). This kid is a thumper and should be right in the mix at LB.

Dionte Thornton, CB, Lawndale HS, CA

Thornton was a very early commit to the Broncos (June 8th) and stuck with his pledge all the way to “early” signing day. He’s got great size for a CB at 6’2” 193 lbs. and hails from the same high school as former CB standout Jalen Walker. Nice.

Gavin Hambrick, LB, Apple Valley HS, CA

The Broncos definitely focused on the D-line and LB unit this cycle...and frankly had a pretty good haul LAST year too at LB, so that group should have some interesting battles in the spring and into fall. Hambrick already has pretty good size and from the looks of his highlight tape, knows how to play in space (the lack of oxygen in space has no effect on him).

Jake Ripp, LB, Los Gatos, CA

Toldja they weren’t fooling around at LB this year. Ripp and Hambrick actually visited campus at the same time and thought they might be competing amongst themselves for a scholly, but both ended up being offered on the trip and both pretty much accepted on spot. Ripp’s got great size too for an LB and comes downhill in a hurry.

Hall Schmidt, OL, Peninsula HS, WA

Remember that PNW pipeline we discussed in the trenches. Yeah, it’s real. Schmidt knew how to crank up the pancake machine at Peninsula. Hopefully that will continue during his Boise State career.

Jayden Virgin, EDGE, Mt. Carmel HS, CA

Virgin was somewhat lightly-recruited when he verballed to the Broncos back in June...but after a stellar senior season was bumped to a 4-star recruit by 247sports and now those that didn’t recruit him are SAD. Virgin is an excellent athlete, playing both tight end and DE for Mt. Carmel...but it’s EDGE where he’ll make his mark as a Bronco. Man, did our pass rush just level up or what?

Tyson Molio’o, OL, St. John Bosco, CA

Molio’o hails from national power St. John Bosco (home of George Holani) and looks like a bit of a bully on the turf. In this case, that’s entirely socially acceptable.

Keenan McCaddy, S, Moanalua HS, HI

We love those rangey safeties (rangy?)...McCaddy is just that. Look at the torso on this kid!