Welcome to a fun off-season series that Drew (the handsome one), 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 2022 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 2018 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, Drew, Zach, and Mike will look at a different position group from the class. While we will contribute two posts each week over the next month, the location of the posts will change. The start of the week will feature a post on OBNUG while the end of the week will see a post up on MWCConnection, that way 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. The impact 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 2018 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.
The 2018 recruiting class was a noticeable step up in their recruiting efforts. It saw the return of a few four-star recruits, as well as other promising three star players with some big offers to their name. To hear our thoughts on specific players from the class, read below.
Part 5: Offensive Line
This position saw three recruits enter the fold. As you may know, recruiting and development at this position has left a bit to be desired. Still, some talent joined the roster here. At this point in their careers, these three players has produced a solid starter, a player mostly known for depth purposes, and a third player someone in between.
Expectations when he signed: Pretty high, tbh. His film had the requisite pancakes and he had the requisite girth. He also had a couple of Pac-12 offers which is generally a pretty good indicator that their ratings aren’t inflated.
2018 Season: Redshirted as freshman O-lineman are known to do.
2019 Season: Some light use…but nothing about this man is light.
2020 Season: All-MWC honorable mention season.
2021 Season: Played in 9 games for the Broncos
Overall Impact: Fair. That Honorable Mention nod probably makes things look a bit better but he was smack dab in the middle of a line that gave up WAY too many sacks and paved the way for WAY too few rushing yards. Not many bright spots there, but at least he wasn’t known as the weak link. I have to say failed to meet expectations, unfortunately.
Expectations when he signed: Expectations were high for Curran. He was a big offensive lineman with impressive film.
2018 Season: Redshirted
2019 Season: Saw time in every game, mainly on special teams.
2020 Season: Started every game, but struggled at times. Boise State was historically bad running the ball.
2021 Season: Battled some injuries, but was a starter when healthy.
Overall Impact: Honestly, it is really hard to evaluate Curran. The offensive line has been really bad the last few seasons and he was an important part of that group. Hopefully, he can finish his career on a high note. For now, I am going to go with failed to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: Curran signed with the Broncos with nice size and a nice offer list, including several PAC-12 schools. I think I expected him to develop into a multi-year starter by the end of his career.
2018 Season: Like the majority of any offensive line recruits, Garrett redshirted.
2019 Season: His time on the field increased substantially. He appeared in every game and every started one.
2020 Season: Curran continued his metoric rise, starting in every game in the pandemic-shortened season. However, not all went well as he was one of the players who stood out due to some struggles.
2021 Season: Garrett continued to be part of the starting lineup, although he missed some games with injuries. And when he was healthy, he continued his inconsistent play.
Overall Impact: I’m a bit conflicted here. On one hand, my expectations have been met, as Curran has become a multi-year starter on the offensive line. On the other hand, it hasn’t always been great. Unless a big jump is made, the o-line unit may be better if he isn’t one of the top five players. Currently, I’m going to go with failed to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: High to quite high. I liked the cut of this dude’s jib from the jump. If the service academies want you, you probably have your head on pretty straight.
2018 Season: Actually played in two games as a true frosh, but that still counts as a redshirt due to the “new rules” (we’ll keep calling them “new” for the next decade.
2019 Season: Made two starts.
2020 Season: Started six games out of seven.
2021 Season: Injury laden season. Never really climbed out of it.
Overall Impact: KHG hasn’t played as much as we’d hoped and last season I think the Broncos really would have benefitted from his play. The fact that so many people were down-trodden each week to see him not suited up kinda points to his value to the team. Based on that, I’d say he’s met expectations.
Expectations when he signed: KHG was on the small side, but came from an elite high school program. I was hoping he would become a four-year fixture at center.
2018 Season: Played in two games, but technically redshirted.
2019 Season: Played in five games, starting two.
2020 Season: Started six of seven games at center. Was reliable snapping the ball.
2021 Season: Missed the season with an injury.
Overall Impact: It is hard to measure his impact. But it was clear that he was missed this year. The center position was a revolving door with too many issues to list. A healthy KHG is a huge lift to the Broncos in 2022. For now, I will go with met expectations.
Expectations when he signed: I remember really liking Gonzales. He was a highly regarded player from a powerhouse program, but because he was an inch or two shorter than ideal height, he didn’t get the bigger offers his talents suggested he would. I was thinking the Broncos got a potential steal.
2018 Season: He utilized the redshirt rule by appearing in two games, and I believe got some snaps at fullback. To me, this illustrated that the coaches thought highly of him.
2019 Season: Gonzales made steady progress, and found the field in five games, making two starts.
2020 Season: He became an anchor of the offensive line, starting in six games, but missed some time do to injury.
2021 Season: Gonzales’ 2021 season never got off the ground. He was injured in training camp and coaches initially expressed that he would be back mid-season but he ended up being out for the entire year.
Overall Impact: He has been as advertised during his Boise State career. While injuries have held him back from reaching his maximum potential, Gonzales has been very good. I’m confident in saying he has met expectations.
Expectations when he signed: Pretty high. Plus, he snubbed Colorado State AND San Diego State to sign with the Broncos. I like that (when it doesn’t happen to us, naturally).
2018 Season: Redshirt, obvs
2019 Season: Showed up on the participation reports, but that’s about it.
2020 Season: Meh playing time in a meh year.
2021 Season: Played in 5 games.
Overall Impact: Holliday was/is a guy I keep thinking will take off but he keeps getting sorta buried on the chart. He’s contributed, but not enough to give him anything more than a failed to meet expectations tag. Put it all together this year, kid.
Expectations when he signed: A three-star recruit with some decent offers. I thought Holiday had a decent chance to become a fixture on the offensive line.
2018 Season: Redshirted
2019 Season: Saw special teams action in 12 games. But did not play much of a role.
2020 Season: Played a small amount in a reserve capacity.
2021 Season: Played a small amount in a reserve capacity.
Overall Impact: Holiday has not seen many meaningful snaps as a Bronco. Maybe he deserves more of a shot considering how much the offensive line has struggled. But for now, I have to go with failed to meet expectations.
Expectations when he signed: Holliday has big size and the two power five offers were nice as well. I thought he would be a player who would bounce in and out of the starting lineup but did not project him to be start player during his college career.
2018 Season: Wore the red shirt.
2019 Season: Holliday played in 12 games, but as a backup.
2020 Season: More of the same.
2021 Season: See above. Some playing time but as a reserve.
Overall Impact: Unfortunately, Holliday hasn’t been able to distinguish himself from other players and carve out a role for himself. He still has a season to change that, but it appears unlikely looking at the other players on the roster at his position. While expectations were not high, Dallas has still failed to meet them.
Drew: 3 exceeded expectations, 2 met expectations, 9 failed to meet expectations
Zach: 4 exceeded expectations, 2 met expectations, 8 failed to meet expectations.
Mike: 4 exceeded expectations, 2 met expectations, 8 failed to meet expectations.