Boise State offensive line coach Chris Strausser hopes a couple of veteran guards can provide depth at center this season.
Strausser learned about a week ago that starting center Cory Yriartes career had ended because of a knee injury. Fall camp began Saturday.
Junior Matt Paradis, who started one game last season, is the leading candidate to replace him. Yriarte didnt practice in the spring, so Paradis is no stranger to the first team.
That certainly hurts, offensive line coach Chris Strausser said of Yriartes injury. Although he didnt go through spring ball, hes the guy we were counting on. We have a bunch of guys inside who have had some experience at center. We just need to build that depth up.
Senior left guard Joe Kellogg, a two-year returning starter; junior guard Spencer Gerke, who started two games last year; and redshirt freshman Marcus Henry will rotate through the center position.
Kellogg spent the spring of 2010 at center in place of injured starter Thomas Byrd. He impressed enough that he was inserted into the lineup at guard.
The Broncos have good depth at guard this year. Junior Jake Broyles, senior Brenel Myers and senior Michael Ames also have starting experience. One of them, or Gerke, likely will start at right guard.
(Paradis) has been pretty healthy for us, but hes not a guy whos been 100 percent healthy, Strausser said, so I think its important for us to get a guy who can go in and be a starter. Center in its own way is one of the harder positions to play, but theres a lot of carryover between guard and center.
NEWS AND NOTES
Redshirt freshman kicker Jake Van Ginkel will not practice with the team during fall camp. He will rejoin the team when school begins Aug. 27. The team is restricted to 105 players during camp but can expand the roster when school begins. The decision leaves sophomore Dan Goodale, senior Michael Frisina and true freshman Sean Wale to compete for the kicking job in camp.
Offensive lineman Mario Yakoo of San Diego joined the team Saturday rather than grayshirting. He was added to this years roster to replace Yriarte within the last week. Yakoo did not participate in the teams summer program. He was excited, Strausser said. He wanted to come up. Three members of the 2012 recruiting class are grayshirting, which means theyll join the team in January linebacker Chris Collins, offensive lineman Archie Lewis and wide receiver D.J. Dean.
Cornerback Deontae Florence has joined the team as a scholarship recruit. Florence is a sophomore transfer from College of the Desert. He committed in May but didnt sign officially until this week.
Walk-ons who joined the team Saturday (all freshmen except where noted): RB Jamel Hart (West Covina, Calif.), CB Trey Corta (Homedale High), WR Jackson Reed (Timberline High), WR Taylor Pope (La Quinta, Calif.), RB Charles Bertoli (St. Helena, Calif.), snapper Jake Holsteen (Mediapolis, Iowa; Ellsworth Community College; junior), snapper Kevin Keane (Moorpark, Calif.; Ohio Wesleyan; sophomore), OL Shane Wickes (Reno, Nev.), Kellen Buhr (Capital High), TE Avery Westendorf (Cole Valley Christian High) and TE Brennyn Dunn (Preston High).
True freshman Armand Nance has moved to the defensive line. He originally was slated to play fullback.
The Broncos held two practices Saturday in helmets with no pads one in the morning for the veterans and one in the afternoon for newcomers and select veterans. They were mostly uneventful, but senior wide receiver Chris Potter looked sharp in the morning, sophomore nickel Corey Bell was named coach Chris Petersens camper of the day and the incoming recruiting class showed strong athleticism in the afternoon.
SPOTLIGHT ON CB JAMAR TAYLOR
Taylor in the spring was the embodiment of Petersens stance on seniors that they need to take the next step, even if theyre already standouts.
Ive just always really appreciated Jamar because hes always been someone who is really goal-oriented and focused on the right things, Petersen said. Hes always been about school, hes always been about football. I think he feels like hes got more to him. It always feels like hes on a mission.
Taylor has started the past two seasons. He missed most of five games late last season with injuries but returned for the bowl game, where he delivered a school-record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Taylor hopes to make more of an impact this year with his playmaking and his leadership.
Being the guy to bring the energy to the defense, whether its making a play or yelling, whatever we have to do, he said.
MEANWHILE, AT MICHIGAN STATE
Unlike the Broncos, the Spartans opened fall camp with their new starting quarterback in place Andrew Maxwell. The teams meet Aug. 31. Maxwell replaces Kirk Cousins, who led the Spartans to back-to-back 11-win seasons.
Im getting excited to see if I am the player that I think I am, and if I am the player that Ive been in practice, Maxwell told MLive.com.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat