Boise State defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake reshaped the defensive roster and established a go-for-broke attitude in his first recruiting cycle with the Broncos football team.
The Broncos grabbed five cornerbacks and one safety in their 2013 recruiting class, unveiled Wednesday on National Signing Day.
The result: BSU has 10 cornerbacks and seven safeties on its 2013 roster.
We had more safeties on scholarship than corners, Lake said. Im more of a corner guy because a corner can always transition to safety but a safety cant transition to corner. Thats why theres a big influx of corners coming in. Whether one of those guys helps us out later on at safety, who knows? You keep recruiting corners and let it all play out. Thats how I work.
The group came together late in part because Lake made a point of pursuing the best cornerbacks he could get to consider the Broncos. Dionza Blue of California and Cameron Hartsfield of Texas committed after New Years dropping previous commitments when the Broncos made late offers.
Jonathan Moxey of Florida committed late, too.
Some of these guys we could have had committed seven, eight months ago, Lake said.
The biggest holdup was Lakes quest to land the big one at cornerback. He drew visits from two highly rated cornerbacks who signed with Washington and two who signed with Oregon State.
At one point, Jermaine Kellys only scholarship offer was from Boise State, Lake said. By the end, he had an offer from USC and chose Washington.
It was my first year at Boise State recruiting and I made a big list, Lake said. I kind of reached for the stars first. We were even going as far as recruiting some guys being recruited by Alabama and LSU. I thought, Were Boise State. Weve won more games than anybody in the country. Were going to get those guys.
He lost those battles but he got a lot of interest, he said. And he wont change his approach in year two.
Ill definitely shoot for the stars, he said. Im always going to try to be the best at everything we do. Thats just how our program is.
Cornerback was a huge focus for the Broncos because of what theyve lost in the secondary starting cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins and backup Josh Borgman were seniors last year, Darian Thompson and Ebo Makinde have moved from cornerback to safety and Lee Hightower and Eric Agbaroji have exited the program.
Plus, the top returning cornerback, junior Bryan Douglas, is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament and might not be full strength when fall camp begins.
Were very thin there, so all those guys are going to have a great opportunity to come in and compete right away, coach Chris Petersen said.
The class started with two junior college transfers expected to make a quick impact Mercy Maston of Bakersfield College, a physical cornerback like Taylor, and Cleshawn Page of Harbor College, who has exceptional speed.
Moxey joined the class in December. He wanted to commit midseason, Lake said, but the coaches insisted that he visit Boise first.
Blue, a former Fresno State commit, and Hartsfield, a former Nevada commit, jumped at the Broncos late offers.
Both blossomed at seniors, which kept their profiles low and allowed Boise State to wait for decisions from higher-profile recruits.
I know for sure if Dionza and Cameron had their senior seasons as juniors, if they flipped it they become national recruits and all of a sudden theres 30-40 schools on them, Lake said.
The five newcomers will join five returning cornerbacks. Of that group, only Douglas has played a full season of major college football.
Lake figures he needs five to seven cornerbacks to contribute on defense or special teams.
We know its going to be a fun time, Hartsfield said, but its going to be very competitive.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat