Boise State notebook: California defender picks BSU over Oregon

sports@idahostatesman.comSeptember 17, 2013 

An official visit to Oregon last weekend made Jaylen Johnson realize he wanted to play football for Boise State.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior defensive lineman/linebacker at Corona (Calif.) Centennial High committed to the Broncos on Monday.

“He’d narrowed it down to Oregon and Boise State in his mind, but wanted to see Oregon before he decided,’’ said Centennial coach Matt Logan, who said Johnson came to Boise on an unofficial visit this summer.

Ranked as the No. 28 defensive end nationally by Rivals.com, Johnson also had offers from USC, Notre Dame, Colorado, Northwestern and Miami (Fla.), according to Logan.

Johnson, the 12th known verbal commitment of the 2014 class, is expected to officially visit Boise State for the Sept. 28 game against Southern Miss.

He had 113 tackles and four sacks last season at defensive end. This season, playing middle linebacker, Johnson has 35 tackles and two sacks in three games.

Logan said Boise State coaches told him that Johnson “is a perfect fit’’ to play the Broncos’ hybrid defensive end/linebacker “STUD” position where Shea McClellin previously excelled. He said Johnson has room to add weight, if needed.

“It’s rare for a kid to sift through all the glitz and glamor and just find a place that’s right for them. I think that shows the level of maturity Jaylen has,’’ Logan said.

Late state next week

The Boise State-Southern Miss game Sept. 28 at Bronco Stadium will begin at 8:15 p.m. and air on ESPNU, ESPN announced Monday.

Boise State will not receive a national TV bonus for the game because it’s not on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN used its right to schedule the game 12 days before kickoff. It has similar rights to the Wyoming and New Mexico games in November — the only two games on the schedule without starting times or TV assignments.

Popular discount

Boise State sold about 2,450 discounted tickets Monday to the Southern Miss, Wyoming and New Mexico games. That total includes more than 1,850 of the $10 tickets in the north end zone and nearly 600 of the $25 tickets in select upper-deck sections.

Short-lived record?

Boise State coach Chris Petersen predicted a quick end for the FBS record his team set Friday night. The Broncos completed 29-of-31 passes (93.5 percent), the best single-game percentage for a team with at least 25 completions. The previous record (25-of-27, UCLA vs. Washington) was set in 1983.

“It’s just about playing efficient football,” Petersen said. “That’s what we appreciate about that. Someone will break that in about three games.”

Quirks that work

• Petersen on sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi’s experimentation with pickle juice last week: “If he doesn’t cramp after drinking it, he can go drink out of the gutter and we’re good. And I think they both probably have the same chance of working.”

• Petersen on senior quarterback Joe Southwick’s good-luck mustache (5-0 with, 8-3 without): “That mustache is serious business. If that helps him complete 27 passes (of 29), that’s serious business. They can wear blue mustaches in the stands all they want, but we take it seriously around here.”

MW honors Lawrence

Junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was named the Mountain West defensive player of the week Monday.

Lawrence tied for the team lead with nine tackles (two for loss) and was instrumental in holding Air Force to 95 yards in the second half of a 42-20 win Friday. Lawrence disrupted several key plays, including a third-down pressure that forced a punt, and a third-down tackle for loss inside the 10-yard line that forced a field goal.

“It was good to see him be able to show up (against) that style of offense,” Petersen said.

It’s the first player of the week award for Lawrence, who led the Mountain West in sacks last season.

Boise State’s internal players of the week were Southwick (offense), Lawrence (defense), linebacker Chris Santini (special teams), defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (lineman), defensive back Promise Amadi (scout defense), offensive lineman Kellen Buhr (scout offense) and tight end Jake Roh (scout special teams).

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