Boise State football notebook: Baltazar leaving program

STATESMAN STAFFDecember 17, 2013 

Boise State true freshman Aaron Baltazar's last game as a Bronco came against Southern Miss at Bronco Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

DARIN OSWALD — Idaho Statesman file

— Boise State confirmed Monday that true freshman tailback Aaron Baltazar has left the program. He left around the same time coach Chris Petersen took the Washington job. No reason was provided.

Baltazar was the No. 2 tailback early this season. He rushed 50 times for 234 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He was the lead tailback Sept. 28 against Southern Miss after starter Jay Ajayi’s fumble troubles, but Baltazar tore an anterior cruciate ligament that day.

Baltazar, who is from Chula Vista, Calif., could transfer, redshirt in 2014 to fulfill the NCAA transfer requirement and play from 2015 to 2017. He originally committed to Washington, but Petersen has said he won’t welcome Boise State transfers there.

HARSIN CONTRACT

The Idaho State Board of Education will consider new Boise State coach Bryan Harsin’s five-year, $6.5 million preliminary contract at its meeting Thursday and Friday in Nampa.

The school could use $500,000 in Mountain West national television bonus money from its game against New Mexico and $750,000 from Petersen’s buyout to help pay Harsin’s $1.75 million buyout payment to Arkansas State, according to the board’s agenda.

Harsin’s full contract, including academic and athletic incentives, will be brought to the board no later than its February meeting.

RIDDLE RETURNING

Former Boise State assistant coach Kent Riddle will join Harsin’s staff, the Idaho Statesman has learned.

Riddle is Arkansas State’s assistant head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. He coached at Boise State with Harsin from 2001 to 2005, and left for Colorado when former coach Dan Hawkins became head coach.

Riddle also coached at Army (1995-2000) and Oregon State (1993-94).

Riddle coached fullbacks at Army before moving to special teams coach and recruiting coordinator. Riddle spent the 2001 to 2005 seasons at Boise State as running backs and special teams coach.

Scott Huff currently coaches Boise State’s tight ends and special teams. He could join Petersen’s staff at Washington.

UW WINS RECRUITING WARS WITH BSU, WSU

Petersen snagged two of his first recruits Monday — one from Boise State and one from Washington State.

Jalen Greene, a dual-threat quarterback from Serra High in Gardena, Calif., committed to the Broncos in April. He changed his commitment to Washington on Monday after visiting Seattle over the weekend.

“Tried to keep it silent but God works in mysterious ways and now i will be a Husky this spring,’’ Greene tweeted Monday.

Petersen also grabbed three-star defensive back Darren Gardenhire from Washington State. Gardenhire, out of Cabrillo High in Long Beach, Calif., gave Washington State a verbal commitment last month.

Gardenhire was receiving interest from Boise State when Petersen was the coach. Petersen called Gardenhire and offered him a scholarship Monday morning, according to the Seattle Times.

“Coach Pete was on the practice field and he was fired up (when I told him),’’ Gardenhire told the recruiting site 247sports.com. “I’m a Husky — this is it.’’

Gardenhire is listed at 6 feet, 200 pounds, and is said to be open to playing either cornerback or safety in college. His cousin is Washington running back Dwayne Washington.

“Man, Washington has always been my dream school,’’ Gardenhire told Scout.com. “When Coach Petersen left Boise State to take the job at Washington, I was hoping I would get an offer. He called me this morning and told me he was offering, and I was so excited about it.’’

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