Boise State football notebook: Recruit switches to Washington

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJanuary 9, 2014 

  • QB HEDRICK IN DRIVER’S SEAT

    Senior Grant Hedrick will begin spring ball as the No. 1 quarterback because of his experience, new coach Bryan Harsin said Wednesday.

    Hedrick, who was recruited by Harsin and coached by him for a season, played most of the final seven games last season.

    “The easiest thing to do is to watch a guy go out there and you can see his size, you can see his strength, you can see if he’s a good football player. The hard part is figuring out who he is,” Harsin said. “I know who he is. It was very easy to connect with him when I got the job. I think he was the first one I called. He was excited, I was excited, because we had a history there.”

    The other returning quarterbacks are sophomore Nick Patti and redshirt freshmen Ryan Finley (recovering from shoulder surgery) and Richard Hoppe (walk-on).

    Chadd Cripe

BRONCOS’ CORNERBACK RECRUIT GOING TO UW

The four coaches who met the media Wednesday expressed optimism about the 2014 recruiting class — even as they lost another commitment.

Cornerback Brandon Lewis, one of the longest-standing commits in the class, accepted a scholarship offer to Washington. He became the seventh commit in the 2014 class to take an offer elsewhere and at least four more are reconsidering their options.

The new coaching staff has been in contact with recruits but can’t get out to see them in person until Jan. 16. Signing day is Feb. 5.

“The next 30 days are extremely important for us once we get out on the road and we have official visit weekends,” coach Bryan Harsin said.

Harsin likes the vibe inside his coaching staff and is eager to showcase that for recruits. Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said he plans to recruit the same level of players at Boise State as he did the past two years at Texas A&M.

He’ll return to the Los Angeles market that he recruited so successfully in the past. High school coaches called him to pitch their players when he was hired, Yates said.

Yates already has landed a top-100 player in safetyDylan Sumner-Gardner.

“The one thing that we’ve seen is just the Boise State brand, it’s one thing that is very powerful,” Harsin said. “That’s one thing these coaches have been really excited about, the opportunities we’re having in recruiting because of that.”

Boise State has lost two commits to Washington and former coach Chris Petersen. More could follow.

“It’s up to us to stop them from getting those players,” Yates said.

THE LEGACY CONTINUES

Associate head coach Kent Riddle, who will coach special teams and running backs, inherits junior tailback Jay Ajayi. He coached Brock Forsey, David Mikell, Ian Johnson and Lee Marks in his first stint with the Broncos.

Riddle already has started building a relationship with Ajayi, who rushed for 1,425 yards and 18 TDs in 2013.

“He’s obviously a special talent,” Riddle said. “I can’t wait to work with him. I had the good fortune last time I was here of coaching some great backs. … Hopefully we can push (Ajayi) to be the best yet.”

THE HAMMER TO STAY

The Broncos will retain the Hammer tradition started by special teams coach Jeff Choate in 2006. The Hammer usually goes to the player with the best hit on special teams.

“That will be a big part of what we do,” Riddle said.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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