The Boise State football program filled a big-time need at quarterback Sunday.
Butte (Calif.) College quarterback Tommy Stuart committed to the Broncos, who have just three quarterbacks (two scholarship) on their roster following the expected departure of Nick Patti.
Stuart led Butte to the national championship as a freshman, setting several school records along the way. The 6-foot-, 195-pounder from Maryland will have four years to play three, meaning he can redshirt at Boise State. Stuart will enroll in school this week and participate in spring practice.
"It's been a journey," Stuart said. "I was undersized in high school and nobody gave me a look. It all seemed to work out for me now."
Stuart would not say whether he has been offered a scholarship or is coming to Boise State as a walk-on.
"I'm not allowed to talk about that right now," he said.
The Broncos have a huge void at quarterback, having lost three players at the position in the last year Joe Southwick (exhausted eligibility), Jimmy Laughrea (transfer to UC Davis) and Patti (transfer). Boise State has only given Patti permission to discuss transferring to Central Florida, but the Broncos do not expect Patti to return to the program.
Only senior Grant Hedrick and redshirt freshmen Ryan Finley and Richard Hoppe, a walk-on, are on the roster. Boise State is expected to sign a high school quarterback in this signing class as well.
Rocky Mountain High quarterback Riley Bradshaw, who was planning to visit Boise State on Jan. 31 but did not have a scholarship offer, committed to Weber State on Sunday.
Stuart, who did not have any Football Bowl Subdivision offers out of high school, chose Butte over several Football Championship Subdivision offers. Butte has a history of producing FBS quarterbacks, including Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers.
"We had a really good team. I can't say enough about the coaching staff. It has done a ton for me," Stuart said.
Stuart said his father played special teams on Idaho State's 1981 national championship team.
"I wouldn't say we know Idaho too well, but we've been out here before. It's exciting for me and my family," he said. "I can't wait to get out here."
Excited to be a Boise state bronco and starting school in the spring #ATF— Thomas Stuart (@Tommyfootball1) January 19, 2014