Boise State football notebook: Broncos land QB from Florida

ccripe@idahostatesman.comJanuary 30, 2014 

Alex Ogle, of Jensen Beach High School in Jensen Beach, Fla., is Boise State's latest quarterback recruit.

OGLEATHLETICS

The Boise State football coaches think they found a hidden gem of a quarterback Wednesday night in Florida.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford watched Alex Ogle of Jensen Beach (Fla.) High throw Wednesday evening, chatted with him after the workout and took him to the local Steak ’n Shake. They called coach Bryan Harsin, who extended a scholarship offer. Ogle accepted.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback was running out of college options and hoped that Sanford’s visit would lead to an offer. National Signing Day is next Wednesday.

“That would have been a dream come true — and it did. It happened,” Ogle said, still amped and doing interviews after midnight Eastern time.

Ogle fills a key hole in the Broncos’ 2014 recruiting class, which was missing a high school quarterback. The Broncos added Butte College transfer Tommy Stuart as a January enrollee.

Harsin began recruiting Ogle for Arkansas State before taking the Boise State job. His staff reached out last week and Sanford apparently liked what he saw when he arrived in Florida.

“Found him!” Sanford tweeted. “… Tonight reminded me of why I love to do what I do.”

Harsin hashtagged his tweet announcing a commitment with “#DIAMOND,” as in “diamond in the rough.”

“I throw with my receivers at least twice a week, so (Sanford) came right when I was in the middle of doing that,” Ogle said. “He was watching me and he absolutely loved me. We sat down and talked after that and he told me I was the perfect guy for Boise.”

Ogle had received offers from Florida International and Florida Atlantic, he said. SMU, Vanderbilt and UMass showed late interest. But all of those schools had quarterbacks commit, he said.

“It almost felt like everything was starting to go downhill,” he said.

Ogle set school and county records with 2,300 passing yards and 22 touchdown passes last season, he said. Jensen Beach changed coaches — and switched from a power-run offense to a spread offense — two games into the season. He thrived after that.

Last year, Ogle threw for just 928 yards and seven touchdowns in the old offense.

“I got the feeling this would happen with him,” Jensen Beach coach Tim Caffey told TCPalm.com. “I thought he would fly under the radar and then teams would see him and go, ‘Wait a minute; this kid's a diamond in the rough.’ I hate that it’s taken so long, but better late than never.”

• Quarterback recruit Brad Kaaya tweeted Thursday that he will sign with Miami. Boise State had made a push for Kaaya, who previously committed to Miami.

• Defensive end/linebacker Jaylen Johnson, who originally chose Boise State over Oregon, has switched his commitment to Washington. He is the 12th decommitment in the 2014 class, the eighth since coach Chris Petersen left for Washington and the sixth to land with the Huskies.

SEASON TICKETS: NO PRICE INCREASE

Boise State fans will get a break from a decade of price increases in 2014.

Season tickets go on sale Monday at the same prices as last year except for the general-admission seats in the north end zone, which have been sharply discounted.

The last time ticket prices did not increase was in 2003.

“Across the country, when (athletic departments) build their budgets for the year, they build the expense side, see where they’re short and the very first thing they do is, ‘Let’s go to football prices,’ ” Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle said. “I didn’t want to do that this year. I didn’t want to have to put that burden on our fans.”

Boise State is coming off a down year for ticket sales — one filled with complaints about prices and the quality of opponents.

Season-ticket sales dropped 7 percent, the first decrease since 2009, and average home attendance slipped 3 percent, the first drop since 2007.

The 2014 season is starting with a good vibe —excitement about the new coaching staff led by Bryan Harsin, a series of six home games against 2013 bowl teams and now flat ticket prices.

“There’s a lot of newness to our program with coach Harsin and the new staff,” Coyle said, “and we’re just thrilled with our home schedule next year. … We think a lot of things are lining up for us to have a special year.”

Coyle hopes to avoid another run of discounted tickets like the school used last year to fill empty seats. Boise State finished about $200,000 short of budget for football ticket sales.

This year, he hopes the budget-minded take advantage of the deal in the north end zone. Those prices have plummeted by a third — from $230 to $155.

“What was ironic about last year and a learning lesson was our least-expensive tickets were the ones that weren’t selling,” Coyle said. “We’ve got to get creative to create an entry point for people to buy those season tickets. For $150, that’s a great way to get into our stadium.”

Other prices include $390 in priority sections (Bronco Athletic Association memberships required), $330 in non-priority reserved sections, $283 in the non-priority south end zone (reserved) and $155 in the non-priority north end zone (general admission). Family plans are $786 (two adults, two children). Additional junior tickets cost $83. Renewal forms for current season-ticket holders will be mailed in February.

Bronco Athletic Association membership fees also will remain the same. However, fans whose fee increase last year was phased in over a two-year period will pay the rest of that increase and fans who buy football and men’s basketball tickets will have to pay a separate fee for basketball for the first time, as previously announced.

Individual-game prices have not been set but Boise State expects season-ticket holders to see a 15 percent discount off the price of buying tickets separately. Season-ticket holders also get first crack at bowl tickets, away game tickets and individual tickets for home games.

The flat ticket prices will put more stress on the Broncos’ fund-raising efforts in 2014-15 because certain areas of the budget, like scholarship costs, increase every year.

“There’s no question our costs are going to go up,” Coyle said. “… It makes us accountable. It makes us make sure when we build our budget and operate our budget we do it with the right frame of mind.”

SCHEDULE UPDATE

The Mountain West hopes to release its football schedule by the end of February. However, the weekday TV games likely won’t be finalized until around April 1.

Boise State’s home schedule includes Louisiana (9-4), BYU (8-5), Colorado State (8-6), Fresno State (11-2), San Diego State (8-5) and Utah State (9-5).

The road schedule includes the Aug. 28 opener against Ole Miss in Atlanta and visits to Connecticut, Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. Only Ole Miss played in a bowl game.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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