BOISE — The Boise State football team enters National Signing Day with 22 recruits committed or enrolled in school.
All but five were landed by the new coaches, who didnt assemble for their first meeting until the week of Jan. 6. The latest, tweeted by coach Bryan Harsin late Tuesday night, is unknown.
Theyll come from a host of unexpected places two from Florida and one each from Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Maryland; one each from Salt Lake City and Coeur dAlene, nearby territories where the Broncos have not fared well in the past; and one each from tiny towns in the Southwest (Bagdad, Ariz., and Holtville, Calif.).
They will be united in blue by the chance to pursue their college football dreams, in many cases to prove they were overlooked, and to play for a young, energetic coaching staff that earned raves for its recruiting approach.
It really felt like home, cornerback Zavior Hoxie of Buford, Ga., said. They treat you like youre already on the team. I felt like I was part of it already.
Hoxie should be one of the first new Broncos to sign his national letter of intent Wednesday. Prospects can sign at 7 a.m. local time, which means Hoxies fax could be in Harsins hands shortly after 5 a.m.
Those faxes will come from four time zones. The players will come from at least 10 states.
Its real indicative of Boise State going back to (former coach) Dirk Koetter, they have had the ability to scour the parts unknown to find guys that fit into what theyre doing, Scout.com recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman said. Thats good evaluation and good scouting when you can do that. Guys like (tight end David Lucero of Holtville), he dominated his level. If you find a guy whos coming out of nowhere, you at least want him to dominate when hes in the middle of nowhere.
Holtville High has about 500 students and is near the California, Arizona and Mexico borders. College athletes from Luceros league are rare.
Since I was little, he said, hardly anyone in the valley would get a scout to come down here. So for me to get a Division I school to give me an offer for a full ride, its amazing.
Hoxie is a holdover from Harsins one season as head coach at Arkansas State. Assistant coach Julius Brown recruited Hoxie for the Red Wolves he hadnt committed and told him almost immediately he wanted to bring him to Boise.
Hoxie, like many of this years recruits, hadnt visited Idaho before 2014. He was recruited by Big Ten schools Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, he said, but wasnt ready to commit when they needed answers.
He experienced no such reluctance when he arrived in Boise.
From down South over here, we think of Idaho as farmland and country, but its nothing like that at all, Hoxie said. The city is super clean, which is different from Atlanta. The downtown is really nice. Theyve got the mountains. Theyve got a lot of stuff to do. That was surprising to me most of all.
Last weekend, the Broncos drew commitments from three junior college defensive linemen from varied backgrounds who bonded during their visits: Antoine Turner (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) of Fullerton College, Rondell McNair (6-4, 255) of Contra Costa College and Edmund Faimalo (6-3, 290) of Riverside City College, all in California.
Turner grew up in New Orleans, where he endured Hurricane Katrina. He moved to California to pursue football and an education and was homeless in spurts before his girlfriends uncles welcomed him into their home.
McNair grew up in North Carolina and followed a coach to Contra Costa. He left after his freshman season to help his family deal with the destruction of Hurricane Irene, then returned after a semester off. Faimalo is from Redlands, Calif.
On Wednesday, theyll join the football program that made them fast friends.
Its a relief, really, McNair said. Its like a big relief. Now Im pretty much set with my school and finally going to get my degree.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat