L.A. defensive end picks Boise State over delayed USC offer

ccripe@idahostatesman.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Zavior Hoxie, a second-team All-State running back in Georgia in 2013, was recruited by Boise State as a cornerback. He fits the fast, physical mold of the Broncos’ new 4-2-5 defense, and could move into the third safety role.


— All the suspense was just for show.

Verbum Dei High defensive end Jabril Frazier appeared live on the Fox Sports High School Spotlight Signing Day Special outside the Rose Bowl on Wednesday afternoon to announce his college choice.

His top two options: an immediate scholarship to Boise State or a scholarship in January 2015 to USC.

He chose the Broncos.

“I actually made my decision (Tuesday),” he said, “but after I took the trip (to Boise State last weekend), I knew I was coming back.”

Frazier is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound speed rusher. He plans to put on 15 pounds before fall camp and, still just 17, hopes to get a little taller. He went straight from the signing show to the weight room Wednesday.

“It was a great get for us today,” defensive line coach Steve Caldwell said on Boise State’s Signing Day radio show. “… He will be exciting here in the future.”

Frazier chose his finalists from a list of offers that included Indiana, Illinois, Arizona, Utah, San Diego State and Northern Arizona, he said.

“I picked Boise because I felt like that was a place where I could go and make a name for myself and be a leader on the campus and on the football team,” Frazier said.


Boise State will run a 4-2-5 defense with three safeties under new coordinator Marcel Yates, first-year coach Bryan Harsin said. The third safety will be a player like former nickels Ellis Powers and Winston Venable — with an emphasis on pass coverage.

“Our whole mentality is we want hitters and runners,” Yates said on the radio show. “We want to let the offense know that we’re going to dictate to them what we’re going to do. I’m kind of old school. … We’re going to have a physical but fast defense.”

Said defensive backs coach Julius Brown: “Our thing in the back end is we’re bringing physical back.”

Safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, a former Texas A&M commit and top-100 recruit who enrolled in January, will be a key cog in that effort.

“I bring the bang,” Sumner-Gardner said on the radio. “That’s what I do.”


Harsin didn’t want the four January enrollees on scholarship to miss out on National Signing Day. At a team meeting Wednesday morning, he called quarterback Tommy Stuart, offensive lineman Jerhen Ertel, Sumner-Gardner and wide receiver A.J. Richardson to the front of the room.

He put them at a table with a Boise State hat for each and a collection of other hats found around the building, including a sombrero and a construction hat. The players took turns selecting the Boise State hat to a roar of approval from their new teammates (watch the video in the Bronco Beat blog).

Signing day, Harsin said, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “We wanted to make sure they had a chance to have a moment,” he said.


Defensive lineman Edmund Fa’imalo of Riverside City College committed to Boise State last weekend, but signed with Utah State on Wednesday. He is one of 14 former Broncos commits to sign elsewhere (full list in the Bronco Beat blog). Those players landed at Washington, Washington State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, USC, TCU, Oregon, Colorado and Utah State.

Nine of the decommits were players who originally committed to former coach Chris Petersen. Six followed Petersen to Washington.

Harsin said the losses were frustrating because of the “time crunch” to get the recruiting class assembled, but he downplayed the competition with his former boss and mentor.

“It is awkward because you know most of the staff and all that,” Harsin said. “What we did is tried to take the whole emotional part out of the whole situation and just focus on what we had to do and not get into a personal battle or a competition.”

Petersen told The Seattle Times he spoke to Athletic Director Mark Coyle and Harsin in advance.

“I really don’t want this thing to be weird, but you know how this thing goes. Kids get committed to coaches — that’s what they do. They call you and say, ‘Coach, I want to come with you,’ ” Petersen said he told Coyle and Harsin.

“And so this first year was going to be awkward; there’s no way around it,” he said. “And I do have tremendous respect for that place, and they’re going to do just fine. … You’re glad when this is over so everybody can kind of go their own way and not have any crossover.”


The Spring Game will be the evening of April 12. Spring ball opens March 10 and there will be a second open scrimmage April 5. … Quarterback Ryan Finley (shoulder surgery) and tailback Charles Bertoli (collarbone) are expected to participate in spring ball. Finley is throwing, Harsin said, but it’s still unclear how much he will be able to practice. … Stuart, a Butte College transfer, is on scholarship. When Stuart committed, he wouldn’t say whether he was a walk-on or on scholarship.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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