Boise State football starts building 2015 class with Fruitland recruit

ccripe@idahostatesman.com © 2014 Idaho StatesmanFebruary 7, 2014 

The Boise State football team tapped the Fruitland High pipeline again for its first commitment of the 2015 recruiting class.

Offensive lineman Garrett Larson (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) committed two weeks ago, but kept it quiet until the 2014 class signed Wednesday. “I’ve wanted to go there since probably about middle school,” Larson said.

He will join former teammates Joe Martarano, a linebacker, and Alec Dhaenens, a tight end, who are going into their redshirt freshman seasons this year.

Larson has started all 36 games during his first three years at Fruitland, Grizzlies coach Ryan Tracy said. Not even Martarano and Dhaenens did that at Fruitland, he said.

BYU also showed strong interest in Larson, Tracy and Larson said.

“He’s super aggressive,” Tracy said. “One of the BYU coaches said, ‘You can’t coach what he has.’ Some people might think he’s a little on the mean side. He has everything you’d want in an offensive lineman.”

Larson credits Tracy with convincing him that he had Football Bowl Subdivision potential as a freshman. He became more serious about football and the weight room.

“(Tracy) took me aside and told me I had the size and the frame and the mentality to get there and it was just all up to me to do it,” said Larson, a state wrestling runner-up in 2013 who is 35-5 this season. “I took that to heart and went with it.”

DSG RECRUITED YATES

Four-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner convinced Boise State defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to bring him to Boise State. Sumner-Gardner had committed to Texas A&M but wanted to stick with Yates, a former assistant there.

Sumner-Gardner told Yates he would decommit from Texas A&M regardless and that he had researched how many defensive backs each school had sent to the NFL in the past 10 years and believed Boise State would be a better fit, Yates said.

“Once he decided he was going somewhere else, I would be a fool not to bring him with me,” Yates said. “I told (Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin) that the kid was teetering before I left. There’s some people angry about it. … I was not backstabbing anybody. I can’t make him stay committed to Texas A&M.”

SANFORD: OGLE WAS NO. 1

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford scoured the country looking for available high school quarterbacks with any kind of college offer. He zeroed in on Brad Kaaya (signed with Miami) and K.J. Carta-Samuels (Washington), both of whom visited Boise State, because he worked with them in a camp at Stanford.

Sanford flew to Florida to check out Alex Ogle, who was in danger of not signing with a Football Bowl Subdivision school, on the recommendation of Harsin and former Arkansas State quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan, who had recruited Ogle for the Red Wolves.

Sanford texted Harsin after watching Ogle make 50 throws.

“I love Alex Ogle,” he wrote.

Sanford offered Ogle a scholarship and Ogle accepted. Kaaya had not turned down Boise State at that point.

“(Ogle) was the guy I wanted to find all along,” Sanford said. “Personality wise, the way that he leads, he has this way about him — he ended up being my No. 1 choice as a high school quarterback when it was all said and done. The scouting services don’t agree with that and I don’t care. I had a chance to see it with my own eyes.”

CLOSE CALL FOR AVALOS

Linebackers coach Andy Avalos returned from a recruiting trip at midnight Thursday, Jan. 30. He ran into travel delays and had to switch airlines in San Francisco to make it home and keep a promise to his wife, Summer.

“The lady (at the airport) could see the panic on my face,” Avalos said.

His first child, daughter Paityn Joy Avalos, was born Friday, Jan. 31 — two weeks early.

Paityn received a gift tied to this recruiting class. Tight end David Lucero’s mother made her a blanket.

Avalos was Lucero’s primary recruiter.

“That’s what recruiting is, creating relationships,” Avalos said. “When you’re able to create that special bond with families and student-athletes, you know you’re onto something good.”

SCHEMATIC APPROACH

On offense, the Broncos will return to “a lot of personnel groupings, a lot of formations,” Sanford said.

“The tight ends we brought in give us unbelievable position flexibility,” he said.

On defense, Yates plans to use four down linemen and five defensive backs the majority of the time. One end still will play as an outside linebacker in certain situations and a linebacker could replace the fifth defensive back for certain matchups.

QUICK HITS

Kyle Ward has followed Yates from Texas A&M as the defensive graduate assistant working with defensive backs. The other graduate assistants are Thomas Byrd and Joel Filani on offense and Byron Hout on defense. Ward coached Sumner-Gardner in high school. … Senior Corey Bell, second on the team with 76 tackles last season, has moved to safety as part of the 4-2-5 shift.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398,

Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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