The Boise State football coaches released their first depth chart of the season Friday for the Ole Miss game. The full chart is below. Highlights:
— Senior Cleshawn Page is listed as the second starting cornerback. Junior Donte Deayon is a returning starter on the other side. Page beat out sophomore Jonathan Moxey. The Broncos return eight defensive backs who started a game last year. Page was not one of them.
“Consistency,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said of what set Page apart. “He made plays. I thought what he did was from spring to now he seemed to work and he just kept getting better and better and better.”
— The third wide receiver will be senior Dallas Burroughs or sophomore Chaz Anderson. Junior Troy Ware is the backup to Matt Miller.
“Those guys have given us something that we want to give them in the game,” offensive coordinator Mike Sanford said. “ I think it’s going to be somewhat play-specific.”
— The right guard spot still is competitive between sophomore Mario Yakoo and redshirt freshman Archie Lewis, who missed some time in fall camp. Sophomore Steven Baggett is the right tackle.
— Redshirt freshman Jake Roh is the starting tight end. Senior Connor Peters and redshirt freshman Alec Dhaenens are co-backups. Roh is the team’s only freshman starter.
— Sophomore Devan Demas and junior Jack Fields are the co-backups at tailback.
— Sophomore Gabe Perez, who is a stud end, will back up Beau Martin at the regular end spot.
— Junior Armand Nance, the returning starter, and junior college transfer Antoine Turner are co-starters at nose tackle.
— The top four linebackers are listed with ors — Ben Weaver and Tyler Gray on the weak side and Tanner Vallejo and Blake Renaud in the middle.
— Senior Mercy Maston is listed as a backup at nickel and cornerback.
— True freshman safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner is one of five players listed at safety.
The Boise State football team will be without two injured backups in the season opener Thursday against Ole Miss.
Senior defensive tackle Justin Taimatuia and junior safety Taylor Loffler are injured and won’t play, coach Bryan Harsin said Friday. Taimatuia projected as the backup nose tackle. Loffler was a key special-teamer last year.
(Listen to full audio of Harsin’s press conference here.)
The Broncos also will be without junior tight end Holden Huff. He is suspended for the game, which Harsin announced in the spring.
The only true freshman expected to play against Ole Miss is safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who arrived in January. Tight end Chase Blakley and tailback Jeremy McNichols will travel and will be kept ready to play but Harsin is hoping to redshirt them, along with the rest of the freshmen.
“Neither one of those guys will play at this point but they’re in a position where if things were needed we would play them,” Harsin said. “ As the season goes, we know things change. There might be a guy there we need to grab and utilize him as a freshman. If we don’t have to do that, we’re not going to do that.”
Third-string quarterback Tommy Stuart, a true sophomore, is not expected to redshirt, Harsin said.
“We won’t try to redshirt him right now and that remains to be seen,” Harsin said. “He’s been practicing. He’s been taking second-string reps. He may have a role — that’s to be determined.”
The Broncos will take 70 players to Atlanta for the game, including Sumner-Gardner, Blakley, McNichols and quarterback Alex Ogle.
— The Broncos leave around noon Tuesday. They’ll visit the new College Football Hall of Fame and practice at the Falcons’ facility Wednesday and take a peek inside the Georgia Dome on Thursday morning.
— Harsin on the opener: “It will come down to the anxiety of that game. It will come down to the adversity faced in that game.”
— The Broncos start school Monday but that’s a Wednesday for their game prep. Harsin has told them they’ll need to focus. “(That practice) has to go well for us,” he said.
— On Ole Miss not knowing what Boise State will run: “It’s unknown, too, because you don’t know what they’re preparing for. It could be the right stuff. It could be completely wrong.” He added that coaches usually don’t know exactly what to expect until the fourth game of a season.
— On backup quarterback Ryan Finley, a redshirt freshman with no game experience: “We have to keep pushing the issue. If there are opportunities for him to play, we want him to play. He just needs to go do it in a real game situation. You’re never going to know until you let him go do it.”
— Harsin said the offensive scheme is not the old Boise State playbook. “We’ve just evolved,” he said. “ We’ve evolved every year. We’ve changed, I think, in a better way for us.”
— Harsin on his first game as a Boise State head coach: “I hope I don’t throw up. No it’s going to feel the same as the players. Excited. Confident through our preparation. At the same time, there’s a lot of unknowns going into that game. When we go out there, have we done what we need to do leading into the game? And we won’t know that until we get to the end of the game. I’m more excited than I am anxious.”
— Harsin on his confidence in the offensive line: “A lot better now than it was in the spring. Those guys, from spring through summer, have gotten bigger, better. I think through fall camp I’ve been very happy with the type of effort they’ve given.”
— Harsin on Shane Williams-Rhodes: “There are still schemes in our offense that throw the ball the same way they did last year. But Shane’s a guy who needs to have the ball in his hand. We’ve got to find ways to get the ball in his hands. Right now we’ve got some ways I think are pretty good.”
— Harsin: “Very eager to get started just to see where we’re at. Let’s go out there and play. The nice thing is we’re playing a quality opponent that’s very good. We’re playing a team that in the SEC right now is one of the top teams going into the season, has high expectations of winning their conference. So for us that’s awesome — what a great opportunity to go out there and play and play on that stage. Let’s see what we’re all about. Let’s find out what we’ve been doing. After the actual game, how it fits and is it the right stuff? If not, it’s time to regroup. If it is, keep building on that. We’ll know a lot more coming out of that game.”
(Note: Due to technical difficulties, the Harsin video is only of the first 10 minutes of the press conference. You can watch the full video here.)
QUARTERBACK HT. WT. YR.
9 Grant Hedrick 6-0 198 R-Sr.
15 Ryan Finley 6-4 190 R-Fr.
27 Jay Ajayi 6-0 216 R-Jr.
26 Devan Demas 5-8 174 R-So.
OR 21 Jack Fields 5-9 203 Jr.
2 Matt Miller 6-3 213 R-Sr.
14 Troy Ware 6-2 183 R-Jr.
81 Dallas Burroughs 5-9 169 Sr.
OR 6 Chaz Anderson 5-10 182 R-So.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes 5-6 158 Jr.
82 Thomas Sperbeck 6-0 173 So.
88 Jake Roh 6-3 228 R-Fr.
89 Connor Peters 6-4 251 Sr.
OR 87 Alec Dhaenens 6-3 239 R-Fr.
84 Jake Hardee 6-3 238 R-Jr.
71 Rees Odhiambo 6-4 310 R-Jr.
75 Eli McCullough 6-5 288 R-Fr.
73 Travis Averill 6-3 298 R-So.
60 Kellen Buhr 6-1 290 R-So.
OR 52 Andrew Tercek 6-1 280 R-Fr.
72 Marcus Henry 6-3 286 R-Jr.
59 Mason Hampton 6-3 274 R-Fr.
66 Mario Yakoo 6-4 339 R-So.
OR 74 Archie Lewis 6-3 283 R-Fr.
70 Steven Baggett 6-3 289 R-So.
76 Jerhen Ertel 6-6 271 R-Jr.
53 Beau Martin 6-2 258 R-Sr.
33 Gabe Perez 6-4 231 So.
OR 32 Rondell McNair, 6-2, 242, R-Jr.
69 Tyler Horn 6-5 273 Sr.
94 Sam McCaskill 6-3 250 R-So.
OR 96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 271, R-So.
40 Armand Nance 6-0 301 Jr.
OR 98 Antoine Turner 6-1 290 R-Jr.
58 Robert Ash, 6-3, 286, R-Jr.
8 Kamalei Correa 6-3 247 So.
54 Mat Boesen 6-4 219 R-Fr.
51 Ben Weaver 6-0 235 R-So.
OR 36 Tyler Gray 6-4 229 Jr.
20 Tanner Vallejo 6-1 228 So.
OR 13 Blake Renaud 6-2 255 Sr.
38 Corey Bell 5-11 203 Sr.
37 Cameron Hartsfield 5-10 186 R-Fr.
OR 9 Mercy Maston, 5-11, 197, Sr.
5 Donte Deayon 5-9 152 Jr.
1 Bryan Douglas 5-9 175 R-Sr.
OR 9 Mercy Maston 5-11 197 Sr.
3 Cleshawn Page 5-9 178 Sr.
30 Jonathan Moxey 5-10 187 So.
10 Jeremy Ioane 5-10 192 R-Sr.
28 Dillon Lukehart 6-1 208 R-Jr.
OR 29 Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 6-1, 196, Fr.
4 Darian Thompson 6-2 208 R-Jr.
22 Chanceller James 6-2 208 R-So.
41 Dan Goodale 5-10 185 R-Sr.
49 Tyler Rausa 5-9 192 R-So.
19 Sean Wale 6-2 186 R-So.
46 Kevin Keane 6-0 207 Jr.
42 Matt Cota, 6-1, 189, R-Fr.
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 213, R-Sr.
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 198, R-Sr.
OR 19 Sean Wale 6-2 186 R-So.
1 Bryan Douglas, 5-9, 175, R-Sr.
35 Charles Bertoli, 5-11, 200, R-So.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 158, Jr.
5 Donte Deayon, 5-9, 152, Jr.
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