On Thursday, we provided an inside look at the Broncos’ recruiting class through the words of the defensive assistant coaches. You can read/watch that post here.
Today, the offense gets its turn.
Embedded in both posts are short video clips from the coaches. If you’d prefer to watch the full interviews, they are attached above. On offense, I’d recommend watching tight ends coach Eliah Drinkwitz (the Mike Sanford video is strong, too).
Previous recruiting coverage:
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2015 RECRUITING CLASS
Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford has his eyes set on competing for a spot among the nation’s elite programs, so he wanted to pursue speed on the perimeter and length in the trenches. He also needed a quarterback — and he landed one of the highest-rated players in school history in Brett Rypien. “The biggest thing is we wanted offensively to get faster on the perimeter and at tailback,” Sanford said (click on the video above for more).
Overview: Boise State lost senior starting quarterback Grant Hedrick and because of some previous attrition doesn’t have a quarterback in the junior or senior classes. The most experienced player is sophomore Ryan Finley, who was the backup last season but barely played outside of an up-and-down relief role in September at Air Force. The top contenders for the starting job figure to be Finley, redshirt freshman Alex Ogle and Rypien. Finley has been teaching Ogle and Rypien, which is what Sanford likes to see. “(Finley) is obviously elevating their game, which ultimately will elevate his game,” Sanford said. “That’s what we want. We want the best version of ourselves. All of those guys working together in a competitive environment truly creates the best version of ourselves. No decisions are going to be made early in spring ball or maybe even fall camp. We want to create a competition that truly goes into fall camp.” (Click on the video above for more.)
QB Brett Rypien, 6-2, 185, Fr., Shadle Park HS (Spokane, Wash.)
The skinny: The nephew of Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was the Washington player of the year as he set a state record with 13,044 career passing yards. He threw 50 touchdown passes as a senior and was ranked a top-15 quarterback nationally. He also graduated from high school early so he could enroll in January and compete for the starting job this year. “Just an absolute no-brainer from a statistical standpoint,” Sanford said (click on the video above for more). “The thing that’s special about him is an unbelievable desire and hunger and thirst for more knowledge in the game of football.”
Overview: The Broncos return four of the five tight ends from last year’s rotation and add two redshirt freshmen who were among their top recruits last season. Tight ends coach Eliah Drinkwitz went into the 2015 recruiting class hoping to add one tight end but determined that he’d only sign one if he could get the right guy. Matt Pistone was the first of only two scholarship offers he made at the position, he said (for more, click on the video above).
TE Matt Pistone, 6-4, 230, Fr., Yuma (Ariz.) Catholic HS
The skinny: ESPN rated Pistone the No. 15 tight end in the country. He committed to Oregon State last summer but Drinkwitz maintained weekly contact with him and, as Pistone said, “let time take its toll.” Pistone committed to Boise State after Oregon State coach Mike Riley left but was planning to visit the Broncos before that, he said. “We knew if we stuck with it at the end we were going to be able to pull it out, and we did that,” Drinkwitz said (he tells the full story in the video above). “ We kept working our magic and it happened.”
Overview: The Broncos lost starter Jay Ajayi to the NFL. Ajayi took nearly every significant snap during the season and provided a rare combination of size, power, speed, receiving ability and blocking ability. The Broncos have some talented young backs but don’t have anyone built like Ajayi. Raymond Sheard (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) should grow into that type of physical presence. “When you lose a guy like Jay, ultimately you’re trying to replace a guy like Jay,” running backs coach Kent Riddle said. “ We just feel real good about putting the ball in (Sheard’s) hands and saying you need to be the next great back. Now hopefully he’s in a long line of guys to get to that, but if they’re all striving to be that, I think we’ll get there.”
RB Raymond Sheard, 6-1, 200, Fr., Arlington (Texas) HS
The skinny: Sheard rushed for 1,502 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior to earn all-district honors. He has track speed and was a big-play threat in high school, but Riddle also appreciated that he was considered a leader on his team and played with a dislocated elbow as a junior. “He makes tough yards, he loves to practice, he loves to compete,” Riddle said. (For more on Sheard, including a funny anecdote about him, click on the video above).
Overview: The Broncos return their entire offensive line from last season. They used this class to hone in on the length that Sanford mentioned — tall, long-armed guys with the potential to grow into menacing linemen. “We wanted bigger guys, and I think we went out and accomplished that,” offensive line coach Scott Huff said.
OL Garrett Larson, 6-4, 280, Fr., Fruitland HS
The skinny: Larson committed to Boise State two weeks before last year’s signing day. “His junior year, he might have led the state of Idaho in personal fouls, and that was right up my alley,” Huff said (click on the video above for more).
OT John Molchon, 6-6, 275, Fr., Faith Lutheran HS (Las Vegas)
The skinny: The Broncos courted Molchon through spring recruiting, their own summer camp and into the season. He was the Nevada lineman of the year in his classification. (Huff describes his recruitment in the video above.)
OL Eric Quevedo, 6-5, 280, Fr., West Covina (Calif.) HS
The skinny: Like Molchon, the Broncos found Quevedo in the spring. Unlike Molchon, he didn’t go to camp. So the coaches waited until they could see him play as a senior before offering a scholarship. “It was a no-brainer,” Huff said (click on the video above for more).
Overview: The Broncos moved cornerback Chaz Anderson to wide receiver in fall camp to add some speed to the mix. He ended up leading the team in yards per catch. So in this recruiting class, they knew they needed to find more speed. “We wanted speed and we wanted playmakers,” wide receivers coach Junior Adams said (click on the video above for more).
WR Akilian Butler, 5-10, 180, Fr., West Mesquite HS (Dallas)
The skinny: Butler scored touchdowns on a quarter of his receptions as a senior (12 of 48). Adams appreciated his overall football ability, including his runs after the catch, blocking and special teams work. “He does all the little things right,” Adams said (click on the video above for more).
WR Bryan Jefferson, 6-1, 190, Fr., Leesburg (Fla.) HS
The skinny: He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch as a high school senior and was a team captain. His speed has Adams thinking of unnamed former Broncos who made big plays. Adams slow-played Jefferson’s recruitment a bit and even asked his dad for permission to offer him a scholarship. “There have been numerous schools trying to come in and steal this kid,” Adams said (for the full story on his recruitment of Jefferson, click on the video above — the lighting is bad, but it’s worth listening to anyway).
3 Tommy Stuart, 5-11, 193, R-So.
15 Ryan Finley, 6-4, 190, R-So.
18 Alex Ogle, 6-3, 203, R-Fr.
16 Anthony Upshaw, 5-11, 187, R-Fr.
11 Brett Rypien, 6-2, 185, Fr.
21 Jack Fields, 5-9, 203, Sr.
26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 174, R-Jr.
35 Charles Bertoli, 5-11, 200, R-Jr.
37 Ryan Wolpin, 5-8, 194, R-So.
13 Jeremy McNichols, 5-9, 195, So.
31 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 185, R-Fr.
10 Cory Young, 5-10, 185, R-Fr.
Raymond Sheard, 6-1, 200, Fr.
20 Terrell Johnson, 5-9, 174, R-Sr.
14 Troy Ware, 6-2, 183, R-Sr.
1 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 158, Sr.
29 Rick Smith, 5-9, 174, R-Jr.
19 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 178, R-Jr.
6 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 182, R-Jr.
82 Thomas Sperbeck, 6-0, 173, Jr.
Brock Barr, 6-3, 195, Jr.
80 D.J. Dean, 6-1, 195, R-So.
83 Tanner Shipley, 6-1, 181, R-So.
39 David McKinzie, 6-0, 166, R-So.
24 Dusty Fisher, 6-2, 179, R-So.
28 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 199, R-Fr.
8 Sean Modster, 5-11, 189, R-Fr.
Akilian Butler, 5-10, 180, Fr.
Bryan Jefferson, 6-1, 190, Fr.
84 Jake Hardee, 6-3, 238, R-Sr.
85 Holden Huff, 6-6, 222, R-Sr.
93 Brennyn Dunn, 6-3, 215, R-Jr.
87 Alec Dhaenens, 6-3, 239, R-So.
88 Jake Roh, 6-3, 228, R-So.
86 Chase Blakley, 6-4, 234, R-Fr.
91 David Lucero, 6-5, 213, R-Fr.
Matt Pistone, 6-4, 230, Fr.
72 Marcus Henry, 6-3, 286, R-Sr.
71 Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 310, R-Sr.
76 Jerhen Ertel, 6-6, 271, R-Sr.
73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 298, R-Jr.
70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 289, R-Jr.
66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 339, R-Jr.
60 Kellen Buhr, 6-1, 290, R-Jr.
74 Archie Lewis, 6-3, 283, R-So.
75 Eli McCullough, 6-5, 288, R-So.
52 Andrew Tercek, 6-1, 280, R-So.
59 Mason Hampton, 6-3, 274, R-So.
56 Troy Bacon, 6-3, 291, R-Fr.
78 Andres Preciado, 6-6, 258, R-Fr.
57 Tennessee Su’esu’e, 6-1, 289, R-Fr.
68 Jake Templeton, 6-2, 275, R-Fr.
63 Sitini Kauvaka, 6-2, 287, R-Fr.
77 RJ Thorne, 6-2, 295, R-Fr.
Garrett Larson, 6-5, 275, Fr.
Eric Quevedo, 6-5, 280, Fr.
John Molchon, 6-6, 275, Fr.
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