Boise State Football

Five newcomers will join Boise State football team in January

Bryan Harsin tells why bowl-opponent Baylor is so hard to defend

Boise State HC Bryan Harsin discusses the Cactus Bowl.
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Boise State HC Bryan Harsin discusses the Cactus Bowl.

A trio of junior college transfers and a pair of early high school graduates signed with the Boise State football team Wednesday, allowing them to join the program in January.

Quarterback Rathen Ricedorff of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, safety Mike Young of Dodge City (Kansas) Community College and offensive lineman Zach Troughton of Butte (Calif.) College will join as juniors next month.

Defensive back Marques Evans of Newbury Park (Calif.) High and offensive lineman John Ojukwu of Boise High will graduate from high school early.

A quick look at the five new players who are joining the program:

▪ Ricedorff (6-foot-1, 200 pounds): Threw for 3,688 yards with 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games this season, adding three rushing scores. He was the conference offensive player of the year.

▪ Young (5-11, 205): Had 42 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and blocked three kicks this season.

▪ Troughton (6-5, 310): Opted to have second year at JC after multiple FBS offers last year, and is a two-time all-league pick.

▪ Evans (6-1, 180): Had 38 tackles and two interceptions and added a pair of touchdown receptions in 2016.

▪ Ojukwu (6-6, 285): Added 85 pounds between junior and senior year, earning All-5A SIC honors this season.


There has been some confusion regarding how bowl payouts work, and what the payout would be for the Cactus Bowl. A $3.3 million figure is often cited, but the figure has not been regularly updated, plus the matchup usually is a Big 12 school against a Pac-12 team.

The Mountain West confirmed Wednesday to the Idaho Statesman the payout for Boise State will be $750,000 for the Dec. 27 game against Baylor. And even if it was a multi-million dollar payout, it would not be a bonanza for Boise State. The Mountain West is given all payouts and the money is distributed evenly among league members.

A Big 12 spokesman said the conference does not divulge bowl payouts for its members.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_southorn



QB Rathen Ricedorff, 6-1, 200, Mesa CC (Show Low, Ariz.)

S Mike Young, 5-11, 205, Dodge City CC (Raytown, Mo.)

OL Zach Troughton, 6-5, 310, Butte College (Maxwell, Calif.)

DB Marques Evans, 6-1, 180, Newbury Park (Calif.) HS

OL John Ojukwu, 6-6, 285, Boise HS


OT Mike Young, 6-6, 335, Queen Creek (Ariz.) HS

QB Chase Cord, 6-3, 185, Sunrise Mountain High (Peoria, Ariz.)

LB Breydon Boyd, 6-4, 215, Katy (Texas) HS

OL Isiah Moore, 6-5, 315, Mesa CC (Tiffin, Ohio)

DL Zeke Birch, 6-5, 270, Madison HS

CB Jermani Brown, 5-11, 175, Midlothian (Va.) HS

DB Tyreque Jones, 6-3, 190, San Gorgonio High (San Bernardino, Calif.)

DB Quentin Brown, 6-2, 190, Conroe (Texas) High

LB/S Roman Kafentzis, 6-2, 200, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.)

WR Cartrell Thomas, 5-9, 160, Lancaster (Texas) High

WR Bryan Thompson, 6-3, 185, Rancho Verde High (Moreno Valley, Calif.)


▪ Teams: Boise State (10-2, 6-2 Mountain West) vs. Baylor (6-6, 3-6 Big 12)

▪ Time: 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27

▪ Where: Chase Field, (48,159 capacity, grass, home of MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks), Phoenix

▪ TV: ESPN (Rece Davis, Joey Galloway, David Pollack, Molly McGrath)

▪ Radio: KBOI 670 AM and KTIK 93.1 FM

▪ Tickets: $40-$115, available at, by phone at 208-426-4737 or the Boise State ticket office.

▪ Vegas line: Boise State by 7

▪ Coaches: Boise State, Bryan Harsin (31-8, third year; 38-13, fourth year overall); Baylor, Jim Grobe (6-6, first year; 116-121-1, 20th year overall)

▪ Bowl records: Boise State 11-5, Baylor 11-11

▪ Series record: First meeting