Boise State Football

Boise State football got a little help from Clemson and LSU entering spring practices

Boise State football opens spring practice 2018

The Boise State football team opened spring practices at Albertsons Stadium on March 12, 2018.
Up Next
The Boise State football team opened spring practices at Albertsons Stadium on March 12, 2018.

Far away from home, in the northwest corner of South Carolina, Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin quickly found someone who appreciates the place where he works.

On a professional development excursion to Clemson earlier this month, Harsin met Jalen Williams, a senior linebacker for the Tigers.

It was about 9 p.m., and he was one of the only players around. Harsin wanted to check out some of the facilities for the team that has played in back-to-back national championship games.

“He had no idea who I am, (Clemson’s director of football operations) says, ‘This is the head coach at Boise State.’ He pops up and says: ‘The blue field? I love the blue field, I love Boise State!’ ” Harsin said. “Right there, we were connected. He took me through a 15-minute tour of the whole locker room.

“We talk about first impressions with our guys ... that’s a story we can share with our players, it’s something we value quite a bit.”

Typically in the offseason, the staff will check out another team’s campus and learn a bit about how they do things. The defensive staff visited LSU this year, which it also did in 2017. Harsin went to Clemson with the offensive staff.

“There’s really no other profession that’s like that,” Harsin said. “You don’t see Coke and Pepsi going out there and deciding they’re going to share ideas.”

The Broncos’ defense learned some ideas from LSU on pressures and creating turnovers, both of which improved last fall. Clemson routinely has been a high-scoring offense.

Harsin also said on the visits the hosts are open to hearing from a program like Boise State, with its consistent ability to win.

“We deposited information there, too,” he said. “We don’t just go there and absorb. We gave some things we feel strongly about.”

Whether it is better ways to communicate, better ways to do a drill or how to maintain a culture, there’s always something the staff takes from the trips.

“We want to try to be the very best we can be at teaching the game, then we have to go out and learn from other people how to do it, too,” Harsin said.

Mattison limited

Junior running back Alexander Mattison, who had surgery in the offseason, is in a walking boot and will be out or limited throughout spring practices, which kicked off Monday. Harsin said others who are limited/out are junior safety Evan Tyler, junior wide receiver Akilian Butler, sophomore safety Jordan Happle, senior defensive end Durrant Miles, freshman linebacker Phillip Mills, junior running back Jake Shaddox and junior STUD end Sam Whitney.

‘Dominant’ defense?

The Boise State defense is confident it can be just as strong as, if not better than, it was in 2017. The Broncos were tied for 16th in the FBS with 26 takeaways, No. 17 in rush defense (120.2 ypg) and 38th in scoring defense (22.9 ppg).

They lose just one player who started a majority of 2017’s games, but he is a major one in linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Still, junior safety DeAndre Pierce said he thinks if everyone can take a step up, and those who backed up Vander Esch can apply what he taught them, the Broncos could be special.

“I feel we can be one of the most dominant defenses in the country,” Pierce said.

...

2018 SPRING POSITION-BY-POSITION ROSTER:

QUARTERBACK

4 Brett Rypien, 6-2, 203, Sr.

9 Jaylon Henderson, 5-11, 211, R-Jr.

17 Brandon Bea, 6-1, 226, R-So.

10 Chase Cord, 6-2, 202, R-Fr.

TAILBACK

30 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 208, R-Sr.

39 Jake Shaddox, 5-11, 214, R-Jr.

22 Alexander Mattison, 5-11, 219, Jr.

34 Robert Mahone, 5-10, 210, R-So.

29 Drake Beasley, 5-11, 195, R-Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

7 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 213, R-Sr.

8 Sean Modster, 5-11, 190, R-Sr.

81 Akilian Butler, 5-10, 187, R-Jr.

31 Justin Collins, 5-10, 187, R-So.

80 Christian Blaser, 6-1, 176, R-So.

82 Octavius Evans, 6-1, 201, So.

6 CT Thomas, 5-8, 172, So.

83 Damon Cole, 6-0, 174, R-Fr.

TIGHT END

86 Chase Blakley, 6-4, 240, R-Sr.

47 Matt Pistone, 6-3, 256, R-Jr.

5 Garrett Collingham, 6-4, 229, R-Jr.

46 Cody Shoemaker, 6-1, 224, R-Jr.

85 John Bates, 6-6, 247, R-So.

42 Daniel Cantrell, 6-0, 219, R-Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE

78 Andres Preciado, 6-6, 293, R-Sr.

65 Zachary Troughton, 6-6, 313, Sr.

66 Isiah Moore, 6-4, 282, R-Jr.

67 Garrett Larson, 6-4, 296, R-Jr.

79 Eric Quevedo, 6-4, 292, R-Jr.

77 John Molchon, 6-5, 314, R-Jr.

73 Nick Crabtree, 6-7, 289, R-So.

75 Kole Bailey, 6-4, 297, R-So.

76 Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 310, R-So.

69 Austin Dixon, 6-6, 295, R-So.

71 Donte Harrington, 6-2, 302, R-So.

64 Ben Vering, 6-4, 259, R-So.

70 John Ojukwu, 6-6, 299, R-Fr.

68 Jake Stetz, 6-2, 296, R-Fr.

DEFENSIVE END

91 Durrant Miles, 6-5, 266, Sr.

93 Chase Hatada, 6-3, 271, Jr.

45 Kayode Rufai, 6-4, 259, R-So.

35 Derriyon Shaw, 6-2, 236, R-So.

STUD END

8 Jabril Frazier, 6-4, 236, R-Sr.

53 Sam Whitney, 6-2, 230, R-Jr.

99 Curtis Weaver, 6-3, 266, R-So.

19 Aisa Kelemete, 6-3, 243, R-Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

48 David Moa, 6-3, 279, R-Sr.

92 Paul Semons, 6-3, 278, R-Sr.

54 Matt Locher, 6-2, 271, R-Jr.

98 Sonatane Lui, 6-1, 316, Jr.

57 Emmanuel Fesili, 6-2, 316, Jr.

40 Jabari Watson, 6-1, 273, R-So.

LINEBACKER

36 Blake Whitlock, 6-1, 222, R-Sr.

43 Joe Provenzano, 5-11, 232, R-Sr.

56 Joseph Inda, 6-0, 231, R-Sr.

41 Will Heffner, 6-2, 224, R-Jr.

58 Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 228, Jr.

9 Desmond Williams, 5-11, 205, R-So.

95 Nick Provenzano, 5-11, 227, R-So.

48 Bruno DeRose, 5-11, 227, R-So.

34 Solo Taylor, 6-2, 220, R-So.

25 Benton Wickersham, 6-2, 230, So.

44 Riley Whimpey, 6-1, 207, So.

24 Breydon Boyd, 6-3, 219, R-Fr.

20 Roman Kafentzis, 6-1, 208, R-Fr.

39 Ezekiel Noa, 5-11, 246, R-Fr.

17 Phillip Mills, 6-2, 223, Fr.

52 DJ Schramm, 6-0, 227, Fr.

3 Brandon Hawkins, 6-2, 190, Fr.

CORNERBACK

14 Tyler Horton, 5-11, 185, Sr.

26 Avery Williams, 5-9, 193, R-So.

30 Robert Lewis, 5-10, 178, R-So.

17 Jalen Walker, 6-0, 177, R-So.

13 Marques Evans, 5-11, 178, R-Fr.

18 Jermani Brown, 5-9, 168, R-Fr.

SAFETY

15 Evan Tyler, 6-2, 192, R-Jr.

23 Damion Wright, 6-0, 209, R-Jr.

4 DeAndre Pierce, 5-11, 174, Jr.

10 Kekoa Nawahine, 6-2, 205, Jr.

32 Jordan Happle, 5-11, 195, R-So.

28 Kekaula Kaniho, 5-10, 185, So.

21 Tyreque Jones, 6-2, 196, R-Fr.

KICKER

41 Haden Hoggarth, 6-0, 190, R-Sr.

94 Kevin Madigan, 5-11, 182, R-Fr.

PUNTER

49 Quinn Skillin, 6-4, 187, R-Sr.

46 Joel Velazquez, 6-0, 227, R-So. (ALSO KICKER)

LONG SNAPPER

50 Nicholai Pitman, 5-11, 232, Jr.

  Comments