Boise State Football

Boise State's running back depth takes hit as promising freshman leaves

Boise State STUD Jabril Frazier wraps up running back Drake Beasley at the line of scrimmage during the annual Spring Game Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.
Boise State STUD Jabril Frazier wraps up running back Drake Beasley at the line of scrimmage during the annual Spring Game Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise. doswald@idahostatesman.com

One of the Boise State football team's most promising young talents is headed elsewhere.

The school confirmed Friday that redshirt freshman running back Drake Beasley has left the team, following a spring in which he saw plenty of snaps and was poised for a role this fall.

Beasley has not played in a game since the 2015 season. He sat out 2016 because he was declared ineligible as a high school senior because of a transfer, and he redshirted last season with the Broncos.

"Drake, he needs to play this year, needs to step up and get a lot stronger and he knows that," running backs coach Lee Marks said last month. "He’s going to play for us in games somewhere … he’s definitely going to play this year.

"I’m excited to cut him loose a little bit, put him in some packages and some plays, just kind of see what he can do. I won’t be afraid to put him in."

In the Broncos' spring game, Beasley had a team-high eight carries for 19 yards, adding a catch for 3 yards. He ran for 1,647 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior at Loyola High in Los Angeles, picking up offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Pitt, UCLA and more. His transfer to La Canada High was declared to have been unfairly influenced by an assistant coach, and he was declared ineligible.

This summer, the Broncos will add two true freshmen in the backfield, Danny Smith and Andrew VanBuren, who are listed at 210 and 215 pounds, respectively. Offensive coordinator Zak Hill said of them, "take a look at the two running backs we brought in, holy cow." The group also includes scholarship backs in senior Skyler Seibold, junior Alexander Mattison and sophomore Robert Mahone.

Redshirt sophomore STUD end Derriyon Shaw also has left the team. He did not play last season after redshirting in 2016. A Georgia native, he came to Boise State from a high school in Las Vegas. His older brother, Michael, is a senior linebacker at Georgia State.

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