Boise State’s Bryan Harsin on recruiting new players
Some will debate if the on-field results are up to their sky-high standards, but one thing is true about Boise State football’s last few years — its recruiting success has been excellent.
And the 2019 signing class stands to be the Broncos’ highest-rated one ever. Since none of the commits and signees have appeared on the Blue, the recruiting rankings are the best gauge we have.
Boise State signed 15 on Dec. 19, and currently has three commits set to sign Wednesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, the class ranked No. 46 nationally using 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, which combines its database and other major recruiting sites. The Broncos have three composite four-star recruits, but 247’s own rankings have them with six.
“I would say ... it’s the most impressive class I’ve seen a Group of Five team ever sign,” 247Sports.com national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman said.
That’s right, not only has Boise State put together its most highly touted class, it ranks among the best any school from the Group of Five conferences (those outside the Power Five) have inked.
On the December signing day, SB Nation took notice, praising the group and noting “even if not every four-star pans out, Boise State has a significant recruiting edge over its Mountain West rivals, and should be set up to keep competing for MWC titles and New Year’s bowls in the near future.”
The average player ranking of the signees and commits is 85.52 (on a scale to 100), which among Group of Five schools in the last six classes barely trails Houston’s 2016 class, which had an average of 85.62. The Cougars signed the No. 6-ranked player in the nation in that class in five-star defensive tackle Ed Oliver.
Boise State’s 2019 class was ranked higher than that Houston group, but since specialists aren’t usually ranked highly (none are four stars in the composite rankings), two-star kicker/punter Gavin Wale’s commitment bumped the average down a bit.
Including Houston, American Conference teams usually have been atop the Group of Five recruiting rankings, from Cincinnati (2018) to UCF (2017) and USF (2013 and 2014). But Boise State always has been right there, with the top Group of Five class in 2015 and the No. 1 class in the Mountain West every year since joining the conference in 2011.
“It’s a testament to their longevity. They’re not a flash in the pan like some Group of Five schools,” Huffman said. “It’s been 20 years of them acting like and recruiting like a Power Five program. You’re no longer surprised by it that they’re recruiting at such a high caliber.”
Huffman noted that of the 15 December signees, all but one had at least one Power Five offer. Two of the three currently committed to sign Wednesday also had Power Five offers.
“They’re punching above their weight, not just beating out the lower Pac-12 schools, but some of the best, and even in cases like (quarterback Hank Bachmeier), it’s the SEC,” Huffman said.
Bachmeier is one of the three composite four stars, along with outside linebacker Casey Kline and junior college tight end Austin Griffin. Ranked by 247 as four-star recruits are running back George Holani, safety JL Skinner and running back Keegan Duncan. All signed in December. Bachmeier and Kline are already enrolled.
“To us, it’s really our eyes, our ears — we know who’s offered ... just because they have those offers doesn’t mean we’re going to back down,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said in December. “When you make that connection, the (other) offers don’t matter.”
It remains to be seen, of course, if this class will prove to be as highly productive as it is highly rated. The Broncos’ 2007 class was ranked 63rd but had the likes of Shea McClellin, Doug Martin, Titus Young, Austin Pettis, Billy Winn and a little left-handed passer from southeastern Washington by the name of Kellen Moore.
Still, if coaches across the country harp that the rankings don’t matter Wednesday, Boise State will not exactly be sad to have such high praise for the class it has put together.
SIGNING DAY EVENT: Boise State will host a signing day celebration event at the Stueckle Sky Center at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $25, or free for Coaches Club members, and include parking on the east side. Coaches will break down the signees, and appetizers will be served along with a no-host bar.
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE: For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, season ticket prices will not rise in the main stadium for 2019. Tickets, which went on sale Tuesday, only increase in price in the north end zone (from $99 to $125) and in sections 102 and 129 (from $215 to $275). Season ticket holders will have the first chance to reserve or upgrade seats for 2020, which includes a visit from Florida State.
▪ Visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/BoiseStateSports at 11 a.m. Wednesday to see coach Bryan Harsin discuss the class.
RECENT TOP GROUP OF FIVE RECRUITING CLASSES
According to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, with overall ranking, average player rating and number of four-star recruits:
2019: Boise State (46), 85.52, 3
2018: Cincinnati (47), 84.43, 1
2017: UCF (55), 83.36, 1
2016: Houston (36), 85.62, 4
2015: Boise State (58), 83.61, 1
2014: USF (42), 84.32, 0
2013: USF (54), 82.99, 0
2012: Cincinnati (51), 83.99, 0
BOISE STATE FOOTBALL 2019 RECRUITING CLASS
Committed, can sign Wednesday
WR DK Blaylock, 6-5, 180, New Deal (Texas) High
LB Lolani Langi, 6-2, 225, Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah)
K/P Gavin Wale, 6-2, 175, Coronado High (Henderson, Nev.)
Signed in December
*QB Hank Bachmeier, 6-3, 190, Murrieta (Calif.) Valley High
*STUD/LB Casey Kline, 6-5, 215, Brawley (Calif.) Union High
OL Jacob Golden, 6-6, 280, Peoria (Ariz.) High
RB Keegan Duncan, 6-3, 215, Declo High
OL Ben Dooley, 6-5, 279, Fallon (Nev.) Churchill County High
RB George Holani, 6-0, 195, St. John Bosco High (Bellflower, Calif.)
*QB Kaiden Bennett, 6-0, 175, Folsom (Calif.) High
WR Khyheem Waleed, 6-3, 190, Casteel High (Queen Creek, Ariz.)
DE Michael Callahan, 6-4, 245, Yorba Linda (Calif.) High
DE Isaiah Bagnah, 6-5, 245, Lethbridge (Alberta) Collegiate Institute
TE Austin Griffin, 6-7, 240, Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College
STUD Dylan Hall, 6-5, 230, Antelope Valley High (Lancaster, Calif.)
CB Markel Reed, 6-1, 170, Temple (Texas) High
DB JL Skinner, 6-3, 185, Point Loma High (San Diego, Calif.)
WR Shea Whiting, 6-2, 180, Alief Taylor High (Houston)
* - early enrollees, already on campus