Boise State added just three new signees Wednesday, but the trio all offered a unique way in which they chose the Broncos.
Kicker/punter Gavin Wale, from Coronado High in Henderson, Nev., grew up a Boise State fan ever since his cousin Sean signed seven years ago. Gavin committed Jan. 26 while on an official visit, the very day he was offered a scholarship.
“He’s been wanting to come to Boise State for the last eight years. ... It was literally about a second when he was like, ‘Can I commit?’ ” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
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In the case of linebacker Lolani Langi, the courtship was much longer. The Broncos offered him before his junior season at Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah) and kept a close relationship even as he racked up more offers.
And when the term “courtship” is used, it truly fits here — Harsin compared recruiting to dating, and committing to a school was like an engagement. Which of course would make a day like signing day ...
“He called me the day after our visit and he was like, ‘We’re getting married,’ and that was it,” Harsin said.
[Related: Brothers transfer from Boise State to Idaho]
Then there is New Deal (Texas) High receiver DK Blaylock. Committed to Iowa State in June, Boise State offered him in August, and he decommitted from the Cyclones on Dec. 11, a week before the early signing period.
Boise State co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Eric Kiesau knew the Broncos would have a shot to get him in February, but “every other school in America is thinking the same thing.” However, Boise State fended off other suitors by focusing on how he would be able to thrive in the program and at the position, where the Broncos have sought lengthy receivers like him.
“It was really building that relationship,” Kiesau said, adding, “the way we do things here at Boise State is different than other places. We just stay patient and wait for a guy to fit what we’re looking for and he checked all those boxes.”
Wale, Langi and Blaylock join a class that finished No. 48 overall in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, one that has been graded among the top Group of Five classes ever. Harsin said he is aware of “the hype,” but thinks what makes the 18 new additions worthy is that they have the work ethic to make it a great class when all is said and done.
“The football part, to me, is easy ... but do they work hard? Do they have the discipline, do they have toughness? These are the things we need to find out,” Harsin said. “If you don’t care about that, I don’t care how skilled you are, you will fail at Boise State.
“These guys, yeah, there’s hype ... we’re excited about them, but if they don’t work hard, then it doesn’t matter. They’ll be towel-wavers on the sideline.”
So, what are the Broncos getting in the three newcomers? Their coaches weigh in.
Co-special teams coordinator Lee Marks on Wale: “Definitely one of the best punters in the nation, super excited, and expect big things from him once he gets here.”
Defensive coordinator Andy Avalos on Langi: “He’s a guy that has been multiple in terms of positions. He’s been an edge guy, primarily ... we want to be able to transition him more to an inside linebacker. We blitz our inside linebackers a lot.”
Kiesau on Blaylock: “He definitely has the length that we need. ... He’s an absolute perfect fit. He’s going to give us length in the room, but there’s so many other qualities about him that we love.”
NEWS AND NOTES
Harsin said the Broncos still have two open scholarships to use to add newcomers, or to give to a walk-on. ... Junior offensive lineman Donte Harrington recently tore an ACL during workouts, Harsin said. Harrington started three games last season at right guard with Eric Quevedo injured. ... Co-offensive coordinator Zak Hill said he will continue to call plays as he shares coordinator duties with Kiesau. ... Newly hired outside linebackers coach/co-special teams coordinator Jeff Schmedding said he and co-coordinator Marks will collaborate, but focus on their side of the ball, meaning Schmedding will work with punt return, kickoff and field-goal block. ... Among those not expected to take part in spring practices are quarterback Chase Cord, tight end Garrett Collingham and receiver Octavius Evans. ... Harsin likely won’t name a starting quarterback (or two who will rotate) until about 10 days before Aug. 31’s opener against Florida State, he said.
WEDNESDAY SIGNEE BIOS
WR DK Blaylock, 6-5, 175, New Deal (Texas) High
As a senior, caught 51 passes for 1,161 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to Texas District 2-2A Co-Offensive MVP honors. … Helped lead team to state championship game. ... Averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists per game last season in basketball.
LB Lolani Langi, 6-2, 210, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham High
Helped lead Bingham to back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017, his sophomore and junior seasons ... As a senior had 51 tackles, including eight sacks, and six forced fumbles. ... Older brother, Harvey, played at BYU and is on New York Jets’ roster.
K/P Gavin Wale, 6-3, 175, Henderson (Nev.) Coronado High
Garnered first-team all-state accolades from the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a senior, and was also named first-team All-Southeast League as both a kicker and a punter. As a senior, averaged 43.42 yards on 34 punts and connected on 5-of-7 field goal attempts.
BOISE STATE FOOTBALL 2019 RECRUITING CLASS
*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)
WR DK Blaylock, 6-5, 175, New Deal (Texas) High
LB Lolani Langi, 6-2, 210, Bingham High (South Jordan, Utah)
K/P Gavin Wale, 6-3, 175, Coronado High (Henderson, Nev.)
* - early enrollees, already on campus