Boise State Football

Boise State backfield takes another hit with recruit’s arrest

The Boise State football team’s gaping hole at tailback grew a little larger Wednesday.

February signee Raymond Sheard was arrested Tuesday at Arlington (Texas) High on drug and gun charges. He won’t join the team, a Boise State official said Wednesday.

The Broncos need to replace the nation’s second-most productive running back in NFL-bound Jay Ajayi. They lost expected contributor Charles Bertoli last week when he decided to pursue other interests.

That leaves sophomore Jeremy McNichols, senior Jack Fields, junior Devan Demas and redshirt freshman Cory Young as the only scholarship running backs in the program. None has rushed for 200 yards in a season.

On Monday, coach Bryan Harsin expressed optimism about the competition. The tailbacks played better in the scrimmage last Saturday, after Bertoli left, than in the first spring scrimmage, Harsin said.

“Guys have to step up, and that’s exactly what they did,” he said.

Sheard was found in possession of an unloaded gun at school, Arlington police said. Arlington High officials reported to the police that they also found non-prescription drugs and marijuana in his backpack.

Sheard, 19, remained in jail Wednesday with a bail of $6,750. Charges include possession of a weapon in a prohibited place (school campus), possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. A charge of tampering with an ID number (serial number on gun removed) was dropped, according to jail records.


Boise State expects to make a profit of nearly $1.7 million from its appearance in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, according to a revenue-and-expense breakdown provided to the Idaho Statesman in answer to a public-records request.

The exact profit: $1,686,680.90.

Boise State based its report on a $4 million payout from the Fiesta Bowl appearance. The school received half of the Mountain West’s College Football Playoff bonus, or $2 million. It also received $2 million in expense money. The school will get another $167,000 as its share of the other $2 million the conference received from the CFP, but that conference distribution wasn’t included in Boise State’s calculation.

Boise State netted $1.2 million on a $3 million payout for the 2010 Fiesta Bowl and $2.8 million on a $4.3 million payout for the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. All told, the school has made about $5.7 million off its three Fiesta Bowl trips.

Major expenses for the 2014 trip included:

– $535,921.91 for the ticket office and parking. That includes 2,826 unsold tickets.

– $397,273.69 for airfare and ground transportation. The school chartered three flights each direction.

– $267,723.08 for lodging for the team and staff. The school was required by the Fiesta Bowl to take 150 rooms at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort for six nights for the team and staff ($227 per night) and 125 rooms at the same hotel for three nights for the official travel party ($227 per night). The school was obligated to take another 75 rooms for three nights at a different hotel ($149 per night). Some hotel nights were sold to fans to lower the school’s bill.

– $206,445.05 for food for the team and staff.

– $162,395.54 to bring the band, cheerleaders and dance team. The school was required by the Fiesta Bowl to take 125 rooms for three nights for the band and spirit group ($145 per night).

– $162,261.03 for equipment, team awards and gifts.

– And $547,279.15 for supplemental pay. That includes $175,000 for Harsin, $200,000 total for his nine full-time assistants and $30,000 for Athletic Director Mark Coyle.

The total of expenses was $2,313,319.10.

The Fiesta Bowl profit likely will stay in the athletic department to help with the increased costs caused by the move to cost-of-attendance scholarships this fall, added food offerings for athletes and rising student-insurance costs, the university said in a statement. Cost-of-attendance scholarships alone will add about $1.2 million to the budget.


Senior defensive tackle Antoine Turner, the formerly homeless junior college transfer who joined the Broncos in 2014, expects to make a major contribution in 2015.

He made 13 tackles last season but saw his playing time dwindle late. Only two of those tackles came in the last four games.

“I didn’t live up to my standards,” Turner said. “... It was frustrating, but I also understood. At the time, I would want the guys that coaches could depend on every single down on the field. I didn’t take any offense to that.

“This year is going to be a little different. I’m going to know what I’m doing, too, and I’m going to be doing it to the best of my ability.”

Turner is playing nose and tackle this spring because the Broncos have a pair of seniors at nose in Armand Nance and Justin Taimatuia. Turner played nose last season.

“It’s crazy how much depth we have, but it’s so interchangeable,” Turner said. “... You can make so many packages. We have our heavy, we have our speed, we can mix it up. Everybody is trying to whup everybody’s behind.”

Turner hopes to move beyond the feel-good story that accompanied his arrival at Boise State. He was homeless at the end of his junior college career and the Broncos were given NCAA permission to help him until he got to Boise.

“I’m very grateful for what Boise has done for me and Boise State has done for me, but it’s about football now,” Turner said. “The story is over. I’m out of that situation now. I’m here. I’m living. I’m enjoying myself. And now I just want people to understand that I can ball.”


Senior Mercy Maston could be the key to the Broncos’ defense this season.

The former cornerback who redshirted last season because of injury is the starting nickel in spring ball, replacing the defensive MVP of the Mountain West championship game and Fiesta Bowl (Tanner Vallejo).

Vallejo moved back to middle linebacker so coaches could use their preferred personnel group with five defensive backs.

“It means a lot to me to contribute,” Maston said. “I want to leave a mark here as a Boise State football player.”

Maston started four games at cornerback as a junior college transfer in 2013. He has added some weight – he’s 5-foot-11 and about 205 pounds – to handle the physicality of nickel, which requires a combination of linebacker, safety and cornerback skills.

Sophomores Kam Miles and Cameron Hartsfield are the backups.

“We can be so multiple,” defensive backs coach Julius Brown said of the five-DB approach. “Talking with our offense, I think it’s tough on them because we’re not switching personnel and we’re doing a lot of different things.”

Maston missed last season with compartment syndrome in his left fibula (leg), which is caused by a buildup of blood or fluid. He was injured during fall camp and got healthy in time to play a few games late in the regular season but decided, in consultation with the coaches, to redshirt.

Initially, he wanted to play.

“I did the right thing,” he said. “I’m blessed to come back.”