Bronco Beat

BSU’s Harsin: McNichols’ NFL future not determined; Broncos add another commit

Addressing the media for the first time since Dec. 4, when Boise State’s bowl destination was announced, coach Bryan Harsin said Tuesday star running back Jeremy McNichols’ future has not been decided.

A report that came out Friday said McNichols has decided to give up his senior year of eligibility and will declare for the NFL Draft. His mother, Dametra, said no decision had been made, a sentiment echoed by Harsin.

“That conversation, we’ve had very little conversation over it right now,” Harsin said. “Certainly, if you look at the history of our tailbacks, they’ve had a lot of success and they’ve done well in the NFL. He’s done a great job. We’ll sit down and we’ll crunch some more numbers.”

Harsin added that a decision will naturally have to be made in the near future, but said that he will be supportive if McNichols leaves early, while also stating he feels a lot more can still be done if he comes back.

“It’s out there, people are talking about it ... it hasn’t been a distraction in here,” Harsin said.

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Mid-year junior college transfers and early high school graduates can sign Wednesday. The Broncos are expected to announce a few new additions then, including Mesa (Ariz.) Community College quarterback Rathen Ricedorff.

When he committed Sunday, Ricedorff mentioned competing with starter Brett Rypien and being used in certain packages for his mobility. Including a pair of walk-ons, the Broncos are currently slated to have seven quarterbacks on the roster in 2017.

Junior Tommy Stuart was used as a mobile change-of-pace as a sophomore, but has not been used at all that way this season. He will graduate this weekend, and could be a transfer possibility. Harsin said nothing has happened yet on that front.

“The quarterback position, the one thing we’re never trying to be in is having depth issues at that position,” Harsin said. “... We’re always being prepared in case something changes.

“We have a plan if something does (happen).”

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Harsin praised Baylor’s offensive ingenuity, and said the Bears’ speed is perhaps the most impressive part. He joked that they had his father, Dale, bring his alcohol funny car to practice and try to chase it around to simulate the speed.

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Boise State picked up another verbal commitment Tuesday evening from Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) linebacker/safety Roman Kafentzis. According to MaxPreps, he had 49 tackles, two sacks and an interception for their No. 4-ranked team in the nation. In an interview with Scout.com, he said he envisions playing the outside linebacker position that senior Tanner Vallejo has thrived in the last three years.

Kafentzis also had offers from Air Force, Colorado State, Nevada, New Mexico and Navy, among others. He also has a bit of a tie to Boise State. His father, Kurt, who played in the NFL from 1985-88, was a high school football teammate of Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice in Richland, Wash.

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Ticket sales have not come easily for Boise State in the Cactus Bowl. The school reported about 2,000 were out as of Tuesday morning. Boise State has a ticket budget of $685,200 from the Mountain West for the Cactus Bowl, with the expectation that $125,000 of that would come from the Broncos’ allotment of 8,000 tickets. Simply put, the more the Broncos sell, the more they could pocket, with the Mountain West covering the rest. Anything less than the $125,000 mark would mean a loss for the school.

The bowl’s last installment, played on Jan. 2, 2016, drew 39,321 fans, though it had hometown Arizona State against West Virginia. The prior year, it drew 35,409 when Washington played Oklahoma State.

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Albertsons provided a $20,000 check to the Idaho Foodbank on Tuesday, the result of its Sacks For Hunger initiative, in which $500 for each sack is donated. The Broncos had 27 sacks this season, but Albertsons decided to kick in a little extra. The money will provide 80,000 meals to those in need around the Treasure Valley.

Sophomore defensive tackle David Moa, who had a team-high 7.5 sacks, or $3,750 worth, spoke after the presentation.

“I always knew, coming to Boise State, we’d have a strong influence in the community, and for our performance on the field, to do something like this is truly amazing, and all I can promise is next year we’ll shoot for more,” Moa said.

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Former Boise State tight end David Lucero, who was kicked off the team in January after pleading guilty to misdemeanor battery of a female student-athlete, has committed to UTEP, coached by former Boise State offensive line coach Sean Kugler. Lucero spent this season at Arizona Western College.

BOISE STATE 2017 VERBAL COMMITMENTS

▪ OT Mike Young, 6-6, 335, Queen Creek (Ariz.) HS

▪ QB Chase Cord, 6-3, 185, Sunrise Mountain High (Peoria, Ariz.)

▪ S Mike Young, 6-0, 205, Dodge City CC (Raytown, Mo.)

▪ LB Breydon Boyd, 6-4, 215, Katy (Texas) HS

▪ OL Isiah Moore, 6-5, 315, Mesa CC (Tiffin, Ohio)

▪ DL Zeke Birch, 6-5, 270, Madison HS

▪ DB Marques Evans, 6-1, 180, Newbury Park (Calif.) HS

▪ CB Jermani Brown, 5-11, 175, Midlothian (Va.) HS

▪ DB Tyreque Jones, 6-3, 190, San Gorgonio High (San Bernardino, Calif.)

▪ DB Quentin Brown, 6-2, 190, Conroe (Texas) High

▪ OL John Ojukwu, 6-6, 285, Boise HS

▪ WR Cartrell Thomas, 5-9, 160, Lancaster (Texas) High

▪ WR Bryan Thompson, 6-3, 185, Rancho Verde High (Moreno Valley, Calif.)

▪ QB Rathen Ricedorff, 6-1, 200, Mesa CC (Show Low, Ariz.)

▪ LB/S Roman Kafentzis, 6-2, 200, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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