At 6-foot-3 with the speed to be Boise State’s top deep threat and now the Broncos’ primary punt returner, junior wide receiver Cedrick Wilson is certainly an NFL-level talent.
Wilson’s father, also named Cedrick, played seven seasons for the 49ers and Steelers. But the younger Wilson has not considered following in his father’s footsteps yet.
“I haven’t really thought about that, I’m just worried about finishing out the season,” Wilson said.
In his first season with the Broncos after transferring from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, Wilson has been everything the staff had hoped, hauling in 50 receptions for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has thrown a touchdown pass and has averaged 15.8 yards on eight punt returns.
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“I’ve grown a lot more, at first I was just trying to catch the ball and get down, now every time I catch it, I’m trying to score,” Wilson said, noting he came into the season with a goal of 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns.
Wilson and Thomas Sperbeck (1,193 yards) are the first pair of 1,000-yard receivers to accomplish the feat in the same season ever at Boise State.
“It’s pretty cool, Thomas teaches me a lot, I go back and watch his (film) all the time, he’s one of those receivers that finds open areas,” Wilson said.
Wilson was one of four players and an assistant coach that spoke with the media Thursday. Here are some highlights from the others:
The Broncos’ offensive line coach/co-offensive coordinator spoke about 6-foot-5, 310-pound signee Zach Troughton from Butte (Calif.) College, who will join the team in January as a true junior. He can play tackle or guard.
“He’s a big ol’ joker,” Huff said. “The thing I’m most excited about is he just seems to really pick up football naturally, and that’s a huge deal for any junior college kid that’s coming in that you’re trying to plug in as fast as you possibly can.”
Boise State also signed quarterback Rathen Ricedorff from Mesa (Ariz.) CC. Ricedorff is from Show Low, Ariz., where Huff had an accident where he hit a bear while on the road recruiting.
“Killed my rental car too ... the Chevy emblem is in my office as a reminder to be safe,” Huff said.
The senior offensive lineman and Huff both spoke about the Broncos’ failed goal-line possession in their last game Nov. 25 at Air Force. The Broncos had the ball on first-and-goal at the Falcons’ 5-yard line with less than 4 minutes to play, down 27-20. Junior running back Jeremy McNichols rushed three times for 1, 2 and 1 yard, and quarterback Brett Rypien was stopped at the 1 on fourth down.
“As an O-line, we’re really disappointed. We put that on ourselves,” Yakoo said. “It doesn’t matter if they’ve got 20 guys on the line. If it’s 6 inches away, we’ve got to get it in. We were definitely disappointed about that, that’s just something we’ve got to work on and get better, in this bowl game make sure it doesn’t happen to us again.
“It’s definitely motivated us. We still have that dirty taste in our mouth. There’s nothing better to cure that dirty taste than to go out there Dec. 27 and just dominate, get that ‘W.’”
The sophomore quarterback did not speak after the Air Force loss, but addressed the failed sneak attempt on the Broncos’ final offensive play.
“It’s tough, we got all the way down to the 1-yard line and couldn’t finish,” Rypien said.
Some Rypien’s numbers from his freshman to his sophomore season have taken a bit of a dip. His completion percentage fell from 63.6 to 61.8 percent, his yards per game from 304.8 to 278.4, but his pass efficiency went up from 140.9 to 162.3, and his touchdown to interception ratio was up from 2.5:1 to 3.8:1. He said his role has changed, as he went from throwing 39 times per game last season to 28.6 in 2016.
“It’s been probably the craziest fall I’ve ever been a part of,” Rypien said.. “Losing two family members, going through everything. Obviously coming up a little bit short of our goal. I’ve learned a lot this year on the field, off the field as well. It’s been a learning experience, for sure.”
LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH
After missing the previous seven games, Vander Esch returned against Air Force and did not miss a beat, racking up nine tackles (two for loss) and had an interception.
“It definitely got me back into the flow of things,” Vander Esch said.
He said the defense is eager to be challenged by Baylor’s offense, which is No. 5 in the nation in yards per game, and No. 1 with 88.9 plays per game.
“The amount of plays they run per game ... the speed of it, we’re going to be up to the challenge for that,” Vander Esch said.
A second-team All-Mountain West selection, McNichols leads the nation with 27 total touchdowns and is No. 5 in rushing yards with 1,663.
Boise State’s players got to pick out their bowl gifts recently. Check out the video from BSU below: