Brandon Huffman, Scout.com’s national director of recruiting, is a busy man this time of year, with college football signing day and its flurry of activity coming Wednesday. He took some time to discuss Boise State’s 2017 class with the Idaho Statesman in a short Q&A.
Question: What are your thoughts on the class Boise State has put together?
Answer: I like it a lot, especially considering they lost (receivers coach) Junior Adams, who was a really good recruiter. Bryan Thompson’s relationship with him was big, so that’s a big reason they lost him. But Eric Kiesau knows the recruiting game, knows the region, so wasn’t like they missed much a beat, and he was recruiting some of the same targets when he was at Fresno. That’s a big reason they got Damon Cole (on Monday). I liked what they did recruiting receivers, and they still have a shot at Tre Walker. I like what they did at safety with Marques Evans and Roman Kafentzis, I think this is a really well-rounded class. Losing (Sean) Seawards hurts somewhat, but they’re still really good with their offensive line projects.
Q: Who are the guys that stand out to you in this class?
A: Isiah Moore has got the chance to be a big impact guy. The JCs, guys like him and Mike Young, the expectation is obviously that they’ll play early and they have the talent to do it. The guy that everyone is excited about is Jermani Brown. He has so much versatility, he could play corner, slot receiver, returner. He’s a really explosive guy. It’ll be the case where they find a place for him and let him loose. The other one I’m a big fan of is Marques Evans, it was a loaded DB class out West, so he might not have had those big Pac-12 offers, but I’ve always felt like Boise State recruits like a Pac-12 anyway, and he’s on that level. He could play sooner than later.
Q: The Broncos have one running back and one quarterback committed, what do you think of Drake Beasley and Chase Cord?
A: Beasley, we had him at one point as one of the top three backs in the West, but their advantage was they got to play their senior year. You don’t play early at Loyola unless you have some ability. Obviously the move (to a new school) backfired in that he didn’t get to play, he had 8-10 Power 5 offers. They kind of move on when that happened, and I think Boise will really benefit. Cord reminds me a lot of Rypien as a smooth, natural passer. He won’t blow you away with his velocity, but he’s one of those guys that checks the boxes. He does have a decent arm downfield, has some spin, and he’s got an ability to run an offense. He’s a very good all-around quarterback, was the MVP of the Blue-Grey game, showing his knee’s not any issue. He’ll be ready to go, but he understands he probably won’t play this year, and he’s the type of kid that is still going to make the most out of it.
Q: Is there an under the radar guy that you like in the class?
A: The kid I think of is Kekaula Kaniho, you didn’t see a whole lot of him on the offseason circuit, didn’t do a lot of camps. He’s not the biggest guy, but he hits like he’s 6-2, 220. He’ll knock your head off, and he’s got phenomenal ball skills.
Q: Nationally, what are you keeping your eye on?
A: The big thing is, what a lot of West Coast fans were fearing, is that USC has the momentum on the field and now on the recruiting trail. Five Scout top 100 guys could commit on Wednesday, so they could close like they did on the field, about to close with one of the best classes in the country. It will also be interesting to see if Alabama or Georgia, which we have 1-2 in our rankings, finishes on top.
▪ Follow Huffman on Twitter: @BrandonHuffman
Boise State still has tickets available for its signing day celebration at Big Al’s in Meridian. Click here to purchase. They are $20 apiece.
BOISE STATE 2017 COMMITMENTS
VERBALLY COMMITTED, EXPECTED TO SIGN WEDNESDAY
▪ OT Mike Young, 6-6, 335, Queen Creek (Ariz.) High
▪ LB Breydon Boyd, 6-4, 215, Katy (Texas) High
▪ QB Chase Cord, 6-3, 185, Sunrise Mountain HS (Peoria, Ariz.)
▪ OL Isiah Moore, 6-5, 315, Mesa CC (Tiffin, Ohio)
▪ CB Jermani Brown, 5-11, 175, Midlothian (Va.) High
▪ DB Tyreque Jones, 6-3, 190, San Gorgonio HS (San Bernardino, Calif.)
▪ DB Quentin Brown, 6-2, 190, Conroe (Texas) High
▪ WR Cartrell Thomas, 5-9, 160, Lancaster (Texas) High
▪ LB/S Roman Kafentzis, 6-2, 200, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.)
▪ DE Aisa Kelemete, 6-4, 225, Highland HS (Pocatello)
▪ DB Kekaula Kaniho, 6-0, 170, Kahuku (Hawaii) High
▪ LB Ezekiel Noa, 6-0, 230, Helix HS (La Mesa, Calif.)
▪ RB Drake Beasley, 5-11, 200, La Canada HS (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.)
▪ WR Octavius Evans, 6-2, 200, Center (Texas) High
▪ WR Damon Cole, 6-0, 175, El Cerrito (Calif.) High
SIGNED, ENROLLED AND ON CAMPUS
▪ S Mike Young, 6-0, 205, Dodge City CC (Raytown, Mo.)
▪ QB Rathen Ricedorff, 6-1, 200, Mesa CC (Show Low, Ariz.)
▪ OL John Ojukwu, 6-6, 285, Boise High
▪ DB Marques Evans, 6-1, 180, Newbury Park (Calif.) High
▪ OL Zach Troughton, 6-5, 310, Butte College (Maxwell, Calif.)