Bronco Beat

Boise State football kicks off spring practices; Zak Hill to be OC and call plays

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin after first spring practice

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin discusses the Broncos' first spring practice and more March 6, 2017.
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Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin discusses the Broncos' first spring practice and more March 6, 2017.

Following co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff’s departure Wednesday, Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin said Monday that Zak Hill will be the Broncos’ sole offensive coordinator this season.

Hill was hired last January as co-OC/quarterbacks coach following a six-week stint at Hawaii. Prior to that, he was part of the prolific Eastern Washington staff for seven seasons. Harsin also said that Hill will be the Broncos’ playcaller, a position that Harsin himself was in charge of in 2016, though Hill was the team’s primary playcaller on third downs.

“Zak’s role has changed, he’s the offensive coordinator. We don’t have the co-coordinator, he’s going to run it and he’s ready to do that,” Harsin said. “He’s calling plays, he’s organizing everything, designing our practice plans, he’s been doing it for a while, since the end of the season.”

“In the situation he called them he did a really good job,” Harsin said of the playcalling. “... Now he takes the next step, will run the offense, and I feel completely confidence in him doing that.”

Harsin also said the Broncos are hoping to hire an offensive line coach to replace Huff “soon,” but said he has the luxury of being able to take his time with plenty of help already on staff. On Monday’s first practice of the spring, former Bronco lineman Nate Potter, a graduate assistant, handled offensive line coaching duties along with director of program development Chris Ross.

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The Boise State football held its first spring practice Monday at Albertsons Stadium with a handful of new faces, and a few surprises, too.

Sophomore running back Alexander Mattison, who coach Bryan Harsin expected to be out for the spring, took part in drills after having shoulder surgery in January. He is not expected to take part in any padded practices or anything involving contact. His predecessor, Jeremy McNichols, who had a strong showing at the NFL Combine this past week, was on hand watching practice.

Boise State’s updated roster includes four new walk-ons: offensive lineman Jake Stetz (San Marcos, Calif.), linebackers Clay Bowler (Holtville, Calif.) and Benton Wickersham (Elko, Nev.), and punter Brandon Heicklen (Tarzana, Calif.).

Also of note, a few players are notably bigger, and some a little smaller. Mattison, listed last season at 206 pounds, is now at 216, while redshirt freshman running back Robert Mahone is down 6 pounds to 203. Tight end John Bates has added 16 pounds, and offensive lineman Austin Dixon put on 26 pounds during his redshirt year. Fellow lineman Kole Bailey has shed 14 pounds over the past year, but the most extreme makeover is redshirt freshman Curtis Weaver, who began as a 287-pound defensive tackle, and now checks in at 255, working at the STUD position.

Junior David Moa said he is working at the Broncos’ defensive tackle spot, moving over from nose tackle. Though he was very productive at that spot, he was undersized at about 270 pounds, and checks in at 262 pounds on the latest roster update. Sophomore Garrett Collingham, who has spent time at quarterback and receiver, has added 21 pounds and now works as a linebacker.

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2017 POSITION-BY-POSITION ROSTER

QUARTERBACK

7 Rathen Ricedorff, 6-0, 186, R-Jr.

4 Brett Rypien, 6-2, 201, Jr.

15 Jake Constantine, 6-1, 187, R-Fr.

TAILBACK

30 Ryan Wolpin, 5-8, 195, R-Sr.

39 Jake Shaddox, 5-11, 211, R-So.

22 Alexander Mattison, 5-11, 216, So.

34 Robert Mahone, 5-10, 203, R-Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

89 Brock Barr, 6-3, 205, R-Sr.

83 David McKinzie, 6-0, 170, R-Sr.

17 Austin Cottrell, 6-2, 203, Sr.

1 Cedrick Wilson, 6-3, 188, Sr.

28 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 205, R-Jr.

8 Sean Modster, 5-11, 190, R-Jr.

81 Akilian Butler, 5-10, 187, Jr.

9 Bryan Jefferson, 5-11, 189, R-So.

18 Bubba Ogbebor, 6-0, 193, So.

2 Julian Carter, 6-2, 202, R-Fr.

80 Christian Blaser, 6-1, 176, R-Fr.

TIGHT END

87 Alec Dhaenens, 6-3, 245, R-Sr.

88 Jake Roh, 6-3, 227, R-Sr.

93 Jake Knight, 6-4, 232, R-Jr.

86 Chase Blakley, 6-4, 246, R-Jr.

47 Matt Pistone, 6-3, 249, R-So.

85 John Bates, 6-6, 245, R-Fr.

84 Nick Crabtree, 6-7, 261, R-Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE

74 Archie Lewis, 6-3, 300, R-Sr.

52 Andrew Tercek, 6-1, 281, R-Sr.

59 Mason Hampton, 6-3, 303, R-Sr.

78 Andres Preciado, 6-6, 293, R-Jr.

65 Zachary Troughton, 6-6, 316, Jr.

67 Garrett Larson, 6-4, 296, R-So.

79 Eric Quevedo, 6-4, 290, R-So.

77 John Molchon, 6-5, 310, R-So.

75 Kole Bailey, 6-4, 272, R-Fr.

76 Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 304, R-Fr.

69 Austin Dixon, 6-6, 290, R-Fr.

71 Donte Harrington, 6-2, 301, R-Fr.

64 Ben Vering, 6-4, 254, R-Fr.

70 John Ojukwu, 6-6, 285, Fr.

68 Jake Stetz, 6-2, 295, Fr.

DEFENSIVE END

97 Austin Silsby, 6-3, 256, R-Sr.

91 Durrant Miles, 6-5, 255, Jr.

45 Kayode Rufai, 6-4, 263, R-Fr.

40 Jabari Watson, 6-1, 261, R-Fr.

56 Dane Kordopatis, 6-2, 263, R-Fr.

STUD END

33 Gabe Perez, 6-4, 236, R-Sr.

8 Jabril Frazier, 6-4, 237, R-Jr.

53 Sam Whitney, 6-2, 232, R-So.

99 Curtis Weaver, 6-3, 255, R-Fr.

35 Derriyon Shaw, 6-2, 227, R-Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

90 Daniel Auelua, 6-2, 292, Sr.

48 David Moa, 6-3, 262, R-Jr.

92 Paul Semons, 6-3, 271, R-Jr.

54 Matt Locher, 6-2, 268, R-So.

93 Chase Hatada, 6-3, 267, So.

98 Sonatane Lui, 6-1, 298, So.

57 Emmanuel Fesili, 6-2, 309, So.

LINEBACKER

7 Joe Martarano, 6-3, 241, R-Sr.

36 Blake Whitlock, 6-1, 221, Sr.

43 Joe Provenzano, 5-11, 216, R-Jr.

38 Leighton Vander Esch, 6-4, 242, R-Jr.

5 Garrett Collingham, 6-4, 225, R-So.

41 Will Heffner, 6-2, 219, R-So.

58 Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 221, So.

9 Desmond Williams, 5-11, 203, R-Fr.

95 Nick Provenzano, 5-11, 212, R-Fr.

48 Bruno DeRose, 5-11, 214, R-Fr.

34 Solo Taylor, 6-2, 216, R-Fr.

25 Benton Wickersham, 6-2, 228, R-Fr.

42 Clayton Bowler, 6-0, 196, Fr.

Returning from mission this summer

Riley Whimpey, 6-2, 205, Fr.

CORNERBACK

6 Michael Young, 6-0, 209, R-Jr.

14 Tyler Horton, 5-11, 183, Jr.

27 Reid Harrison-Ducros, 5-10, 172, So.

30 Robert Lewis, 5-10, 177, R-Fr.

26 Avery Williams, 5-9, 197, R-Fr.

13 Marques Evans, 5-11, 172, Fr.

SAFETY

37 Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 199, R-Sr.

31 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 209, R-Jr.

15 Evan Tyler, 6-2, 188, R-So.

23 Damion Wright, 6-0, 190, R-So.

4 DeAndre Pierce, 5-11, 168, So.

10 Kekoa Nawahine, 6-2, 200, So.

32 Jordan Happle, 5-11, 191, R-Fr.

17 Jalen Walker, 6-0, 170, R-Fr.

47 Ma’a Tanuvasa, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.

KICKER

46 Joel Velazquez, 6-0, 220, R-Fr.

PUNTER

49 Brandon Heicklen, 6-0, 180, R-So.

LONG SNAPPER

50 Nicholai Pitman, 5-11, 220, So.

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