Bronco Beat

Boise State football gives local walk-on scholarship, while another leaves

Mason Smith on switching from baseball to football at Boise State

Rocky Mountain grad and former minor league baseball player Mason Smith on walking on at Boise State.
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Rocky Mountain grad and former minor league baseball player Mason Smith on walking on at Boise State.

For the second time in the first week of fall camp, Boise State has given a scholarship to a walk-on.

Senior defensive end Austin Silsby, a Kuna High grad, was the latest recipient, according to a tweet from coach Bryan Harsin. Silsby played in six games last season, making five tackles (one for loss). He had two sacks in the 2016 spring game.

On Tuesday, Harsin put redshirt freshman linebacker/cornerback Avery Williams on scholarship. Harsin has now placed 14 walk-ons on scholarship in his Boise State tenure.

“I was very happy for him,” junior STUD end Jabril Frazier said. “... He’s been here a long time, and when I first got here, he opened up to me and I was just happy to see a local guy get put on scholarship.”

Another local walk-on has decided to leave the team. Safety Mason Smith, who joined the team in the summer after his pro baseball career ended, is no longer on the roster.

The Rocky Mountain High graduate starred in the team’s charity softball game last month, but had not played football since 2012. In four minor league seasons, Smith hit .201 in 167 games. Last summer, he played nine games at Double-A San Antonio, getting two hits in 24 at-bats. As a high school senior, Smith was a second-team All-5A SIC linebacker for the Grizzlies.

FRAZIER BACK TO NORMAL: Shortly after the Cactus Bowl, Frazier had three operations in one day on his shoulder, knee and ankle, which took four-and-a-half hours to complete. His first week afterward required a wheelchair, and he slept in a chair for three weeks.

After missing spring practices, Frazier was eager to get back at it when fall camp opened Tuesday.

“Happy to be back, it’s a blessing,” Frazier said. “It was a little bit of an adjustment, the first few days had to knock the rust off. It was kind of hard, but I’m feeling good now.”

Frazier had four sacks through the Broncos’ first five games last season, but his ankle injury in the Broncos’ sixth game, against Colorado State, limited him the rest of the way, as he did not have a sack afterward.

WALK-ONS PUT ON SCHOLARSHIP UNDER HARSIN

2014 (4): TE Jake Hardee, LS Kevin Keane, RB Charles Bertoli, OL Mason Hampton

2015 (1): LB Leighton Vander Esch

2016 (5): OL Kellen Buhr; LS Matt Cota, WR Taylor Pope, LB Blake Whitlock, RB Ryan Wolpin

2017 (4): NT Sonatane Lui, TE Jake Knight, LB/CB Avery Williams, DE Austin Silsby

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