Another winding journey to National Signing Day is almost complete for the Boise State football program.
And the result could be another recruiting class that stacks up well against the Broncos’ peers.
We asked Scout.com’s director of recruiting, Brandon Huffman, for his thoughts on the class. Signing day is Wednesday. Here are his answers, via email.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
Q: What are your impressions of the class Boise State has built this year?
A: It’s a solid class across the board and will, again, be the class of the Mountain West. Even more impressive is that with the coaching turnover this year, specifically the coordinators, they have maintained a solid class, even with the Missouri defections of QB Micah Wilson and RB Damarea Crockett. Getting a quarterback was important, but it was going to be tough with the emergence of Brett Rypien this year — most quarterbacks in the 2016 class will feel it’s going to be too long to wait, but getting a quarterback was crucial, especially with Micah Wilson decommitting.
Q: Who are the two or three best players in this class?
A: DL Chase Hatada. I think he can play from the day he steps foot on campus. Great motor, technically sound and still some room to add weight.
S/LB Desmond Williams. Was overshadowed by his three other teammates in the secondary (all four of their starting DBs are signing Wednesday), but he may be the most physical of all of them and in the state playoffs, he was Centennial’s best player on defense.
RB Alexander Mattison. Doesn’t come from a high school that gets a lot of recruiting attention but has been productive and is a physical back with good speed.
Q: Who is your favorite under-the-radar recruit in this class?
A: TE Nick Crabtree. Stuck on an offense that rarely ever threw the ball, but he’s a big and physical blocker who’s a good athlete. On the 7v7 and camp circuit, where he got to run routes and catch passes, you could see his receiver ability, even if his team’s offense didn’t allow for that.
Q: QB Jake Constantine is an intriguing prospect. Why didn’t he have other offers, and how do you think he’ll fit in the college game?
A: Quarterback recruiting is always strange — if you don’t have offers by the end of summer before your senior year, you have to absolutely go off in your senior season just to still bring up interest. Then there becomes the worry of, ‘Well, why doesn’t he have an offer at this point?’ And coaches are often copycats. They won’t offer if no one else will, but then are quick to offer if someone else does. So when Constantine goes through his whole season without an offer, people were slow, for whatever reason, and no one would pull the trigger. He played 7v7, he had a tremendous year, so his was a real head-scratcher. But I think he’ll provide a lot of quality depth for the Broncos. It’s unlikely he’ll see the field until 2018 at the earliest, so he has some time to develop. He’s got a good arm, is a good athlete and has a high ceiling.
Q: Defensive line was a huge area of need. Do you see quick-impact guys there?
A: I think Hatada, of the high school signees, will be the one with the best chance to get on the field. And then the (junior college transfers), Joshua Fatu and Daniel Auelua, aren’t being brought in to develop, but to get on the field and contribute immediately, so I think both are going to be well immersed in the rotation next fall
2016 RECRUITING CLASS
Signed letter of intent
▪ OL Will Adams, 6-7, 303, Sr., Auburn (Tyrone, Ga.)
▪ WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., 6-3, 190, Jr., Coffeyville CC (Memphis, Tenn.)
▪ OL Kole Bailey, 6-5, 285, Fr., Twin Falls High
▪ LB Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 230, Cathedral Catholic High (San Diego)
▪ DL Chase Hatada, 6-3, 260, Rocklin (Calif.) High
▪ CB Robert Lewis, 5-10, 170, Augustus Hawkins High (Los Angeles)
▪ RB Robert Mahone, 6-0, 200, Prosper (Texas) High
▪ WR Julian Carter, 6-2, 175, Saguaro High (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
▪ OL Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 270, Bethel High (Spanaway, Wash.)
▪ CB Reid Harrison-Ducros, 5-11, 175, Heritage High (Colleyville, Texas)
▪ LB/S Desmond Williams, 6-0, 190, Centennial High (Corona, Calif.)
▪ TE Nick Crabtree, 6-6, 250, Huntington Beach (Calif.) High
▪ LB Ali’i Niumatalolo, 6-2, 225, Broadneck HS (Annapolis, Md.)
▪ DE Derriyon Shaw, 6-4, 225, Legacy High (Las Vegas)
▪ K/P Joel Velazquez, 6-1, 225, Trabuco Hills High (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
▪ DT Danielson Auelua, 6-2, 285, jr., Mesa CC (Alpine, Utah)
▪ DB De’Andre Pierce, 5-11, 175, Long Beach Poly HS (Palos Verdes, Calif.)
▪ TE John Bates, 6-6, 215, Lebanon (Ore.) HS
▪ QB Jake Constantine, 6-1, 180, Camarillo (Calif.) HS
▪ RB Alexander Mattison, 6-0, 200, San Bernardino (Calif.) HS
▪ OL Austin Dixon, 6-7, 265, Corona del Sol HS (Tempe, Ariz.)
▪ DL Emmanuel Fesili, 6-2, 280, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly HS
▪ DL Josh Fatu, 6-2, 280, jr., Long Beach CC (Long Beach, Calif.)
▪ DE Kayode Rufai, 6-3, 230, Lincoln HS (Portland)
▪ DB Jordan Happle, 6-2, 190, Jesuit HS (Portland)
Note: Boise State is believed to have more commitments who haven’t publicly announced their decisions.