Bronco Beat

Finley will transfer; who is Boise State’s backup QB now?

Boise State junior QB Ryan Finley, March 7

Boise State junior quarterback Ryan Finley talks about his return from injury, losing his starting job and competing with Brett Rypien after the Broncos' first spring practice March 7, 2016.
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Boise State junior quarterback Ryan Finley talks about his return from injury, losing his starting job and competing with Brett Rypien after the Broncos' first spring practice March 7, 2016.

Last month, Ryan Finley said, “I love Boise State. This is where I want to be.”

The love may still there, but the junior quarterback is heading to a new school after he graduates in May.

On Tuesday, Boise State announced Finley will transfer to another school upon graduating. After starting the first three games last season, Finley suffered a season-ending ankle injury Sept. 18 against Idaho State.

True freshman Brett Rypien made his debut that night and ran with the opportunity, earning All-Mountain West first-team honors. He cemented himself as the starter with an excellent spring competing against Finley.

“We wish Ryan the best,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said in a statement. “He is going to leave Boise State with a degree, and that is what this is all about.”

Finley, a Phoenix native, can play immediately at a Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision school as a graduate transfer with up to three years of eligibility remaining. He declined a phone interview, but texted a statement, reading in part:

“I want to thank Boise State Football and Bronco Nation for these memorable three years. I have developed some unbelievable relationships with my teammates and coaches that will last a lifetime, and I am proud that I will be a graduate of Boise State University.”

Boise State could add another quarterback. But for now, the 6-foot-4, 196-pound Finley’s departure leaves the Broncos with just two other scholarship quarterbacks to back up Rypien when fall camp begins:

TOMMY STUART 5-11, 2013, JR.

Stuart provides a dual-threat ability the Broncos used successfully as the season progressed, scoring three touchdowns on the ground in the final five games.

“You’re going to see him out there because he does do some things the other guys don’t,” Harsin said Saturday.

In limited action, Stuart completed 12-of-18 passes last season for 118 yards and a touchdown. He redshirted in 2014 after transferring from Butte (Calif.) Junior College. Harsin praised his work in the offseason and said it carried over into the past five weeks, saying: “I really like Tommy Stuart. He’s had a really good spring.”

JAKE CONSTANTINE 6-1, 185, FR.

Two days after commit Micah Wilson flipped to Missouri, Boise State got a commitment from Constantine, who threw for 3,988 yards and 51 touchdowns as a senior at Camarillo (Calif.) High. Despite the big stats, he didn’t have any other offers, but Harsin saw potential.

“We can sit here and nitpick some fundamentals and all that. I don’t think he’s far off. He’s really not,” Harsin said Feb. 3. “What I saw watching all of his games was a feel that you can’t coach.”

Rypien was the first true freshman quarterback to play in a game for Boise State since 1993, and redshirting Constantine seems to be the preferred route for the Broncos.

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