Bronco Beat

Boise State football finds a strength in deep offensive line crop

Gone are two starters at two key spots, both in NFL training camps, yet the Boise State offensive line is feeling confident it can be one of the top units for the Broncos this fall.

Even though tackle Rees Odhiambo (Seahawks) and center Marcus Henry (Saints) departed, there are four returning linemen that started at least eight games last season. Add in junior center Mason Hampton, who played in all 13 games last season and took a lion’s share of the first-team snaps last fall camp with Henry out, then took the No. 1 spot in the spring, and there may not be any dropoff.

“I like the depth, I think we’re going to have more depth this year than we’ve had in a really, really long time,” co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Huff said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can play multiple positions.”

Seniors Mario Yakoo and Steven Baggett have started at guard and tackle, while junior Archie Lewis has started at both tackle spots. The group added senior tackle Will Adams as a transfer from Auburn in the spring, and redshirt freshman John Molchon got in a lot of snaps with the first-team offense at left tackle in the spring with Yakoo and Lewis sidelined with injuries.

“It’ll be a big benefit, you don’t want it to happen, but injuries do happen, so we have a bunch of guys playing different positions and they can do it all,” senior guard Travis Averill said.

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I’ll have a feature story on senior linebacker Tanner Vallejo in Sunday’s paper, along with a look at senior cornerback Jonathan Moxey’s maturation process. Here’s two interesting quotes on Moxey:

“What I really want Jonathan to do, I want to see him just play football, I want to see him work his tail off ... don’t worry about getting caught up in the talking on the football field,” cornerbacks coach Ashley Ambrose said. “When he does that, I’d seen it in the spring, when he just kept his mouth closed and played ... his game elevates.”

“I just want to be best me I can be,” Moxey said. “Every day in practice, there's a play or two I know I could done (better), it's all mental mistakes, maybe my technique wasn't right ... that's what drives me.”

For Vallejo, coming off a season in which he moved between middle linebacker and nickel, struggled with a nagging ankle injury and was suspened for the Poinsettia Bowl, he’s out to make his senior season memorable: “I’m kind of glad that I went through it, because I grew up a lot from going through some issues.”

Senior defensive end Sam McCaskill said: “If anything, that suspension propelled him, he has done everything the coaches have asked for, and more. He’s been an incredible teammate and just worked his tail off this summer, I’m really excited for him this season.”

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Senior receiver Chaz Anderson spoke with the media Saturday and had a good laugh when he, a former cornerback, was asked how he’d cover fellow senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck.

“I’m glad I’m a receiver now ... probably hold him a little bit,” Anderson said.

Now a fixture on the first-team offense, Anderson had 42 receptions for 578 yards and three touchdowns last season. With no other receiver outside he and Sperbeck returning that had more than 10 catches last season, he’s been relied upon to be a continuously steady presence. He said he’s been working on not letting negative plays linger, when in the past he’d let it affect him on the field.

“Just understanding that everything is temporary, you drop a ball, you need to come back and make the play,” Anderson said. “... when (adversity) shows up, you have to attack it and be better.”

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2016 POSITION-BY-POSITION ROSTER:

QUARTERBACK

3 Tommy Stuart, 5-11, 203, R-Jr.

7 Anthony Upshaw, 5-11, 187, R-So.

4 Brett Rypien, 6-2, 200, So.

15 Jake Constantine, 6-1, 194, Fr.

14 Cam Humprey, 6-1, 191, Fr.

TAILBACK

26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 174, R-Sr.

30 Ryan Wolpin, 5-8, 189, R-Jr.

13 Jeremy McNichols, 5-9, 212, Jr.

10 Cory Young, 5-10, 195, R-So.

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

34 Robert Mahone, 5-10, 209, Fr.

22 Alexander Mattison, 5-11, 206, Fr.

20 Jake Roper, 5-10, 183, Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

16 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 183, R-Sr.

6 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 193, R-Sr.

82 Thomas Sperbeck, 6-0, 180, Sr.

89 Brock Barr, 6-3, 204, R-Jr.

83 David McKinzie, 6-0, 175, R-Jr.

17 Austin Cottrell, 6-2, 202, Jr.

1 Cedrick Wilson, 6-3, 183, Jr.

28 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 210, R-So.

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

81 Akilian Butler, 5-10, 183, So.

9 Bryan Jefferson, 5-11, 186, R-Fr.

5 Garrett Collingham, 6-4, 204, R-Fr.

2 Julian Carter, 6-2, 200, Fr.

18 Bubba Ogbebor, 6-0, 187, Fr.

80 Christian Blaser, 6-1, 181, Fr.

TIGHT END

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

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

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

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

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

85 John Bates, 6-6, 229, Fr.

84 Nick Crabtree, 6-7, 263, Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE

73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 295, R-Sr.

70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 288, R-Sr.

66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 326, R-Sr.

60 Kellen Buhr, 6-1, 294, R-Sr.

72 Will Adams, 6-7, 300, R-Sr.

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

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

59 Mason Hampton, 6-3, 296, R-Jr.

78 Andres Preciado, 6-6, 288, R-So.

67 Garrett Larson, 6-4, 293, R-Fr.

79 Eric Quevedo, 6-4, 300, R-Fr.

77 John Molchon, 6-5, 307, R-Fr.

75 Kole Bailey, 6-4, 286, Fr.

76 Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 305, Fr.

69 Austin Dixon, 6-6, 264, Fr.

71 Donte Harrington, 6-2, 291, Fr.

64 Ben Vering, 6-4, 240, Fr.

DEFENSIVE END

94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 259, R-Sr.

97 Austin Silsby, 6-3, 258, R-Jr.

91 Durrant Miles, 6-5, 244, So.

93 Chase Hatada, 6-3, 268, Fr.

45 Kayode Rufai, 6-4, 255, Fr.

40 Jabari Watson, 6-1, 262, Fr.

99 Curtis Weaver, 6-3, 287, Fr.

56 Dane Gooch, 6-2, 254, Fr.

STUD END

33 Gabe Perez, 6-4, 234, R-Jr.

8 Jabril Frazier, 6-4, 239, R-So.

35 Derriyon Shaw, 6-2, 222, Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 279, R-Sr.

90 Daniel Auelua, 6-2, 293, Jr.

48 David Moa, 6-3, 271, R-So.

92 Paul Semons, 6-3, 270, R-So.

54 Matt Locher, 6-2, 272, R-Fr.

53 Sam Whitney, 6-2, 239, R-Fr.

98 Sonatane Lui, 6-1, 293, Fr.

57 Emmanuel Fesili, 6-2, 308, Fr.

LINEBACKER

51 Ben Weaver, 6-0, 222, R-Sr.

44 Darren Lee, 6-1, 228, Sr.

20 Tanner Vallejo, 6-1, 223, Sr.

7 Joe Martarano, 6-3, 238, R-Jr.

24 Kam Miles, 6-1, 208, R-Jr.

36 Blake Whitlock, 6-1, 208, Jr.

43 Joe Provenzano, 5-11, 220, R-So.

38 Leighton Vander Esch, 6-4, 236, R-So.

41 Will Heffner, 6-2, 212, R-Fr.

58 Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 219, Fr.

9 Desmond Williams, 5-11, 193, Fr.

95 Nick Provenzano, 5-11, 203, Fr.

48 Bruno DeRose, 5-11, 194, Fr.

34 Solo Taylor, 6-2, 207, Fr.

On mission:

Riley Whimpey, 6-2, 205, Fr.

CORNERBACK

25 Raymond Ford, 5-10, 191, R-Sr.

2 Jonathan Moxey, 5-10, 185, Sr.

14 Tyler Horton, 5-11, 178, So.

21 Ladarryl Blair, 5-11, 182, R-Fr.

28 Garrett Estrada, 5-9, 163, R-Fr.

27 Reid Harrison-Ducros, 5-10, 170, Fr.

30 Robert Lewis, 5-10, 168, Fr.

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

22 Hayden Israelson, 5-11, 180, Fr.

26 Avery Williams, 5-9, 202, Fr.

SAFETY

3 Chanceller James, 6-2, 208, R-Sr.

37 Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 187, R-Jr.

17 Brandon Brown, 5-11, 198, R-Jr.

29 Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 6-1, 201, R-So.

31 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 194, R-So.

15 Evan Tyler, 6-2, 185, R-Fr.

23 Damion Wright, 6-0, 189, R-Fr.

10 Kekoa Nawahine, 6-2, 195, Fr.

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

17 Jalen Walker, 6-0, 167, Fr.

47 Ma'a Tanuvasa, 6-1, 185, Fr.

KICKER

49 Tyler Rausa, 5-9, 189, R-Sr.

46 Joel Velazquez, 6-0, 218, Fr.

PUNTER

19 Sean Wale, 6-2, 193, R-Sr.

LONG SNAPPER

42 Matt Cota, 6-1, 196, R-Jr.

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

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