Bronco Beat

Rypien, Sperbeck, Weaver, McCaskill named Boise State captains

The Boise State football team announced its 2016 season captains Tuesday, led by three seniors, and in a rare, albeit not surprising move, a sophomore.

Senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck, senior linebacker Ben Weaver and senior defensive end Sam McCaskill join sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien.

The last two seasons, the Broncos had two permanent captains, with two additional ones selected each week by the coaching staff.

“We kind of changed up our format,” coach Bryan Harsin said. “... felt like that was the best thing for this team, felt like we had some strong leaders, and the team voted on that, picked the four captains. Those guys are going to work well together, they’ve done a great job leading throughout camp, I think they’re great representatives for the program.”

Also on Tuesday, the Senior Bowl announced its 2016 watchlist, which includes Sperbeck, Weaver and linebacker Tanner Vallejo.

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A few quick highlights from Harsin’s media availability Tuesday:

▪  True freshman defensive tackles Chase Hatada and Emmanuel Fesili, cornerbacks Reid Harrison-Ducros and DeAndre Pierce, receiver Bubba Ogbebor and safety Kekoa Nawahine have worked with the “varsity” group, not the scout team. Harsin said if they will play isn’t set in stone, but this week should give him a clear idea.

“Right now, they’re in the mix,” Harsin said. “... we’re certainly preparing for them to play.”

▪  Harsin said no decision has been made yet at most of the positions up for grabs, including left tackle, where senior Will Adams and junior Archie Lewis have competed. The rest of the line is pretty set Harsin said. Mario Yakoo (right tackle), Steven Baggett (right guard), Mason Hampton (center) and Travis Averill (left guard) have been the first team most of camp. Click here for our offensive line preview.

▪  Junior linebacker Blake Whitlock has been put on scholarship, Harsin confirmed. A transfer from Saddleback (Calif.) College, he has impressed on special teams and on the outside, backing up senior Tanner Vallejo.

“We had some depth we wanted to create, we hoped after he was here he could actually play football, because he could run around and he looked good out there doing the weight room stuff, but you don’t know until you see them,” Harsin said. “He’s pretty instinctual, he’s not big enough yet, he still doesn’t know everything from a defensive standpoint, but he’s shown enough ... .”

Four walk-ons have been put on scholarship this fall camp: Whitlock, junior long snapper Matt Cota, senior receiver Taylor Pope and senior offensive lineman Kellen Buhr.

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Have questions about how to watch Boise State’s season opener at Louisiana? Check this out.

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Harsin was on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones this morning, click here to listen.

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The latest in the get to know a freshman series is Curtis Weaver, who has worked at STUD during fall camp.

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