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2016 Fierce 40 Previews: #23 Boise State

by DJ Boyer on Jul. 27, 2016

#23 Boise State Broncos

2015 Recap:

9-4 seems like a down year for Boise State and...well...it was. The blue-field paraders replaced many skill position players and have laid the groundwork for another successful season. Despite finishing 9-4 Boise State is one of the few teams in the nation that finished in the top 20 overall on both offense (12th) and defense (15th).


Coaching:

Big year for Bryan Harsin as he enters his third year at Boise going 21-6 thus far. Harsin was the offensive coordinator at Boise State for five seasons prior to being the head coach and he will continue to call the plays in 2016.  Zak Hill and Scott Huff will help with the offense while Andy Avalos leads the defense.


Offense

If you are reading these in order you came across #24 UCLA and Josh Rosen, who looks like the best sophomore quarterback in the country. Here we may have the next best sophomore in Brett Rypien. If that name sounds familiar it was uncle Mark who quarterbacked the Redskins. As a true freshman Rypien had 3,353 yards and 20 touchdowns in what looks like the start of a promising career. In the past we have seen Boise quarterbacks with gaudy numbers that were not really NFL prospects, this is not he case with Rypien. At 6'2" 200 pounds he will have to add a little bulk to his frame but he has NFL skills. Jeremy McNichols had a phenominal year picking up the slack for the departed Jay Ajayi. The running back had 1,800 all-purpose yards and 26 total touchdowns showing he could get the job done running and catching the football. catching the football was something Thomas Sperbeck did plenty of last season, 88 times in fact. Chaz Anderson will be Spearbeck's partner in crime for 2016 and contributed 42 catches and 3 touchdowns of his own. The offensive line here is the question mark as Boise State will need leadership after losing their anchor in center Marcus Henry.
 

Best Draft Prospects: Brett Rypien QB 3rd Round 2019.

                                       Jeremy McNichols RB 5th Round 2018.


Defense

The defense allowed 20.2 PPg last season finishing 18th in the country in scoring defense. The defensive line lost a lot of familiar faces and the Broncos will look to the JUCO ranks to replenish the line fast. Jabari Watson looks like the defender they will lean on heaviest to gel with Gabe Perez. The linebacker play is where Boise State excels and they are led by NFL prospect Tanner Vallejo, a player who is versitile and can play inside or outside in a number of schemes. The Broncos leading tackle also returns in the form of Ben Weaver. It has been hinted that we may see Boise State play more formations with five defensive backs, perhaps playing to their strength as this is where the most expereince on the defense lies on this team. Chancellor James and Jonathan Moxey will both be counted on to be the leaders and could be All Mountain West selections at seasons end.

Best Draft Prospects: Tanner Vallejo LB 4th Round 2017.

                                      Chanceller James S 7th Round 2017.


Special Teams:

Boise State has a senior punter and kicker returning and the kicking game should excite the team and fans. Tyler Rausa was better-than-advertised last season and stands an outside chance of getting an NFL camp invite if his season resembles what he did in 2015. Sean Wale got better as the year went on, especially with his hang time and directional punting.


Schedule:

September 10th is the Broncos home opener and they get Washington State in what could be a barnburner. This is a favorable schedule for Boise State as many of the conference giants like San Jose State, Colorado State and Utah State all have to come to Boise and play on the blue field. BYU will also be coming to town with the toughest road game looking like Oregon State or Air Force.

Draft and Overall Outlook:

There are some draft picks on this roster but nobody in the first two days of the draft, and we are growing accustomed to seeing at least one Boise State player going during ther first three rounds of the NFL Draft. With the favorable schedule Boise State has to be considered a threat to crash the BCS once again, if they escape the early game against Washington State with a victory.

DJ Boyer