Boise State football adds wide receiver recruit; QB Finley among those already signed

Fruitland High seniors Alec Dhaenens, right, and Joe Martarano signed letters of intent to attend Boise State University on National Signing Day Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013 in Fruitland.

Fruitland High seniors Alec Dhaenens, right, and Joe Martarano signed letters of intent to attend Boise State University on National Signing Day Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013 in Fruitland.

By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

For most college football recruits, the decision-making ends today.

For Fruitland High linebacker Joe Martarano, the most difficult decision is yet to come.

Martarano will send a National Letter of Intent to Boise State today. He’s one of the best players in a recruiting class that is expected to include 29 guys.

But Martarano also is one of the nation’s top high school baseball players and could be offered seven figures to play that sport after the MLB draft in June. (Here is a story I wrote about Martarano last year.)

Martarano said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a two-sport option — he expects to choose.

And it certainly sounds like he’s leaning toward the gridiron. He made his official visit to Boise State last month.

“My official made me love Boise State,” said Martarano, who committed June 28, 2011. “I kind of want to become a part of that. But I’m also keeping baseball open.”

He committed to Boise State so early because he has dreamed of playing for the Broncos for years. His dad, Victor, played tight end at the school.

Boise State gave him his first offer. Washington State and Oregon State offered to let him play football and baseball but other potential suitors backed off when he told them he wasn’t interested.

“Boise State has always been my dream school since I was a little kid,” he said.

Martarano is sitting out this basketball season but will play baseball in the spring. He has won five state championships — one in football (he was a quarterback and linebacker), two in baseball and two in basketball.

He’s signing today alongside his best friend, Boise State-bound tight end Alec Dhaenens. They attended preschool together when they were 2.

“It’s really cool,” Martarano said. “It’s even cooler that it’s the same (college) team.”

Martarano expects to play weak-side linebacker (the J.C. Percy/Aaron Tevis spot).

Above: Joe Martarano highlights


Wide receiver A.J. Richardson of Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif., committed to Boise State publicly on Wednesday (he told the coaches previously). He committed to Cal’s former coaching staff but reopened his recruitment after those coaches were fired.

Richardson did not sign a letter of intent with Boise State, he said, because he’s dealing with some academic and knee issues. He expects to sign soon, grayshirt and join the Broncos in January 2014. He tore an anterior cruciate ligament late last season.

Here is a video of Richardson from the Daily Breeze. Nickel Mat Boesen also is featured on the site.

“They made me feel really at home,” Richardson told the Daily Breeze of Boise State. “Coach Petersen, he’s a real great dude. I love the coaching staff and I feel I’m going to be most successful at Boise State. … They said they’ve got big plans for me, so I’m really excited about that.”


Confirmed signings (through players, signing ceremonies and media reports):

QB Ryan Finley
CB Cameron Hartsfield
TE Jake Roh
C Andrew Tercek
N Mat Boesen
LB Durrant Miles
WR Tanner Shipley
CB Dionza Blue
LB Joe Martarano
TE Alec Dhaenens
DT Nick Terry
CB Jonathan Moxey
CB Mercy Maston
S Thomas Sperbeck
DE/OLB Gabe Perez

Boise State has announced the full class. Read that post here.


Boise State ranks 41st in the latest rankings, which would be a school record. The previous best was 56th last year.


Dhaenens is rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained early last season. He hopes to be cleared for summer workouts and plans to participate in the summer program but may grayshirt and enroll fulltime in 2014.

“Everything’s on time,” he said. “I’m just rehabbing a lot.”

Dhaenens played tight end and defensive end at Fruitland. He’ll play tight end at Boise State.

He had offers from Washington State and Nevada and after he committed to Boise State he heard from Stanford, Oregon and UCLA, he said.

“I told them I was already committed to Boise State,” he said.

He committed in February 2012 — giving him about a year to think about Signing Day.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “I can’t wait.”


Above: Andrew Tercek highlights

Center Andrew Tercek of San Antonio committed in June and didn’t have to fend off any late pursuers.

“I’d definitely recommend to any junior or sophomore lucky enough to have an offer to commit — make sure it’s the right choice —because you don’t have to worry about the hassle,” he said. “My senior year has been absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t ask for a better one so far.”

Despite the early decision, National Signing Day holds significance for him.

“It signifies just how wonderful God is and how God has bestowed a whole bunch of blessings on my life,” he said. “I’m so thankful. … There was a lot of hard work and a lot of faith — everybody who believed in me from my youth football days. I guess it’s still a bit surreal. … As a little kid you always dream of it, but when it gets here it kind of sneaks up on you. I guess it won’t hit me fully until I sign on the dotted line.”


Above: Nick Terry highlights

Defensive tackle Nick Terry of Elk Grove, Calif., drew late interest from Cal. Barry Sacks, the assistant who recruited him for Nevada, is part of the new Cal staff.

Terry brushed it off.

“The connections I had with (defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, defensive line coach Andy Avalos and coach Chris Petersen) were so strong,” he said. “I can’t wait to play for them.”

Terry is on the track and field team this spring. He throws the shot put and discus.

He also is preparing himself to compete for playing time this season. The Broncos are thin at tackle.

“That’s one of the reasons I came to Boise State was to get a chance to play early,” he said. “When Coach K came by and Coach Avalos, they were stressing that they want me to be ready to play right when I get there and to compete for a spot.”


Above: Mat Boesen highlights

Nickel Mat Boesen of Torrance, Calif., plans to sign in the principal’s office. He’s the only player from his school with a college commitment.

“I’m officially going to be a Bronco,” he said, “and I’m really excited about it.”

He’s in the middle of his wrestling season. He’s 25-2 with losses to the top two guys in the state, he said.

His school year doesn’t end until late June. Four days later, he’ll be in Boise to begin the bridge program for incoming recruits.

His first visit to Boise State, an unofficial, came before the coaches had decided to make him a scholarship offer. That trip sticks out in his mind.

“All the coaches were real welcoming,” he said. “The coaching staff sold it for me. I’ve never met a coaching staff so great like that.”


Above: Ryan Finley highlights

Here is the story I wrote for today’s newspaper on quarterback Ryan Finley. A couple notes that didn’t make the story:

— His host on his official visit was cornerback Ebo Makinde, who also attended Paradise Valley High in Phoenix. “It was kind of cool because on the official visit you get to hang out with the guys for the night,” Finley said. “That was my favorite part.”

— Finley’s GPA is about 4.4. He thinks he’s ranked fourth in his graduating class.

— Finley on watching Boise State games on TV: “I like to watch different guys and try to learn some of the players’ names. I like looking at schemes and play calls against what coverages. And then obviously most of my attention is on Joe (Southwick).”

— Finley got to know some of the other early commits, like Martarano and Dhaenens, and lobbied tight end Jake Roh of Scottsdale, Ariz. “I tried to do a little recruiting of my own,” he said.

— Finley grew up rooting for Arizona State. “Arizona State was pretty upfront with him,” Paradise Valley coach Donnie Yantis said. “They said, ‘If we don’t offer you by March 1, we’re probably not going to.’ ” Finley committed to Boise State on March 9, 2012.

— In my story, I wrote about Finley throwing two fourth-down, fourth-quarter touchdown passes to win games. Here is the story from one of those games — he tossed the game-winner with 1 second left.


Boise State coach Chris Petersen’s press conference is at 1:30 p.m. today. It will air live on KTIK (93.1 FM).

I’ll post highlights from the press conference in my blog as soon as it ends and update throughout the evening as I meet with assistant coaches.


Here is a photo gallery of Boise State’s recruits.


Brian Murphy has a look at how signing day works at Boise State here.


Here is my Q&A with’s Brandon Huffman about the Broncos’ class.


Here are the Boise State recruits we have confirmed. The Broncos are expected to add wide receiver A.J. Richardson out of Southern California today. If you click on the name, you’ll get the story we wrote when the player committed (if available).

— LB Joe Martarano, 6-3, 215, Fruitland HS
— TE Alec Dhaenens , 6-4, 235, Fruitland HS
— QB Ryan Finley , 6-4, 180, Paradise Valley HS (Phoenix)
— OL Eli McCullough , 6-5, 255, Rocky Mountain HS
— C Andrew Tercek , 6-3, 285, East Central HS (San Antonio, Texas)
— LB Tanner Vallejo , 6-2, 220, Nevada Union HS (Grass Valley, Calif.)
— LB Durrant Miles , 6-4, 225, Bingham HS (South Jordan, Utah); expects to join in 2016 because of LDS mission
— N Mat Boesen , 6-4, 210, West HS (Torrance, Calif.)
— RB Aaron Baltazar , 5-11, 198, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
— DT Nick Terry , 6-4, 260, Pleasant Grove HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)
— WR Kendal Keys, 6-2, 185, Helix HS (La Mesa, Calif.)
— DE/OLB Gabe Perez, 6-4, 215, Valencia HS (Placentia, Calif.)
— TE Jake Roh , 6-3, 210, Chaparral HS (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
— CB Dionza Blue , 5-11, 180, Bishop Amat HS (Pasadena, Calif.)
— CB Jonathan Moxey , 5-10, 175, Dwyer HS (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
— S Thomas Sperbeck , 6-1, 175, Jesuit HS (Carmichael, Calif.)
— WR Tanner Shipley , 6-2, 185, Wilsonville (Ore.) HS
— CB Cameron Hartsfield , 5-10, 185, Allen (Texas) HS
— DE Kamalei Correa, 6-3, 250, St. Louis School (Honolulu)
— WR A.J. Richardson, 6-1, 185, Narbonne HS (Harbor City, Calif.)

— DL Justin Taimatuia, 6-1, 280, Fort Scott CC (Waipahu, Hawaii)
— CB Mercy Maston , 6-1, 190, Bakersfield College (Bakersfield, Calif.)

— K Tyler Rausa , 5-10, 180, Riverside CC (Temecula, Calif.)
— RB Derrick Thomas , 6-1, 210, Butler CC (Dothan, Ala.)
— CB Cleshawn Page , 5-10, 190, Harbor College (Los Angeles)
— DT Deuce Mataele , 6-3, 285, Mt. San Antonio College (West Valley, Utah)

— WR D.J. Dean , 6-1, 190, Eagle HS
— OL Archie Lewis , 6-4, 255, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) HS

— LB Darren Lee, 6-2, 203, Lassen HS (Susanville, Calif.)


Here is my updated position-by-position, class-by-class roster with recruiting commitments (bolds are used to separate the classes, not to denote anything else):

16 Joe Southwick, 6-1, 187, R-Sr.
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 192, R-Jr.
14 Jimmy Laughrea, 6-1, 200, R-So.
8 Nick Patti, 5-10, 187, R-Fr.

Ryan Finley, 6-4, 180, Fr.

Derrick Thomas, 6-1, 210, R-Jr.
27 Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 222, R-So.
21 Jack Fields, 5-9, 194, So.
26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 170, R-Fr.
10 Jamel Hart, 5-9, 211, R-Fr.
35 Charles Bertoli, 5-11, 191, R-Fr.

Aaron Baltazar, 5-11, 198, Fr.

17 Geraldo Boldewijn, 6-4, 214, R-Sr.
18 Aaron Burks, 6-3, 200, R-Sr.
34 Kirby Moore, 6-3, 203, R-Sr.
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 215, R-Jr.
81 Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 173, Jr.
83 Troy Ware, 6-2, 195, R-So.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 154, So.
82 Jackson Reed, 6-4, 212, R-Fr.
19 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 163, R-Fr.
D.J. Dean, 6-1, 190, Fr.

Kendal Keys, 6-2, 185, Fr.
Tanner Shipley, 6-2, 185, Fr.

87 Gabe Linehan, 6-4, 241, R-Sr.
86 Kyle Sosnowski, 6-2, 247, R-Jr.
89 Connor Peters, 6-4, 253, Jr.

42 Jake Hardee, 6-3, 234, R-So.
85 Holden Huff, 6-5, 213, R-So.
93 Brennyn Dunn, 6-3, 201, R-Fr.

Alec Dhaenens, 6-4, 235, Fr.
Jake Roh, 6-3, 210, Fr.

49 Jamal Wilson, 5-11, 227, R-So.

76 Jake Broyles, 6-5, 290, R-Sr.
77 Spencer Gerke, 6-3, 296, R-Sr.
78 Charles Leno Jr., 6-4, 294, R-Sr.
65 Matt Paradis, 6-3, 289, R-Sr.
62 Chris Tozer, 6-4, 311, R-Sr.
71 Greg Dohmen, 6-3, 291, R-Jr.
72 Marcus Henry, 6-3, 297, R-So.
67 Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 297, R-So.
63 Adam Sheffield, 6-3, 326, R-So.
73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 278, R-Fr.
70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 248, R-Fr.
66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 320, R-Fr.
57 Shane Wickes, 6-2, 243, R-Fr.
60 Kellen Buhr, 6-0, 264, R-Fr.
79 Avery Westendorf, 6-5, 270, R-Fr.
Archie Lewis, 6-4, 255, Fr.

Eli McCullough, 6-5, 255, Fr.
Andrew Tercek, 6-3, 285, Fr.

41 Kharyee Marshall, 6-2, 240, R-Sr.
53 Beau Martin, 6-2, 250, R-Jr.
69 Tyler Horn, 6-5, 265, Jr.
8 Demarcus Lawrence, 6-3, 242, R-Jr.

82 Sam Ukwuachu, 6-4, 222, R-So.
49 Darien Barrett, 6-2, 222, R-Fr.
94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 236, R-Fr.

Gabe Perez, 6-4, 215, Fr.
Kamalei Correa, 6-3, 250, Fr.

43 Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, 6-3, 296, R-Sr.
Deuce Mataele, 6-3, 285, Jr.
58 Robert Ash, 6-3, 283, R-So.
98 Jeff Worthy, 6-3, 285, R-So.
40 Armand Nance, 6-0, 273, So.
96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 275, R-Fr.

Nick Terry, 6-4, 260, Fr.
Justin Taimatuia, 6-1, 280, Jr.

56 Dustin Kamper, 6-1, 217, R-Sr.
45 Travis Saxton, 6-1, 221, R-Jr.
13 Blake Renaud, 6-2, 239, Jr.

36 Tyler Gray, 6-4, 227, So.
31 Andrew Pint, 6-1, 215, R-Fr.
51 Ben Weaver, 6-0, 226, R-Fr.
Darren Lee, 6-2, 203, Fr.

Joe Martarano, 6-3, 215, Fr.
Tanner Vallejo, 6-2, 220, Fr.
Durrant Miles, 6-4, 225, Fr. (going on mission)

32 Jonathan Brown, 5-10, 211, R-Sr.
38 Corey Bell, 5-11, 206, Jr.
49 Hilton Richardson, 6-2, 217, R-So.
25 Chris Santini, 5-11, 220, R-Fr.

Mat Boesen, 6-4, 210, Fr.

37 Ebo Makinde, 5-10, 181, R-Sr.
1 Bryan Douglas, 5-9, 166, R-Jr.
16 Deon’tae Florence, 5-9, 168, R-Jr.
Cleshawn Page, 5-10, 190, Jr.

30 Donte Deayon, 5-9, 143, So.
15 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 175, R-Fr.
18 Trey Corta, 5-10, 182, R-Fr.

Dionza Blue, 5-11, 180, Fr.
Jonathan Moxey, 5-10, 175, Fr.
Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 185, Fr.
Mercy Maston, 6-1, 190, Jr.

10 Jeremy Ioane, 5-10, 197, R-Jr.
34 Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 211, R-So.
35 Darian Thompson, 6-1, 197, R-So.
28 Dillon Lukehart, 6-0, 199, R-So.
22 Chanceller James, 6-1, 194, R-Fr.

Thomas Sperbeck, 6-1, 175, Fr.

41 Dan Goodale, 5-10, 191, R-Jr.
Tyler Rausa, 5-10, 180, So.

14 Trevor Harman, 6-3, 216, R-Sr.
28 Sean Wale, 6-1, 171, R-Fr.

50 Jake Holsteen, 6-4, 216, Sr.
52 Kevin Keane, 6-0, 208, Jr.

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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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