Recruiting spotlight: Analyst says Boise State football team’s class so far is ‘impressive’

WR Shay Fields

By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

With the Boise State football team on a bye this week, I thought I’d check in on the Broncos’ recruiting class.

Wednesday: Catching up with QB recruit Jalen Greene.

Today: A Q&A with’s Brandon Huffman

Here’s what Huffman, the national recruiting analyst for Sports, said about the Broncos’ recruiting class:

What do you think of the Boise State class so far?

“I think it’s pretty impressive. A couple of the commits that they have gotten are guys that have pretty glamorous offers that Boise State did a pretty good job recruiting those guys to get. (DL/LB) Jaylen Johnson being the most prominent, just with who they beat (Oregon). They got in early on a couple guys — (CB) Brandon Lewis, (QB) Jalen Greene, (DB) Khalil Oliver. They did a good job with their early evaluations. You could say Jaylen Johnson is the most significant recruit they’ve got because of who they beat and the circumstances in which they got him, after he took his visit to Oregon.”

Who are the best players in the group?

“I think Johnson is definitely the top player in this class. Right now, the one guy that could come in and play right away but this is the guy they’ll have to work the hardest to hold onto is (WR) Shay Fields. Even though he doesn’t have the size of these big-time receivers, from a fundamental standpoint he’s one of the most college-ready receivers on the West Coast.”

I was just about to ask — which players are they going to have to work hardest to keep?

“It’s definitely Fields. He’s already gotten Colorado and Utah to offer him in the last couple weeks.”

What do you think of Greene?

“I really like him. What impresses me the most about him is just his ability to win games, whether it’s with his feet or whether it’s with his arm. He’s a true dual-threat guy. Last year he won a lot of games for his team. This year, already he has had to make plays to win games. I think they have 16 guys with Division I offers and he’s really had to take the reins of that team at times and carry them on his back. That’s what you look for in a quarterback.”

Who would be the under-the-radar guy so far?

“The one guy that watching his film you could call an under-the-radar guy is (DB) Khalil Oliver, who is in their back yard, but that’s part of the problem in terms of him being under the radar. You watch his film and it’s, ‘Well, dang, now you can see why Boise recruited him and brought him in.’ Had he gone to more camps they might have had a little more of a fight on their hands. Another one I’d put in there is (OL) Jesse Sosebee at Edison. Edison has produced great players throughout the last decade but a lot of times those guys get overlooked for guys at the private schools in Orange County (California). Yet a lot of times those (Edison) guys come in very college-ready.”

How big of a loss was RB Squally Canada?

“On paper, it’s a big loss, just because he’s a talented running back, he’s got the ability to come in and play right away. At the same time, they’re in on other running backs right now that I think are equally talented if not more talented. Tre Watson, who committed to Cal, was in over the weekend. He has publicly said how much Cal is throwing the ball is worrying him. We’ve got him ranked higher than Squally. I think they’ve got a real shot of getting him.”

Looking at what they have — it looks like Boise State still has needs at linebacker, tailback and defensive tackle, right?

“I definitely think they’re going to want to bring in another defensive tackle. Greg Gaines is one. The problem is, it’s always the case out West, you don’t have a lot of quality defensive tackles to choose from. That may be a position where they focus on their ties in Texas. At linebacker, there’s certainly some guys they’re going after they may have a legitimate shot at. Jake Knight, another guy from Rocky Mountain (High), I think you could see them taking a longer look at him this fall. Dwight Williams (a four-star LB) has mentioned Boise being in his top 15. He’s teammates with Jalen Greene. I still think he stays on the West Coast and goes Pac-12. Xavier Ulutu of Cathedral Catholic High (San Diego), Boise has been his favorite school for a long time, but given the school he’s at and the guys he’s grown up with, there still is that appeal of playing in the Pac-12. One of his assistant coaches coached Jamar Taylor in high school. He said last week one of his top two is Boise State.”

CB Brandon Lewis

DL Greg Gaines



— DB Khalil Oliver, 6-1, 185, Rocky Mountain HS
— QB Jalen Greene, 6-3, 194, Serra HS (Los Angeles)
— CB Brandon Lewis, 5-11, 180, Pleasant Grove HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)
— DL Greg Gaines, 6-1, 290, La Habra (Calif.) HS
— TE Dimitri Flowers, 6-3, 225, Churchill HS (San Antonio)
— DL/LB Hawkins Mann, 6-4, 215, Borah HS
— TE Drew Sample, 6-4, 235, Newport (Wash.) HS
— WR Shay Fields, 5-10, 165, St. John Bosco HS (Bellflower, Calif.)
— WR Sean Modster, 5-11, 190, Mission Viejo (Calif.) HS
— OL Jesse Sosebee, 6-5, 300, Edison HS (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
— OL Ryan Griswold, 6-5, 250, Pearland (Texas) HS
— DL/LB Jaylen Johnson, 6-4, 240, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)

Notes: Boise State has 14 scholarship seniors on the roster. It also gets three additional scholarships in 2014, the first year without the NCAA penalty since 2010. Add in attrition and grayshirting and the Broncos could sign 20-plus players. The hardest-hit positions are wide receiver (three scholarship seniors) and the offensive line (four). On the other hand, they lose one each at defensive back (a safety), linebacker, defensive tackle, defensive end, tight end and quarterback. And they don’t lose a tailback. I do expect wide receiver A.J. Richardson to join the 2014 class as a grayshirt, but his situation has been a little uncertain from the start because he never signed a letter of intent so I don’t have him on the list.

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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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