Starting DE Sam Ukwuachu dismissed from Boise State football team

Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu participates in Boise State's "timing day" on Friday, May 3rd for junior, sophomore and freshman football players to run through "pro day" drills.

Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu participates in Boise State’s “timing day” on Friday, May 3rd for junior, sophomore and freshman football players to run through “pro day” drills.

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Boise State starting defensive end Sam Ukwuachu has been dismissed from the football team for an unspecified violation of team rules, the school announced Tuesday.

In addition, reserve quarterback Jimmy Laughrea has decided to leave the team. He was suspended for the season opener last year and was not in uniform for several other games for non-disciplinary reasons.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen was not available for comment.

The two departures increase the number to eight of 19 recruits from the 2011 signing class who have exited the program early. Ukwuachu and Laughrea would have been redshirt sophomores this fall.

Ukwuachu started the last 12 games last season and earned Freshman All-American honors. He finished 12th on the team with 35 tackles, third with 4.5 sacks, third with seven tackles for loss and tied for first with three fumble recoveries.

Ukwuachu was not on the sideline for the Spring Game. He did participate Friday in the annual pro day-like testing session for current players.

“He’s got some personal things he’s taking care of,” Petersen said at the time, indicating that he expected Ukwuachu to remain with the team. (The video is below. Petersen’s answer comes around the 3:15 mark.)

The Broncos already had depth concerns at defensive tackle, where former end Tyler Horn was set to play this fall. Now end could become a concern with junior starter Demarcus Lawrence joined by injury-prone senior Kharyee Marshall, junior Beau Martin, redshirt freshmen Darien Barrett and Sam McCaskill and two incoming recruits. McCaskill played well in the spring; Marshall was out with an injury.

If Horn moves back to end, senior Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and sophomore Armand Nance would be the only tackles with game experience.

Laughrea’s departure leaves the Broncos with four quarterbacks for the fall. Coaches will have to decide whether they want to recruit another 2014 quarterback — they have one committed already — to get back to five or play with four until 2016, when they can add a quarterback without losing one.

The last time Boise State was in a similar situation, coaches added Mike Tamburo to Joe Southwick’s class. Tamburo never competed for playing time and left the program early. It would be difficult to get two highly regarded quarterbacks to sign in the same class.

It’s not unusual for Boise State to play with four quarterbacks. That’s what the Broncos had last year. But they do try to add a quarterback in each recruiting class, which would put five quarterbacks on the team.

Here is video of Ukwuachu’s high school highlights:

•••

The eight players from the 2011 recruiting class who have left: Ukwuachu (dismissed), Laughrea (left), cornerback Eric Agbaroji (left), defensive back Lee Hightower (suspended from school; won’t return to team), tight end Hayden Plinke (suspended from school; transferred to Portland State), kicker Jake Van Ginkel (dismissed), defensive tackle Jeff Worthy (dismissed) and offensive lineman Adam Sheffield (left). Tailback Jay Ajayi and wide receiver Dallas Burroughs have served suspensions.

On the other hand, a bunch of players in the class are expected to start this fall, including Ajayi, nickel Corey Bell, right guard Marcus Henry, right tackle Rees Odhiambo, middle linebacker Blake Renaud and safety Darian Thompson. Safeties Dillon Lukehart and Taylor Loffler should contribute significantly, too.

•••

Former Boise State linebacker Tommy Smith has accepted a tryout at the Cleveland Browns’ rookie mini-camp this week, he said Tuesday.

•••

Here’s my updated position-by-position roster:

QUARTERBACK
16 Joe Southwick, 6-1, 202, R-Sr.
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 200, R-Jr.
8 Nick Patti, 5-10, 200, R-Fr.

Signee:
Ryan Finley, 6-4, 185, Fr.

TAILBACK
23 Derrick Thomas, 6-0, 207, R-Jr.
27 Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 215, R-So.
21 Jack Fields, 5-9, 198, So.
26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 175, R-Fr.
6 Jamel Hart, 5-9, 210, R-Fr.
35 Charles Bertoli, 5-11, 199, R-Fr.

Signee:
Aaron Baltazar, 5-11, 185, Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER
17 Geraldo Boldewijn, 6-4, 215, R-Sr.
18 Aaron Burks, 6-3, 200, R-Sr.
34 Kirby Moore, 6-3, 206, R-Sr.
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 218, R-Jr.
81 Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 171, Jr.
83 Troy Ware, 6-2, 190, R-So.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 158, So.
29 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 172, R-Fr.
80 D.J. Dean, 6-0, 190, Fr.

Signees:
Kendal Keys, 6-2, 200, Fr.
Tanner Shipley, 6-1, 180, Fr.

TIGHT END
87 Gabe Linehan, 6-4, 238, R-Sr.
86 Kyle Sosnowski, 6-2, 245, R-Jr.
89 Connor Peters, 6-4, 250, Jr.

42 Jake Hardee, 6-3, 243, R-So.
85 Holden Huff, 6-5, 221, R-So.
93 Brennyn Dunn, 6-3, 212, R-Fr.
82 Jackson Reed, 6-4, 218, R-Fr.

Signees:
Alec Dhaenens, 6-4, 240, Fr.
Jake Roh, 6-2, 215, Fr.

FULLBACK
90 Jamal Wilson, 5-11, 238, R-So.

OFFENSIVE LINE
76 Jake Broyles, 6-5, 299, R-Sr.
77 Spencer Gerke, 6-3, 297, R-Sr.
78 Charles Leno Jr., 6-4, 294, R-Sr.
65 Matt Paradis, 6-3, 293, R-Sr.
62 Chris Tozer, 6-4, 316, R-Sr.
71 Greg Dohmen, 6-3, 280, R-Jr.
72 Marcus Henry, 6-3, 296, R-So.
67 Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 309, R-So.
58 Robert Ash, 6-3, 283, R-So.
73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 292, R-Fr.
70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 275, R-Fr.
66 Mario Yakoo, 6-3, 320, R-Fr.
60 Kellen Buhr, 6-0, 284, R-Fr.
79 Avery Westendorf, 6-5, 291, R-Fr.
74 Archie Lewis, 6-3, 272, Fr.
68 Tim Curry, 6-2, 297, Fr.

Signees:
Eli McCullough, 6-5, 265, Fr.
Andrew Tercek, 6-0, 275, Fr.

DEFENSIVE END
41 Kharyee Marshall, 6-2, 240, R-Sr.
53 Beau Martin, 6-2, 258, R-Jr.
8 Demarcus Lawrence, 6-3, 244, R-Jr.

49 Darien Barrett, 6-2, 233, R-Fr.
94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 246, R-Fr.

Signees:
Gabe Perez, 6-5, 220, Fr.
Kamalei Correa, 6-2, 230, Fr.
Durrant Miles, 6-4, 220, Fr. (going on mission)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
43 Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, 6-3, 303, R-Sr.
55 Deuce Mataele, 6-3, 280, Jr.
69 Tyler Horn, 6-5, 264, Jr.

40 Armand Nance, 6-0, 290, So.
96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 279, R-Fr.

Signees:
Nick Terry, 6-3, 275, Fr.
Justin Taimatuia, 5-11, 295, Jr.

LINEBACKER
56 Dustin Kamper, 6-1, 232, R-Sr.
45 Travis Saxton, 6-1, 220, R-Jr.
13 Blake Renaud, 6-2, 249, Jr.

36 Tyler Gray, 6-4, 223, So.
31 Andrew Pint, 6-1, 217, R-Fr.
51 Ben Weaver, 6-0, 233, R-Fr.
44 Darren Lee, 6-1, 210, Fr.

Signees:
Joe Martarano, 6-3, 235, Fr.
Tanner Vallejo, 6-1, 230, Fr.

NICKEL
32 Jonathan Brown, 5-10, 215, R-Sr.
38 Corey Bell, 5-11, 208, Jr.
25 Chris Santini, 5-11, 222, R-Fr.

Signee:
Mat Boesen, 6-4, 220, Fr.

CORNERBACK
1 Bryan Douglas, 5-9, 170, R-Jr.
16 Deon’tae Florence, 5-9, 171, R-Jr.
39 Cleshawn Page, 5-8, 173, Jr.
17 Promise Amadi, 5-9, 180, R-So.
30 Donte Deayon, 5-9, 151, So.
18 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 183, R-Fr.

Signees:
Dionza Blue, 5-11, 180, Fr.
Jonathan Moxey, 5-10, 180, Fr.
Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 185, Fr.
Mercy Maston, 5-10, 190, Jr.

SAFETY
37 Ebo Makinde, 5-10, 179, R-Sr.
10 Jeremy Ioane, 5-10, 189, R-Jr.
34 Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 212, R-So.
35 Darian Thompson, 6-1, 201, R-So.
28 Dillon Lukehart, 6-0, 202, R-So.
22 Chanceller James, 6-1, 202, R-Fr.

Signee:
Thomas Sperbeck, 6-0, 185, Fr.

KICKER
41 Dan Goodale, 5-10, 193, R-Jr.
26 Tyler Rausa, 5-8, 191, So.

PUNTER
14 Trevor Harman, 6-3, 207, R-Sr.
18 Sean Wale, 6-1, 183, R-Fr.

LONG SNAPPER
50 Jake Holsteen, 6-4, 220, R-Jr.
46 Kevin Keane, 6-0, 205, 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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