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Thursday, May 10, 2018.
It’s May 10, and Boise State already has its quarterback for the 2019 recruiting class. Four-star prospect Hank Bachmeier, who had multiple Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten offers, committed to the Broncos last night. Bachmeier is a 6-3,188-pounder (for now) from Murrieta Valley, CA, who 247Sports.com rates as the No. 8 pro-style QB in the nation. He has already thrown for 10,001 yards and 124 touchdowns with one season to go in his high school career. Of course, you never know until the hay is in the barn. The Broncos had Zach Wilson committed last year until he flipped to BYU at the 11th hour ahead of December’s early signing day. Power 5 schools are going to keep coming at Bachmeier. But at this point, he is a solid commit.
Somebody with a lot of time on his hands (namely Steve Lassan) came up with this, but it’s interesting. Lassan has ranked all 130 presumed starting quarterbacks in the FBS for 2018. Let’s get right to Brett Rypien. He is No. 17 on the list, third among Group of 5 QBs behind No. 5 McKenzie Milton of UCF and No. 16 Mason Fine of North Texas. Writes Lassan: “With Rypien leading the way, Boise State is the early favorite to be the top Group of 5 team in 2018. The Washington native has assembled a prolific resume through his first three years on campus and will look to cap his career with another Mountain West title and a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl. Rypien has passed for 9,876 yards and 60 touchdowns in that span.”
Lassan continues: “Additionally, Rypien has eclipsed over 60 percent in completion percentage in all three seasons at the controls.” Interestingly enough, that last figure is one he’d really like to improve upon. Rypien’s best completion rate so far is the 63.6 percent he registered during his freshman year in 2015. It was 62.6 last year. The Broncos’ last three starting quarterbacks, Grant Hedrick, Joe Southwick and Kellen Moore, all had career completion percentages of better than 69 percent.
Second and third among Mountain West quarterbacks in Athlon’s rankings are Nevada’s Ty Gangi at No. 50 and Fresno State’s Marcus McMaryion at No. 57, followed closely by Armani Rogers of UNLV, Christian Chapman of San Diego State and Arion Worthman of Air Force. Four QBs in the conference are ranked No. 115 or below, including No. 120 Tyler Vander Waal of Wyoming, who has the thankless job of taking over for Josh Allen in Laramie. Vander Waal closed the gap on offseason favorite Nick Smith during spring football and eventually took the No. 1 spot on the post-spring depth chart.
The first quarterback Boise State will face this season is Kaleb Barker of Troy, who’s ranked 102nd by Athlon. “Barker gets the nod here,” writes Lassan, “but the battle with Sawyer Smith to replace Brandon Silvers will continue into the fall. The winner of this battle should put up huge numbers in coach Neal Brown’s high-powered offense.” Barker is anonymous to Bronco Nation right now, but he won’t be come Labor Day weekend. BYU’s Tanner Mangum, the Eagle High grad, is tabbed 90th , if only because of uncertainty. “This ranking might be a little low for Mangum,” Lassan writes, “but he’s coming back from a serious injury (Achilles tear) and isn’t guaranteed the starting job. Additionally, BYU’s offense struggled mightily last fall, averaging only 17.1 points a game.”
Boise State coach Bryan Harsin was on Idaho SportsTalk yesterday and affirmed that one of the reasons linebacker Tony Lashley transferred from Idaho to Boise State was what happened in the NFL Draft last month with Leighton Vander Esch. Lashley has NFL aspirations himself, and Harsin is fine with that being part of the formula. Harsin also pointed to Montell Cozart’s motivation a year ago as an example for Lashley. “He wants to be part of a program that has a chance to go out and play for a championship,” said Harsin. He was asked if the old Boise State-Idaho rivalry came up in his discusssions with Lashley. “It did with me,” quipped Harsin, who grew up around it and played for the Broncos from 1996-99. But, added Harsin, “At this point, it’s just a guy who wants to come in and be a part of our program.”
The Players Championship has arrived, and Graham DeLaet is still out with his debilitating back injury. This was the tournament the newly-minted Boise State Athletics Hall of Famer had targeted for a return to the PGA Tour, but his back won’t allow it. DeLaet underwent a stem-cell procedure for his back in December. It can take a year for it to fully work, but DeLaet was hopeful he could jump into the fray well before that. He hasn’t played since having to withdraw midway through the CJ Cup last November in South Korea. That was just three weeks after a sparkling fifth-place tie at the Safeway Open in Napa, CA.
On the diamond this week, arguably the most important homestand in the history of the Boise State women’s softball program begins today at Dona Larsen Park. The Broncos embark on a three-game series against New Mexico, and if they win two of them, they capture their first-ever Mountain West championship. If Boise State gets it done, it goes to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Broncos have won 10 of their last 11 games. Also, the NNU women’s softball team makes its debut in the NCAA Division II Championships today at top-seeded Chico State. Elsewhere, the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships are underway in Clovis, CA, with the first Boise State athletes set to run in the 10,000-meters tonight.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by FRANZ WITTE NURSERY…we really dig what we do!
May 10, 1998, 20 years ago today: Tiger Woods ends a 10-month victory drought with a one-stroke win over Jay Don Blake at the Bell South Classic. Woods’ last title had come in the Western Open in 1997, the season in which Tiger crafted his legend with his runaway 12-stroke triumph at the Masters. But the Bell South would be his only win of the ’98 season. Woods’ truly dominant run on the PGA Tour would begin the following year.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)