SCOTT SLANT: A pair of deserving Broncos ambassadors


Wednesday Weekly…July 3, 2024.

It’ll be kicker Jonah Dalmas and defensive end Ahmed Hassanein joining coach Spencer Danielson in representing Boise State at Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas next Wednesday and Thursday. On the one hand, it’s different to have the offense go unrepresented, but Dalmas has earned this honor as he enters his fifth season and sits 18 field goals away from the NCAA career record. B.J. Rains of Bronco Nation News suggests that Ashton Jeanty could go down there and hang out outside Circa Sports (a 21-and-over property). Rains isn’t completely dismissing that idea.

Hassanein was one of the most vocal and articulate campaigners for Danielson as head coach at the end of last season. As a first-team all-Mountain West selection and the conference’s returning leader in sacks, he has credibility. Hard to believe it was just two years ago that the Broncos made the surprising decision to not have quarterback Hank Bachmeier travel to Vegas for Media Days. Bachmeier at that time was entering the first of his three senior years (his final one is coming up at Wake Forest).


Boise State’s 10th commit of the 2025 recruiting class is its first from Idaho. Dallyn Grimes of Middleton High is a 6-5, 240-pound offensive tackle who 247 Sports rates as the top O-lineman in the state. Skeptics will point out Grimes’ size. Well, Daryn Colledge, a rather accomplished left tackle, weighed 235 pounds when he committed to the Broncos almost 25 years ago. Skeptics will also note that Grimes’ only four reported offers were from four Big Sky schools. But 247 does have him as a three-star prospect. At this time, Grimes should get a Scott Matlock-type benefit of the doubt.


The offseason is a great time for lists—and how about the one last week from EA Sports? It’s “College Football 25’s Toughest Places to Play.” Albertsons Stadium is not anywhere close to being what you’d consider a large stadium, but there it is at No. 24. The rankings are great for water cooler arguments, especially with Texas A&M’s Kyle Field at the top. Examples of notable places left out of these rankings: Husky Stadium, Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State and Memorial Stadium at Nebraska. And not one of the five staffers at The Athletic analyzing the list questioned the status of the blue turf. One did say Autzen Stadium at Oregon was “a little low” at No. 11. It’ll be hard to dispute that on September 7. And another said Notre Dame Stadium at No. 21 was “surprising low.” Hello 2025.


Nick Baumgardner of The Athletic has a list of the top underclassman prospects in the 2025 NFL Draft. Boise State’s Ashton Jeanty isn’t on it, and that’s okay. Gooding’s Colston Loveland, the All-Big Ten tight end at Michigan, is. And that’s okay, too. Baumgardner says, “Loveland felt like a first-round pick last year as a sophomore. An outstanding mover with wiggle and body control, Loveland lined up all over the field and was Michigan’s toughest cover during its national title run. He still needs to get stronger, and though he improved in this aspect last season, his run blocking can still take another step. Loveland has the potential to be a true three-down tight end with flex and downfield ability.”  


Utah State football has been turned inside out less than two months before the season, as the university has informed Blake Anderson he will be fired as head coach. USU claims Anderson violated university policy relating to domestic violence and sexual assault. Officially, Anderson is on administrative leave, as he has 14 days to respond to the school’s intent to fire him. But the Aggies have moved forward, naming defensive coordinator Nate Dreiling the program’s interim coach. All Utah State players will have a 30-day window to enter the transfer portal. KTIK’s John Patrick pointed out Tuesday that Boise State’s Danielson, with four games under his belt, is now the fifth-longest tenured coach in the Mountain West.


Boise State has an interesting history with the Hampton men’s basketball program, but the Broncos have never played the Pirates. That changes November 24, when Boise State and Hampton meet in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic at, ahem, 9am Mountain time. Hard to believe it’s been 23 years since one of the most memorable sports days in Boise history. It was, of course, the first round of the NCAA Tournament, when all four games were decided by a record-low seven points. The night was capped with 15th-seeded Hampton’s 58-57 stunner over second-seeded Iowa State. The Pirates’ band and cheer squad took over the BSU Pavilion. Nobody who was there will ever forget it.


It’s interesting now to look back on Boise State’s unfortunate draw in the NCAA Tournament in March—having to go to the First Four to face fellow No. 10 seed Colorado. As it turns out, the Broncos faced two first-round NBA Draft picks and one second-rounder. The Buffaloes’ Cody Williams was taken 10th overall by the Utah Jazz, Tristan da Silva was the 17th overall pick, going to the Orlando Magic, and KJ Simpson was drafted 42nd overall by the Charlotte Hornets. And Boise State held Colorado to 60 points that night (da Silva and Simpson combined for 39 of them).


The Boise Hawks were braced for the best team in the Pioneer League Tuesday night, as the Missoula Paddleheads came to town to open a three-game series. The Paddleheads, who always seem to be perched at the top of the league, rallied with four runs in the eighth and ninth innings to win 8-6. The Hawks were coming off a six-game split with the Ogden Raptors. They’re currently tied for fourth in the standings with a 21-16 record. There are 11 games left in the first half of the Pioneer League season—Boise has to finish in the top two to guarantee a spot in the playoffs in September.


Does Troy Merritt have momentum going into the John Deere Classic Thursday, or does he not? A top 10 finish was within Merritt’s grasp last Sunday, but he was saddled with a one-over 73 in the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and tied for 17th. If we know Troy, he’ll ride the positives. It was the former Boise State star’s second-best result of the season, and he earned $149,500 for it.


With former Boise State athlete Ahmed Muhumed having fallen short in the 5,000-meters Sunday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials, we have five Idaho ties lined up for the Summer Games at the end of the month. Boise road cyclist Matteo Jorgenson, who’s currently in 11th-place at the Tour de France, has qualified for Paris. Former Broncos All-American Marisa Howard is aboard in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Rexburg’s Chari Hawkins is going in the heptathlon, Caldwell native Alyssa Mendoza made it in women’s boxing in the125-pound division, and equestrian Adrian Lyle, who trains in Sun Valley, has qualified in dressage. One disappointment, at least in my mind: Allie Ostrander not making the steeplechase field. But I loved the shot of Allie all but dogpiling Howard to celebrate her performance.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by POOL SCOUTS…perfect pools, scout’s honor!

July 3, 1994, 30 years ago today: American Pete Sampras, on his way to a then-career record seven Wimbledon championships, wins his second straight title at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet club. Sampras, ranked No. 1 in the world, had cruised through the first four rounds without losing a set. He dropped one set in a semifinal victory over Todd Martin—then swept Goran Ivanisevic in the final. Sampras’ Wimbledon record has since been broken by Roger Federer, who has eight championships. Novak Djokovic is now tied for second with Sampras at seven titles.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)



Bacon Boise
The James
Pool Scouts
BBSI Boise
Commercial Tire