By the time this week ends, the Broncos will have completed four full weeks of spring practices. All those countless hours of preparation, extra reps during weightlifting sessions, and time spent memorizing plays will pay off come April 8th. This is the date of the Broncos’ annual spring game.
Returning players, new faces, and the coaching staff will be out on full display for the Bronco’s annual spring game.
— Boise State Broncos (@BroncoSports) March 6, 2017
What to Watch for
The Quarterback Position
Starting quarterback Brett Rypien returns to the Broncos for his junior season. Throwing for nearly 7,000 yards in his first two seasons and elected as a captain by his teammates last year, Brett looks to elevate and improve his game.
This year, however, things aren’t set and stone. A few other names looking to make a splash for themselves this year include:
Rathen Ricedorff (RS-JR)
A product of the ever-popular JUCO route, Ricedorff comes to the Broncos from Mesa Community College. Last season while playing for the Thunderbirds, he threw for over 3,600 yards and 42 touchdowns. He was also named the National Junior College Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year.
Ricedorff could provide quarterbacks coach Zak Hill exactly what he, and other members of the coaching staff, are looking for: Somebody to compete with Rypien.
— NJCAA (@NJCAA) December 22, 2016
Jake Constantine (RS-FR)
Constantine is entering his second year with the program. By red-shirting his first year, Constantine guaranteed himself more time to focus on the playbook.
In his senior season of high school, Constantine threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 51 touchdowns.
Two other names include Anthony Upshaw (RS-JR) and Chase Cord (FR).
Upshaw is entertaining his fourth season with the Broncos. This makes him the most seasoned veteran on the depth chart. Upshaw could see some minuets both this spring and fall.
Cord is coming fresh out of high school, later this fall, to compete for possible playing time. In his time playing for Sunrise Mountain High, located in Arizona, Cord recorded over 9,400 yards receiving and 137 touchdowns. For this, he is now known as being one of the most highly-decorated quarterbacks in Arizona history.
*Cord has been on Boise State’s radar since his junior season of high school.
However, Cord will not compete in this year’s spring game because he is finishing his senior year of high school.
— Chase Cord (@Iam_r00k) March 20, 2017
Reps for a Young Defense (LB’s and DB’s)
This season the Broncos are obligated to fill every gap at the linebacker position. Losing the likes of Ben Weaver, Tanner Vallejo, and Darren Lee, the Broncos are taking the “next man up” motto seriously.
Replacing the names of those three talented individuals might include the likes of returning individuals such as: Leighton Vander Esch (JR), Blake Whitlock (SR), and Tyson Maeva (SO). Look for these three guys to man the linebacker position during the spring game.
However, there are some new names that could add some necessary depth to the linebacker position: Breydon Boyd (FR), Roman Kafentzis (FR), and Ezekiel Noa (FR). All three members will look to compete for playing time or possibly redshirt if necessary. They will arrive on campus in time for fall practices.
Like that of the linebacker position, the secondary also requires some attention. The only solidified returner from last season is Cornerback Tyler Horton (JR). Thus, the Broncos will need to find three other explosive components to complement him.
Boise State's Tyler Horton named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week. Here's his pick-6 vs. Washington State pic.twitter.com/CTDZxY2JN1
— Bryan Levin (@BryanKBOI) September 12, 2016
Those who could see some significant playing time on April 8th include: DeAndre Pierce (SO), Reid Harrison-Ducros (SO), Kekoa Nawahine (SO), Cameron Hartsfield (SR), and possibly Evan Tyler (RS-SO) if healthy.
Other members who signed in December and are currently enrolled at Boise State include: Marques Evans (FR) and Michael Young (FR).
Significant Reps for Guys Filling in for the Potential Starter
This season the Broncos came into spring ball a little banged up. With the likes of Mason Hampton, Cedrick Wilson, and Alexander Mattison all probably sidelined for the spring game, the “next man up”, much like that of the linebacker unit, will take in to affect.
Guys such as wide receiver Sean Modster (JR) and running back Ryan Wolpin (SR) have received much praise from the Bronco coaching staff.
Look for them, among other well deserved members of the depth chart, to see continuous reps throughout the spring game.