Photo via Pam Davis

I Hear A “September Song”

Let’s just pretend nothing happened—things are normal. Honestly, when have things ever been “normal”? And don’t we often pretend they are when they’re not.

Thus, let us all look ahead to the 2020 season with big heaping honey spoonfuls of optimism sprinkled with wholesome amounts of sugar plums of hope. What will the Boise State Bronco landscape look like this coming season?

After the signing period ended last year things looked a bit bleak at the quarterback and running back position. No one was signed. Attention seemed to be given only to every position other than quarterback and running back. The shelves on the defensive line, secondary, offensive line, and receivers got restocked.

However in just the last week or so two welcomed additions appeared on the quarterback and running back pantry shelves.

Quarterback Quandary Quenched

As the kid said when he put twenty-five cents into the soda machine and got nothing, “I want my quarterback!”

Quarterback Jack Sears comes from USC as a graduate transfer with two years of illegibility remaining. Sears took on a heavy academic load to graduate early.

Jack played in only one game as a Trojan in which he started. Although the game was a loss, Jack performed well.

Against Arizona he went 20 for 28, 235 yards, and 2 TDs. USC lost 38 to 35 but Jack tossed a ball in a receiver’s arms dropped in the end zone.

To add perspective and intrigue, Hank Bachmeier was rated by 247 at .9114 coming out of high school. 247 rated Sears rated .9516. I know, numbers don’t feed the bulldog. Other than Dylan Summers-Gardner, that makes him Boise State’s top-rated recruit out of high school.

This all leads my suspicious and conspiracy theory riddled mind to wonder if this was already in the works months ago. In other words; we got a QB coming so let’s not waste time or a scholarship recruiting one.

Thus, what may have looked like a shoo-in for Hurricane Hank to start this year may be a two way or three-way race. Lest we forget, Chase Cord has experience with the Bronco offense to bring to the table. That all sounds like this is a middle of the road approach. Notwithstanding, Jack Sears may get the nod. He’s got the chops.

Walk-on Andy Peters was not intentionally left out. Peters will likely redshirt this year and not even figure into the race for even a spot on the depth chart. If everything is true what has been said of him; he’s a gamer and is not out there just to pad a resume—he’ll be fighting for a scholarship.

“A Horse, My Kingdom For A Running Back”

It’s well established that Richard the Third’s Battle at Bosworth was over a speedy little halfback, Sir Dance-a-lot of Swift. Thus, the Shakespearean quote above. Shakespeare an avid football fan also wrote the play Helmet—or something like that.

At the end of last season and looking forward to next, the running back situation didn’t look nearly as bad as the quarterback position. Robert Mahone would be returning as a red-shirt senior. Hard running Andrew Van Buren returns for his junior year. George Holani returns after a 1,000+ rushing yards freshman year. Danny Smith saw limited action but got experience.

That’s four seasoned running backs. Injuries at that position are common. If injuries don’t put a running back on the bench they certainly affect his efficiency. It’s like having one in the chamber and three in the magazine. However, it’s sure nice to have a couple more rattling around in your pocket if needed.

At the end of the signing period, last winter the Broncos had not signed any running backs.

Last week the Broncos picked up a JUCO running back, Taequan Tyler of Tyler Junior College (Tyler, Texas). He played his high school football at La Vega High School in Waco, Texas.
Not only has Taequan distinguished himself as an able running back. He was also an outstanding high school wide receiver.

In his first year of college competition he rushed 54 times for 313 yards and four TDs.

In addition to Boise State’s offer, Taequan had offers from Florida International, Florida Atlantic, and Western Illinois. He had interest from Louisville and Texas Tech. Colorado made an offer his high school senior year.

Difference Between Last Year And This Year

Things sure look better than last year when the Broncos started the season with a whole lot of unknowns at quarterback and running back. To be a bit reflective, last season was as good as it could have been.

Robert Mahone possessed the only real experience in the backfield. Early season injuries hampered him from playing at 100 percent much of the schedule.

Holani and Van Buren performed well yet they lacked consistency and experience.

Hank Bachmeier came in as a freshman and in spite of great play, freshman mistakes were apparent.

Chase Cord played well but could not completely overcome the lack of practice time because of an ACL operation.

Jaylon Henderson perhaps grabbed hold of the reins a little too late to fully grasp what it meant to run a D1 team against D1 competition.

This season is looking good—real good. And the difference is experience.


About Kenton Lewis

Kenton lives in Boise. He is the former publisher of the Boise State sports site, Smurf Turf; writing exclusively about Broncos football and basketball. He is also a novelist and short story writer.

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