Friday, June 21, 2013.
Boise State recruiting is pacing about where it was last year at this time. The Broncos received their eighth commitment for the 2014 class yesterday when tight end Drew Sample of Bellevue, WA, gave his verbal. Last year Boise State nabbed its eighth commitment on June 28. The process has evolved for the Broncos during the Chris Petersen era, with verbals rolling in a lot earlier than they used to. For the 2014 and the 2013 recruiting classes, Boise State picked up four commitments before the month of June, including Joey Martarano for the 2013 group all the way back on June 28, 2011. From 2006-08, the Broncos didn’t have any commits before June. With Boise State’s team camp having wrapped up Wednesday, there are lots of offers out. We’ll see what the rest of the summer brings.
Sample is the top-ranked tight end in the state of Washington for the class of 2014, according to Northwest Elite Index. Sample, a 6-4, 232-pounder out of Newport High in Bellevue, attended Boise State’s Elite Camp last weekend. Northwest Elite Index calls Sample “ultra-athletic”—he scored five touchdowns on just 12 receptions last season in a run-first offense that seldom uses the tight end as a receiver. He’ll be a talented blank canvas for the Bronco offensive staff. NEI also says Sample was one of the top up-and-coming ice hockey prospects in the region before becoming a major college football recruit, drawing multiple invites to Western Hockey League training camps.
Boise State enters the final phase of its push to sell 2013 season football tickets with the “Choose Your Seat” event today from 4-6 p.m. at Bronco Stadium. Boise State is trying to top the record it set last year: 24,113 season tickets. Maybe you can bring your seats cushions and try those out, too. If you were in Autzen Stadium, you’d have limits placed upon you. Oregon is proposing a new policy this year restricting the width of seat cushions to 17 inches to keep jumbo cushions from encroaching on the space of adjoining seats. Actually a pretty good idea.
Boise State coach Leon Rice and Idaho coach Don Verlin had their contracts approved yesterday by the State Board of Education. Rice’s deal runs through the 2017-18 season—he’ll make $482,110 next season before incentives. Verlin’s contract goes through 2015-16. The Vandal coach will be paid $216,832 next season, a figure that includes $60,000 in media payments.
This would be a great idea for Boise State when Rice’s program is a little more seasoned. Washington will host its first-ever alumni basketball games Sunday afternoon in Seattle. In addition to guard Justin Holiday, who led the Idaho Stampede in scoring this past season with 17.4 points per game, the rosters are set to include Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter, Terrence Ross, Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten Jr. Players who starred for the Huskies before 2009 are paired against those who played from 2009-12. There will also be a “legends” game for older alumni. File that one away.
The Boise Hawks were rained out last night in Spokane, giving us a chance to talk about the first two Cubs 2013 draft choices to join the team this season. Yesterday the Hawks got third-round pick Jacob Hannemann, the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year out of BYU. Hannemann, an outfielder, batted .344 with five home runs and 29 RBI for the Cougars this year. On Wednesday, 16th-round pick Cael Brockmeyer joined the Hawks from the Cubs’ Spring Training facility in Mesa, AZ. Brockmeyer’s a catcher from Cal State Bakersfield. Last night’s postponement will be made up Saturday as part of a doubleheader (two seven-inning games).
Hillary Holt’s dream season continues. The College of Idaho’s five-time NAIA national champion advanced to the 1500-meter finals at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, IA, by finishing sixth in the second of two heats in yesterday’s semifinals. The junior from Mountain View High ran the second-fastest time in Coyote history, a 4:14.89. Elsewhere, five-time defending U.S. champion Nick Symmonds coasted into the semifinals of the 800-meters. The Bishop Kelly grad finished third in his heat, having let up once he knew he was going to advance. And Bishop Kelly alum Corbin Duer begins competition today in the decathlon.
Among current and former Boise State athletes, junior Jordin Andrade missed advancing in the 400-meter hurdles yesterday by one spot. Former Bronco standout Ryan Grinnell earned a spot on Team USA for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia, in August after placing third in the men’s triple jump. Grinnell was a six-time All-American and a 10-time conference champion for Boise State from 2008-10. And ex-Bronco and 2004 Olympian Jarred Rome competes in the discus today. Rome, who won the title at the 2011 U.S. Outdoor Championships in Eugene, owns the second-best throw heading into the competition.
The rest at home in the Treasure Valley the past few weeks did Graham DeLaet some good, as the former Boise State star stormed out of the gate yesterday at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT. DeLaet fired a five-under 65 and is tied for fourth after the first round, four shots off the blazing pace set by Charley Hoffman and his 61. Moscow’s Chris Williams, fresh off the signing of an apparel and equipment deal with Nike, was one-over at 71 in his first round as a professional.
Stockton Thunder coach Matt Thomas has parlayed his team’s amazing postseason run this spring into the head coaching job at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Stockton surprised everybody in the playoffs—including the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL Western Conference Finals—to make the Kelly Cup Finals, where it lost to Reading. Hockey is a big deal in Anchorage, whether it’s the Alaska Aces or UAA. There’s no college football up there, so Seawolves and Aces hockey are the premier sports in town.
This Day In Sports…June 21, 1970:
Tony Jacklin becomes the first British golfer in 50 years to win the U.S. Open, and he does it in dominating fashion with a seven-stroke victory over Dave Hill. Jacklin was the only player to finish under par at Hazeltine National Golf Club near Minneapolis. There wouldn’t be another U.S. Open winner from the United Kingdom until Irish mainstays Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy took back-to-back championships in 2010 and 2011. And not another true Brit until Justin Rose won at Merion last Sunday.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)