Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
If the Boise State basketball team can go across the Pacific to get a couple starters (Anthony Drmic and Igor Hadziomerovic), the Bronco football squad can go across the Atlantic to acquire a project. Elliott Hoyte is a 6-4, 275-pound defensive lineman who played club football in England in the British American Football National League (that would be the “BAFNL”). Hoyte is starting to feel at home in the FBS, making two fumble recoveries in spring drills last week alone. There are job openings on Boise State’s two-deep at defensive tackle, and Hoyte is making his bid.
I asked coach Chris Petersen last year during spring ball, less than three months after Hoyte’s arrival in Boise, where the import was on the football learning curve. “Pretty low,” Petersen deadpanned. “The football system he grew up in is called ‘rugby.’” Which is true. Former Bronco defensive tackle Chase Baker came across Hoyte once upon a time during a rugby tournament in Europe. But Petersen loves Hoyte’s size—and what could be limitless upside. Think Tyrone Crawford, who went from Windsor, Ontario, to Boise State to the Dallas Cowboys. “You can tell he’s starting to get it figured out, the speed and the intensity,” Petersen said of Hoyte last week. “You can see him growing quickly.”
Hoyte wrote a blog post last November for a website called HungryUnderdogs.com. What an appropo address for Hoyte. Seems he had some doubters in England before he embarked on his American adventure, Wrote Hoyte: “I’ll always remember them saying ‘I couldn’t play Division I football’—checked that box off! And, ‘Nobody who played in the British football league will ever play in the NFL.’ Whilst the NFL is not even something I consider right now. It’s a dream. But so was playing for Boise State, and I made it this far.”
It took exactly one month, but Washington tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins has been charged with misdemeanor DUI by the Seattle City Attorney's Office stemming from a March 9 car accident. Sefarian-Jenkins was suspended indefinitely by the Huskies just after his arrest. Now we’ll see if his team punishment includes missing the August 31 season opener against Boise State in the renovated Husky Stadium. Sefarian-Jenkins caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in UW’s 28-26 loss to the Broncos in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas in December.
If the Idaho Steelheads were looking ahead to the Ontario Reign in the ECHL Western Conference semifinals, well, Colorado was there last night with a not-so-fast-my-friend. The Eagles soared to a 5-0 lead over the Steelheads in Game 5 in their first round series and hung on for a 7-4 victory, forcing Game 6 Friday night in CenturyLink Arena. The Steelies scored three goals in the third period, two of them from Austin Smith 30 seconds apart, to narrow their deficit to 6-4, but it was too little, too late. Tyler Beskorowany got his third consecutive start but was pulled after allowing a trio of first period goals. Josh Robinson went the rest of the way, yielding three more Colorado tallies. Could be a “just what they needed” game for the Steelheads—we’ll see.
Former Idaho Steelheads coach John Olver still has the touch, no matter what level he coaches. Olver is now guiding the Junior Steelheads, and they have a national championship under their belt. The Junior Steelies dominated the Bay Area Seals yesterday 5-1 in Las Vegas to win the AAU United Hockey Union National Tournament. Olver’s team finished an astonishing 57-1-1.
Novak Djokovic reported on his own website yesterday that an MRI revealed “no structural damage” to his right ankle, which he injured during his win over Sam Querrey Sunday at Taco Bell Arena. It’s being called a “joint structures strain,” and no decision has been made yet on Djokovic’s participation in the Monte Carlo Masters next week. But it’s assumed he’ll miss that tournament and focus on being ready for the French Open, the only major he’s never won. “After seeing the results of all the tests we did, I am really positive and strong,” Djokovic posted on his Facebook page.
Tony Snell may be leaving New Mexico to pursue the NBA Draft, but Nevada star Deonte Burton has decided to stay with the Wolf Pack for his senior year. Snell informed new Lobos coach Craig Neal by phone Friday night while Neal was in Atlanta for the Final Four. That hurts New Mexico at the guard spot, as Demetrius Walker had already been kicked off the team and Steve Alford’s son, Bryce, has decided to follow dad to UCLA. Maybe that helped land Boise State at No. 24 (the only Mountain West school) on the “way-too-early preseason rankings for 2013-14” at CBS Sports.com. Burton, Nevada’s leading scorer this season at 16.3 points per game, reportedly had received lukewarm reviews on his draft chances from NBA personnel.
One old hoops thorn in Boise State’s side looks like he’ll be elsewhere next season. UNLV’s Mike Moser is scheduled to graduate in July and is planning to transfer to Washington for his final year of eligibility. Moser wasn’t so much a bother this season—in fact, he was ejected from the Broncos’ 77-72 win over the Rebels in Taco Bell Arena for a flagrant foul on Anthomy Drmic during a layup attempt. But in 2012 in Boise, Moser scored 18 points against Boise State and pulled down a robust 21 rebounds. UNLV coach Dave Rice says he’ll release Moser from his scholarship with the stipulation he can’t transfer to another Mountain West school.
This Day In Sports…April 10, 1993, 20 years ago today:
The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers 4-2 to win their 17th consecutive game, setting an NHL record that still stands today. The Pittsburgh run, paced by NHL scoring leader Mario Lemieux, would end with a 6-6 tie against the New Jersey Devils (back when there were ties) in the final game of the season.
(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.)