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Boise State’s rigorous recruiting system is built for situations like this

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on June 16, 2010 at 7:26 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 16 at 8:34 AM


Wednesday, June 16, 2010.
USC linebacker Jordan Campbell says he’s considering Boise State. The question is: are the Broncos considering him? Campbell is the first Trojan to say he’s going to take advantage of the NCAA’s free-transfer policy for USC juniors and seniors following the school’s harsh sanctions. He told that Boise State is on his list. The catch is that Campbell was removed from the Trojans’ roster at the end of spring football by coach Lane Kiffin due to a team rules violation. Campbell was a special teams regular who got just one start at Southern Cal—against Washington State last season. Does he fit the Bronco profile?
If the interest ends up being mutual, then Boise State will have done its homework on Campbell’s side of the story. He told KTIK’s John Patrick yesterday he’s trying to get a hold of the BSU staff. The Broncos are not going to arbitrarily add a linebacker at this point just because he’s a Man of Troy. They’re loaded at the position—Derrell Acrey, Aaron Tevis, Byron Hout, J.C. Percy, Daron Mackey, John Michael Davis, Tommy Smith and Allen Mooney…and that doesn’t even count nicklebackers Winston Venable and Hunter White (and Jason Robinson if he’s reinstated to the team). Chris Petersen’s screening of players is a painstaking process. It’ll be interesting to see if Campbell dresses in blue and orange this season, complete with the USC tattoo on his arm.
At the moment, Utah says it has not been contacted by the Pac-10. But don’t hold your breath. Fortunately, that’s probably the last domino this month. Stewart Mandel goes off on the conference realignment chaos in his “Inside College Football” column this week at “Fans of Kansas, et al., can breathe a sigh of relief today knowing their schools won't go homeless, but that security comes at the cost of committing to a league in which one school (Texas) is clearly dictating all the rules to the other nine.  Perhaps those fans now have a greater appreciation for what it's like to follow a team like Boise State, whose place in the landscape is largely dictated and marginalized by more ‘marketable’ institutions.”
With the Big 12 surviving as a 10-team league, the most relieved institution of all is Iowa State. The Cyclones have a 118-year athletic history, most of it with fellow members of the old Big 8. But the school of 27,000 students was poised to be left out in the cold—in the Mountain West or, some even say, Conference USA—if this hadn’t come together, thanks to a lack of impact in football and hit-and-miss performance in men’s basketball over the years. How about this: Iowa State has not won an outright league title in football in over a century, and it has only two men's basketball conference championships since 1945. 
Sports fans in Boise witnessed the Cyclones during two of their high-water marks in the past decade—within 21 months of each other. But Iowa State was the victim of one of the most storied upsets in NCAA Tournament history in the BSU Pavilion in 2001, when 15th-seeded Hampton took down second-seeded ISU. And in December, 2002, the Cyclone football team fell to Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Former Boise State star Derek Schouman, whose 2009 season in Buffalo ended with a knee injury in Week 2, has finally returned to team drills with the Bills. According to, the Eagle High grad was greeted with “Schou is back” by his teammates. That was almost as pleasing to Schouman as how good his knee felt out there. "Injuries are a hard thing to deal with," Schouman said. "You feel alienated a little bit, but the good thing about the guys we've got is there's a real strong sense of team and I saw that (Tuesday)." He was a starter when he was injured—now he has to battle Shawn Nelson for that spot. Schouman has 27 career catches for 275 yards and one touchdown, but the tight end’s role in Buffalo’s offense could increase this season with Terrell Owens and Josh Reed having been cut loose.
The Boise Hawks have released a roster that could be in flux as Opening Night approaches Friday at Yakima, with most of the Cubs’ draft choices still unsigned. The Hawks have a Cuban defector for the first time. Juan Yasser Serrano defected from the island nation in April of 2009 and signed with the Cubs this March. Serrano, who has a fastball in the low 90’s, has been verified as being 22 years old. He has some doubters around baseball, but Hawks manager Jody Davis said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk, “He’s really got good stuff—you’re going to enjoy watching him this summer.” Also, the best name on the list is Dominican infielder Arismendy Alcantara. Makes me wish I was doing the Hawks’ public address announcing again.
The rumors that have been bubbling most of the spring appear to have substance now, and Derek Laxdal’s days with the Idaho Steelheads may be numbered. The Edmonton Journal reports that Laxdal is the front-runner for the head coaching job with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, the top junior circuit in the sport. That may sound like a step down, but hockey’s a different animal. The WHL is where a vast number of NHL prospects are developed. The Oil Kings are owned by the Edmonton Oilers.
This Day In Sports…June 16, 2008:
Tiger Woods, in obvious pain from a knee injury, has to go one extra round—and one more hole beyond that—to win a riveting U.S. Open over Rocco Mediate. Tiger sank a dramatic 12-foot putt on the 72nd hole to force an 18-hole playoff, then needed a birdie to force sudden death after Monday’s round. Woods parred the first extra hole to win his 14th major championship. Two days later, he announced he was having knee surgery and would miss the remainder of the 2008 season, leaving the PGA Tour to temporarily face life without Tiger.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)