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Opportunity still looms large for Taylor

Opportunity still looms large for Taylor

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on April 29, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Monday, April 29, 2013.

The difference between the first round and the second round in the NFL Draft is money.  Make no mistake—it’s lots of money.  But the fact that Boise State’s Jamar Taylor went in the second round with the 54th overall pick to Miami isn’t going to affect his chances of making an immediate impact with the Dolphins.  First impressions out of South Beach say Taylor should challenge immediately for a starting position against holdovers Dimitri Patterson, Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll, and R.J. Stanford.  Taylor is back in Boise now, packing his belongings for the trip to Florida.

Taylor had plenty to say about Boise State at his introductory press conference.  On being mentored by Bronco teammates: “Jeron Johnson was my roommate, George Iloka was, Kyle Wilson was once upon a time, so all those guys just give me really a lot of encouragement and just tell me to keep my head on straight,” said Taylor.  “They all take care of me, so they all have been real big influences in my life.  They have been behind me this whole offseason and told me wherever I end up is going to be a good look for me.”  On why he ended up at Boise State: “Coach (Petersen), what he’s doing up there, he's a great coach,  Coach Pete Kwiatkowski, our defensive coordinator.  I probably lost four games in my career, and any time you can go to a program like that you can’t say no.  I went up there with both feet in and it was the best five years of my life.”

It didn’t happen in the seventh round for D.J. Harper Saturday, but he was fully prepared to go the undrafted free agent route.  Now we await the former Boise State star’s landing spot.  He told the Idaho Press-Tribune Saturday night he was close to a deal.  Former Bronco Jerrell Gavins is getting a three-day rookie tryout with Tampa Bay.  Four former Idaho Vandals jumped on free agent opportunties Saturday night—safety Gary Walker with Baltimore, punter Bobby Cowan with Oakland, wideout Justin Veltung with Seattle, and cornerback Aaron Grymes with Green Bay.  Idaho State has record-setting wide receiver Rodrick Rumble going to Indianapolis, and tight end Josh Hill, who began his career at Boise State, going to New Orleans.

The rather riveting profile of one-time Boise High and Mountain View High offensive lineman Hugh Thornton by the Statesman’s Chadd Cripe is enough in itself to make us follow him in the NFL.  Thornton was drafted in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts Friday night.  He had a rollercoaster relationship with his father, Mark, who played at Boise State in the mid-1980s, but all is good now.  It’s amazing Thornton flew under our local radar the way he did during his four years at Illinois.

There were only seven Mountain West players drafted (nine if you count San Jose State and Utah State as members now).  Five of the seven were in the secondary, with San Diego State’s Leon McFadden (third round, Cleveland), Nevada’s Duke Williams (fourth, Buffalo), Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas (fifth, Washington), and Nevada’s Khalid Wooten (seventh, Tennessee) joining Taylor in the defensive backs category.  Taylor was the second to go—the first was San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar.  Slim pickins for the conference; there’s going to be some Mountain West bashin’ by the naysayers who doubt the league’s talent.

Boise State has had Greg Grimes the past five years.  Now it’s slated to have a Greg Gaines.  The La Habra, CA, defensive tackle committed to Boise State Saturday.  The 6-1, 290-pounder, the Broncos’ fourth verbal of the 2014 recruiting class, sounds like he might have some Bacon (Mike Atkinson) in him.  "I played running back a good bit up until a couple years ago," Gaines told  “They talked about putting me at fullback and including me as an extra blocker.  I'm good at that.”  Atkinson was, too.  I still say if Atkinson hadn’t been lost for the season in early November last year, he would have carried the ball on Senior Day. 

Friday was an active day for announcements, one being Boise State’s home-and-home series with Oklahoma State in 2018 and 2021.  The first football opponent announced by Mark Coyle after he became the Broncos’ athletic director was Tennessee-Martin, who will come to the blue turf September 7.  Thud.  But since then have come Virginia, UConn, Florida State, and now the Cowboys.  The fact that Troy and Louisiana-Lafayette were thrown in for balance is more than acceptable.  There are two chances left to get Idaho on the schedule this decade: in 2015 and 2016.

Now that the CBS Sports Network portion of Boise State’s football schedule has been set, let’s check out what’s left.  Only the home games against Tennessee-Martin, Southern Miss, Wyoming and New Mexico are without TV assignments, with the rights to all four dates held by ESPN.  The network has to place one of them on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  My guess would be Wyoming on November 16, but would one of those three primary networks really show that game on a Saturday?  The Broncos have a bye the week before the Wyo game—could it be moved up to a weeknight with some ESPN manipulation of the Saturday requirement?

The Idaho Steelheads aren’t afraid of overtime, having gone 4-1 in OT games in the Kelly Cup Playoffs now this spring after getting past the Ontario Reign 2-1 Saturday night in Game 5 of the ECHL Western Conference semifinals.  And Steelheads goalie Josh Robinson isn’t afraid of much of anything now that he’s back in a groove.  Robinson shut out Ontario Friday in a pivotal Game 4, a 6-0 Steelies whitewash of the Reign.  He stopped 67 of 68 shots for the weekend.  Then there was Idaho rookie Chase Schaber, who scored the deciding goal Saturday night.   Schaber has scored a total of four professional goals, two at the end of the regular season and two in the playoffs—and all four have been game-winners.  The series shifts back to Ontario tomorrow night for Game 6, with the Steelheads needing one win to advance.

The Boise State men’s tennis team won its second straight Mountain West championship yesterday, and it had to be done the hard way.  The Broncos lost the doubles point to New Mexico in the title match in Colorado Springs, meaning they’d have to win four of six singles matches to take the crown.  Garrett Patton, Filipp Pogostkin and Andy Bettles obliged, leaving Nathan Sereke to decide whether it would be feast or famine in the final match to finish.  Sereke won in a third-set tiebreaker, and Boise State advances to the NCAA Tournament.  The selection show is at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Several other campus notes: the Boise State women’s golf team finished second at the Mountain West Tournament, the Broncos best conference result since winning the Big Sky championship 19 years ago.  Boise State was led by senior Hayley Young, whose scoring average of 75.19 this season was the lowest in school history.  The Bronco women’s softball team took two out of three from Colorado State at Dona Larsen Park.  The College of Idaho baseball team’s streak of 26 straight playoff appearances came to an end when Concordia won three out of four from the Coyotes at Wolfe Field.  And new Yotes men’s basketball coach Scott Garson will be introduced today.

It would have been big money for Graham DeLaet had it not been for a third-round stumble at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.  The former Boise State star ballooned to a two-over 74 Saturday before rebounding yesterday with a 68 to finish tied for 47th.  DeLaet earned $16,159.  His former Bronco teammate, Troy Merritt, made almost that much on the Web,com Tour over the weekend, tying for 15th at the South Georgia Classic and winning $10,075.  Merritt is 5-for-5 in cuts made on the this year.

This Day In Sports…April 29, 2006:

Daryn Colledge becomes Boise State’s highest NFL Draft choice in 20 years when he’s taken in the second round, and 47th overall, by the Green Bay Packers.  The All-WAC offensive tackle from North Pole, Alaska, who started all 52 games in his BSU career, was expected to move to guard and get a chance to start for the Pack (which he did).  Colledge would thus protect Green Bay great Brett Favre in his final two seasons with the Packers.

(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.)