Thursday, August 1, 2013.
The classes aren’t balanced like they once were, but there are five quarterbacks heading into Boise State fall camp Monday. The St. Helena, CA, Star reports that Richard Hoppe of St. Helena High has been offered a preferred walk-on spot by the Broncos and will join his former teammate, running back Charles Bertoli, on the blue turf. Hoppe will also join his sister, Hillary, who’s already a student at Boise State. The story reads, “Hoppe received a phone call asking if he were still interested in joining the football program due to recent injuries at the position.” Truth be told, the opportunity was created when Jimmy Laughrea left the Broncos after spring football, but that beside the point.
So the Boise State quarterback room will now be populated by a senior (Joe Southwick), a junior (Grant Hedrick), a redshirt freshman (Nick Patti), and two true freshmen (Hoppe and Ryan Finley). It’s an uphill battle for Hoppe, especially since he’s in the same class with Finley, the much-decorated star out of Phoenix. But sometimes the hungry guy pushes the more talented guy. Hoppe threw for 2,152 yards and 26 touchdowns with just three interceptions last year for St. Helena and holds six career records at the school. He also sounds like a Bronco OKG (our kinda guy). Hoppe is said to be a film study junkie and, and his dad, Tom, is the boys basketball coach and athletic director at St. Helena.
If it’s August 1, it must be time to lay out your clothes for Bronco Stadium this season. The 2013 color plan was unveiled yesterday and includes different tri-color schemes for the home opener against Tennessee-Martin and the October showdown versus Nevada, with different blue and orange schemes set for the Wyoming and New Mexico games in November. The Air Force matchup will be a blue-out, presumably to drown out any blue that Falcon fans might don. A fan Facebook vote will decide the color arrangement for the Southern Miss tilt.
My scribblings Tuesday about the pressure for Boise State fans to sell out Bronco Stadium, and the probability that it won’t happen much this season, drew one particularly passionate response from a Scott Slant reader. “In my opinion Bronco Stadium does not sell out because of parking!” he wrote. “Parking is a nightmare—getting to the game and even worse trying to leave. Improve that with a 15-story parking garage. They keep adding seats but no parking. Where the heck are these people going to park?” Touche. This has been a growing issue as the years have gone by.
Washington has grabbed a third top recruit from the state of Idaho, landing a commitment from Coeur d’Alene High offensive tackle Matt James. The 6-5, 270-pounder had eight offers according to Scout.com, including one from Boise State. In May the Huskies pulled in Timberline High defensive end Don Hill and James’ Coeur d’Alene teammate, tight end Chase Blakley.
Idaho updates in the NFL: I mentioned yesterday that wide receiver Justin Veltung has signed with St. Louis. Quarterback Nate Enderle, the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl hero who was cut by Tennessee earlier this summer, caught on with San Diego yesterday. Enderle was drafted in the fifth round in 2011 by Chicago and spent the entire season on the Bears roster but did not play in a game. Elsewhere, veteran Jake Scott is running with the first team at right guard for the Lions. Scott is going into his 10th NFL season. Linebacker JoJo Dickson is in camp with the Jets, and defensive end Benson Mayowa and linebacker-turned-fullback Korey Toomer are in Seattle’s training camp.
Whereas the Boise Hawks were streaky during much of June and July, now they’re simply winning some and losing some, and they lost one last night in Everett. The Hawks got out to a good start, taking a 4-2 lead in the third inning on Yasiel Balaguert’s fifth home run of the season and first since June 30. But the AquaSox answered with three runs in their half of the third and went on to a 7-4 victory. Boise is now 4-5 in the second half of the season, one game out of first place in the Northwest League South Division. The Hawks are 25-22 overall.
Graham DeLaet spent a disheartening week last week at the Canadian Open and is taking this week off. The former Boise State star missed the cut in the biggest tournament in his native land. But he did feel some love from his countrymen. DeLaet is now a member of the Saskatchewan Ambassador Alliance. It’s a group of private-sector companies that work to promote Saskatchewan outside its borders as a good place to live, work and do business. DeLaet is the Alliance’s first ambassador, and he will sport the “thinksask.ca” logo on his golf shirt to promote the province on the PGA Tour.
Former Boise State and Idaho Stampede standout Coby Karl said yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk he has found his landing spot overseas. Karl has agreed to a guaranteed contract with Reggio Emilia, which plays in the top pro league in Italy. Karl, who played in all 50 Stampede games last season and averaged 13.3 points per game, feels his time on the hardwood in his homeland has run its course. “I don’t foresee playing in the United States anymore,” said Karl. But he could see playing “three or four more years” in Europe. Karl turned 30 years old in June.
KTVB.com Mountain West Factoid of the Day: The change of scenery did Fresno State a massive amount of good last season. And we’re not just talkin’ a share of a conference championship. In 2011, their final season in the WAC, the Bulldogs were dead last in the FBS in turnovers gained with only nine. Last year Fresno State was fifth in the nation, forcing 35 turnovers, a stunning turnaround of plus-26. The Bulldogs scored eight defensive touchdowns, six on interceptions and two on fumble recoveries.
This Day In Sports…August 1, 1978:
Atlanta pitchers Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber hold Cincinnati’s Pete Rose hitless, snapping Rose’s 44-game hitting streak. The day before, Rose had tied Wee Willie Keeler’s National League record. The end of Rose’s run reinforced the legend of the most unbreakable of all major league records: Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941.
(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.)