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Boise State women’s basketball: Joyce Harrell to the gridiron

When you think of local ties in the NFL, you don’t think of a former Boise State women’s basketball standout. But Joyce Harrell is breaking new ground.
Credit: Steve Conner/AP Photo
Boise State’s Joyce Harrell battles with Louisville’s Sam Fuehring for a rebound in an NCAA game, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. Louisville won 74-55.

BOISE, Idaho — Thursday, August 20, 2020.

Former Boise State star Curtis Weaver is on the field at Miami Dolphins training camp as a fifth-round NFL Draft pick. So is a one-time Fiesta Bowl Bronco, Dolphins defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander. Now there’s another former Bronco on the Miami staff from a whole different spectrum, and it is very cool. Joyce Harrell, who finished a four-year career in women’s basketball at Boise State last year, has been hired as a personnel scout by the Dolphins.

Harrell played 127 games for the Broncos and was part of three Mountain West tournament championships. But her background is not without football, as she was a graduate assistant in football operations at Boise State last season. The Dolphins are blazing a trail in diversity—they also hired Olivia Passy as a scout. She was director of football operations at Bowling Green last year. “Future superstars,” Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel said of Harrell and Passy in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

RELATED: Boise State football: If no Robert Mahone

MATTISON A 2021 HEIR-APPARENT?

Will Dalvin Cook’s attitude be just right this season? We know former Boise State star Alexander Mattison’s will. Cook will probably be motivated though, as he has broken off contract talks with the Minnesota Vikings and plans to play on his $1.3 million salary this season—and then head into free agency. Maybe that makes Mattison the Vikings’ feature back-in-waiting in 2021. Former Minnesota great Chuck Foreman would prefer to see them together. “They’re probably the best one-two combo in the league, in my opinion,” Foreman said Tuesday in the Pioneer Press. “There’s no question in my mind that (the Vikings have) the best one-two combination at running back. (Mattison) would be a No. 1 runner for a lot of teams.”

A BIGGER BRETT 

Brett Rypien’s dad, Tim, posted a couple photos of his quarterbacking son from Denver Broncos training camp the other day. It was quite apparent that Brett is bigger. The Denver roster doesn’t reflect that, as he’s listed as 6-2, 202 pounds, exactly the same as at Boise State his senior year in 2018. But, unless the photos are distorted, Rypien has at least bulked up his arms and his upper body.

RELATED: Kellen Moore: Earning it every day in Dallas

Still, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, Jeff Driskel is the heavy favorite to end up as the Broncos’ No. 2 quarterback. “Driskel was signed after stints with San Francisco, Cincinnati and Detroit to be Lock’s backup and he should remain in that role when the season starts because of his starting experience. Rypien, the No. 3 quarterback, has not played a regular-season snap. If there were preseason games and Rypien outshined Driskel, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.”

HAWAII’S MCDONALD RELEASED ALREADY

The Tennessee Titans aren’t that deep into training camp, but they’ve already made an assessment on seventh-round draft pick Cole McDonald. The former Hawaii quarterback was released Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The Titans signed Trevor Siemian to a one-year deal and apparently envision him as Ryan Tannehill’s backup. McDonald could still be a practice squad candidate. He passed on his senior year in January to enter the NFL Draft after starting for the Rainbow Warriors the past two seasons and getting them to the Mountain West championship game last December, where they lost 31-10 to Boise State.

RELATED: Boise State Football: No football brings transfer temptations?

FORMER HAWK VOGELBACH GETS THE SACK

Dan Vogelbach can hit home runs. The 6-foot, 270-pounder can also strike out. It was the latter tendency that saw the former Boise Hawk designated for assignment Wednesday, essentially ending his time with the Seattle Mariners. Vogelbach hit 30 home runs last year for the M’s. He also batted only .208. In 18 games this season, his fifth with the Mariners, he was hitting just .094 with two homers. Vogelbach ripped it up when he came through Boise in 2012, clubbing 10 homers in just 18 games for the Hawks and batting .322.

RELATED: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Missing a piece

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…August 20, 2008:

On what he said was a “gut feeling,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen names redshirt freshman Kellen Moore as his starting quarterback. Moore would become the first freshman QB to open a season at the starter in Boise State history after beating out fifth-year senior Bush Hamdan. Moore came to the Broncos with a stunning resume from Prosser High in Washington—he threw a state record 66 touchdown passes as a junior, then topped that with 67 as a senior. He had 173 career TD passes, also a state record. Moore threw for 142 touchdowns at Boise State.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.) 

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