BOISE, Idaho — Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Get used to all that Jordan Love hype out there. Utah State’s junior quarterback is already anointed as the top QB in the Mountain West for 2019. Next winter, will he forego his senior year in Logan to enter the NFL Draft? ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Love ranked fifth among underclassmen signal-callers for the 2020 draft. He has the measurables (6-4, 220 pounds) and the raw stats (36 touchdown passes versus just six interceptions last season). But there’s an asterisk next to Love’s pass efficiency rating of 158.3. He averaged 10.6 yards per attempt at home and just 6.9 on the road. His YPA on the blue turf last November was 7.7—even including the freak 83-yard screen pass that went for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
YOU’LL NEED A PROGRAM IN SEPTEMBER
There have been late additions to the Boise State football roster before, but three newbies for 2019 since spring football ended? First there was safety Khafari Buffalo from The Citadel, who’ll probably play cornerback for the Broncos. The second player was added at a greatly depleted position, linebacker, in the form of junior college transfer Josh Booker-Brown last week. Tuesday there was a third, yet-to-be-named late commit. Usually, players reveal this themselves on Twitter, but nada so far. The only tweet came from Darren Uscher, Boise State’s Director of Recruiting: “We just got a whole lot bigger and better.” Offensive lineman? Defensive lineman? Raise your hand if you’re an inquiring mind.
OCTAVIUS EVANS’ COMEBACK UNDERWAY?
As it does during the winter, the Boise State football strength and conditioning crew awards Iron Men of the Week honors during summer conditioning. Those hoping for a re-emergence of wide receiver Octavius Evans this year will be pleased to know that he and Zeke Noa were the winners in Week 2. It’s an indication that Evans is fully engaged as he tries to regain the momentum left behind in his true freshman season—and that maybe the leg injury that limited him to five games and just two catches last season is behind him. A year ago, Evans was seen as an heir-apparent to Cedrick Wilson, especially after he snagged five catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the 2018 spring game. But John Hightower essentially ascended to that mantle, and Evans will fight for playing time amidst a glut of talent at wideout.
BOISE STATE FOOTBALL’S SUMMER REC
Must have been nice running the decks at Albertsons Stadium last Friday when it was 62 degrees. Not so much fun this week. It’s classic deck-running weather for the Boise State football team. The tradition of sprinting up the bleachers in the upper deck dates back to Jeff Pitman’s first stint as the Broncos’ strength and conditioning coach, and now it’s the norm. The Broncos started with six non-stop decks the week after Memorial Day and upped it to eight last week. They’ll increase it by two per week before taking 4th of July week off. The grand finale will be a grueling 20-deck ordeal on July 25. In a recent contribution to fan site MWCConnection.com, former defensive lineman Elliot Hoyte said, “When I hear the phrase ‘decks’ even to this day, my stomach develops a pit.” And “Pit” means Pitman, no doubt.
R.I.P. MIKE BRADESON
In Reno, Mike Bradeson was known as a longtime Nevada assistant coach whose career spanned several head coaches, including Chris Ault. In Boise, he was known as a starter on Boise State’s 1980 Division I-AA national championship team who was one of that squad’s most important leaders before starting his coaching career with the Broncos. Bradeson has lost a long, fierce battle with cancer at the age of 60. He was actually on the staff at both UNLV and Nevada and coached in 25 Fremont Cannon games, more than any other person. And when Bradeson was diagnosed with cancer just after he lost his job when Brian Polian’s staff was dismissed, the Wolf Pack took care of him by keeping him on as a community relations representative, connecting with former Nevada athletes. It was a classy move.
FAST-FORWARDING WITH ALLIE O
The year 2020 is shaping up to be a crazy one for Allie Ostrander. Imagine the possibilities next year after her dominant performance in winning her third straight national championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase last Saturday. Not only can Ostrander go for an historic four-peat in the NCAA steeple, she can take serious aim at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Allie stuck her toe in the water in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing eighth in the 5,000-meters. Not to ignore the rest of 2019. There might be more in store before the Boise State superstar’s cross country season. Ostrander told KTVB’s Will Hall that Bronco coach Corey Ihmels may try to get her entered in the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford this month and the U.S. Track & Field Championships next month to keep the momentum going.
AKOT IS ABOARD AS A BRONCO
Arizona transfer Emmanuel Akot arrived in Boise last Friday and is enrolled in Boise State summer classes. Now, will he be an active member of the 2019-20 Broncos? It’s still possible that Akot would be granted a waiver for immediate eligibility based on the tumult in the Wildcats program—former Arizona assistant Book Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison last Thursday in the ongoing college hoops bribery scandal. Akot, who averaged 3.8 points in 17 games for the Wildcats last season, is seen as having huge upside once he gets his second wind in Boise.
AN HISTORIC FORMER BOISE HAWK
With the Boise Hawks fine-tuning themselves for their season-opener Friday night at Salem-Keizer, a former Hawk has made history. Righthanded pitcher Tayler Scott made his big league debut with Seattle last Saturday night—and in the process became the first player from South Africa ever to play in the majors. It didn’t go all that well, as Scott allowed three earned runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings during a 12-3 loss to the L.A. Angels. He did strike out four batters, though. Scott was solid for the Hawks in 2012, starting 15 games and going 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA. The native of Johannesburg was a fifth-round pick of the Cubs in 2011. Scott is the second Boise alum to make his debut this season; the other, Yonathan Daza, was brought up by the Rockies in April. Daza was a Hawk in 2015.
This Day In Sports…June 12, 2014, five years ago today:
Emma Bates becomes the first Boise State female athlete to win a national outdoor title at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Bates, the most decorated track and field athlete in school history to that point, won the 10,000-meter run by 64-hundredths of a second over Alabama-Birmingham’s Elinor Kirk at Hayward Field in Eugene. Bates’ time of 32:32.35 was the fastest at nationals in 26 years and the second-fastest all-time at the meet.
(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.)