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'We're excited to take the next step': Boise State football coaches talk ahead of fall camp

The Broncos' fall camp begins Aug. 3. They open the 2022 season Sept. 3 at Oregon State.

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State University football team kicks off its 2022 schedule Sept. 3 against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Oregon. That's exactly one month after the Broncos begin fall camp.

"We're excited to take the next step in our preparation for the season. It's been a tremendous summer," Head Coach Andy Avalos said Monday afternoon in a pre-camp press conference. "The guys have, through the work of Coach Kagy and our staff, our players working together, we've had a really good summer. We've built in a lot of ways that are very instrumental to our foundation in terms of building a foundation mentality -- confidence, consistency. We were able to establish that this summer."

Still, Avalos said, the Broncos have a lot of work to do in the next month.

The Broncos enter the 2022 campaign after posting a 7-5 record in 2021, a season capped off by an invitation to the Arizona Bowl. That game was canceled due to a rise in COVID-19 cases within the Boise State program.

As Boise State looks forward to a new season, the Broncos look to improve on last season and figure to once again be one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference. They received 14 of 28 first-place votes at MW Media Days; media voted Boise State the preseason favorite to win the Mountain Division.

Of the starters from the 2021 squad, the Broncos return 15 -- eight on defense and seven on offense, including fourth-year starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier and All-Mountain West safety JL Skinner. Several Boise State players, including Skinner, are on preseason watch lists for national awards.

Avalos said the offseason has gone "tremendously well" for those returning starters and other members of the team, including those returning from postseason surgeries.

"There will be very few guys, returners, that are limited as we enter fall camp here, so the competition is going to be high," Avalos said.

Avalos went on to say some players coming off injuries will start camp in a limited capacity, but he fully expects them to be ready for the opener; Avalos specifically mentioned Ty Jones (nickelback), Riley Smith (tight end), Zamondre Merriweather (wide receiver), Eric McAlister (wide receiver), Roger Carreon (offensive line), Cord Kringlen (offensive line), Taylor Marcum (running back) and Jack Beresford (offensive line).

Freshman offensive lineman Kage Casey will not be ready for the opener, Avalos said.

"As we work through the first few weeks of the season, he will get reintroduced to practice coming off a shoulder injury," Avalos said.

The Broncos' roster has 109 players as of Monday. Long snapper Alec Grant, a senior from Arlington, Virginia, was added this summer; also, redshirt freshman Justus Del Rio who played at Capital High School will play safety for Boise State.

After the Broncos open the season on the road Sept. 3 at Oregon State, they'll open conference play with another road game, Sept. 9 at New Mexico. Boise State's home opener is set for 2 p.m. Sept. 17 against Tennessee-Martin. The complete schedule is posted here.

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