x
Breaking News
More () »

Ahead of Boise State's season opener against Central Florida, what Bronco Nation needs to know about the roster

The Broncos have welcomed 32 new players since Andy Avalos and his new coaching staff took over in January.
Credit: Boise State Athletics
Boise State WR Stefan Cobbs will wear the No. 5 this fall. He caught four passes for 72 yards wearing No. 82 last fall.

BOISE, Idaho — After fall camp started last week with a few bumps, the Boise State football team has revealed its updated roster. New head coach Andy Avalos and his assistants had a busy off-season, turning over approximately 30% of the roster.

With less than a month from their season opener against Central Florida, here's everything Bronco Nation needs to know about the Boise State football team heading into the 2021 season.

Once again, no one gets No. 11:

Only one other player has worn the number since record-setting quarterback Kellen Moore graduated in 2011. Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes donned the digits his first three years in college before switching to No. 1 his senior season. So, the number has been unused since 2014. It’s the second-longest inactive number, trailing only No. 61. For that number, I have no real rationale other than, “nobody asks for it.”

Riley Smith’s transformation continues:

The former quarterback turned tight end continues to bulk up. Two seasons ago, when he was still mostly slinging passes, he checked in at 214 pounds. Last season, following his full-time switch to tight end, he jumped up to 225 pounds, and now he’s all the way up to 238.

16 “Idaho guys” grace the roster:

Rocky Mountain High School has the most alumni with five, followed by Timberline High School with three. Boise, Borah, Bishop Kelly, Eagle, Fruitland, Highland, Homedale, and Skyview all have a former player now at Boise State, too.

Credit: Boise State Athletics
Boise State junior TE Riley Smith ranked third on the team in both catches (15) and receiving yards (155) in 2020.

Broncos add some last-minute arms to the quarterback room:

Cade Fennegan’s decision to transfer mid-summer left the Broncos with only guys in the QB room, three of which are on scholarship. Avalos believes he unearthed two “diamonds in the rough” though, adding freshman Colton FitzGerald and Colt Fulton to the roster. FitzGerald is on scholarship.

7 “Super Seniors” have an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 season:

After the 2020 season was shortened due to COVID-19, Boise State will have four sixth-year players and three fifth-year players. The latter group is a trio of guys that never redshirted and would be out of eligibility had the rules not been relaxed last season.

Sixth-Year Seniors:

  • Donte Harrington, OL
  • Uzo Osuji, OL
  • Jake Stetz, OL
  • Joel Velazquez, P/K

Fifth-Year Players:

  • Kekaula Kaniho, N
  • CT Thomas, WR
  • Riley Whimpey, LB

As you can imagine, most of these guys also appear on the list of “most experienced” Broncos currently on the roster.

MOST CAREER GAMES PLAYED:

1. Kekaula Kaniho, N – 47 (33)
2. CT Thomas, WR – 46 (12)
3. Joel Velazquez, P/K – 43 (0)
4. Riley Whimpey, LB – 41 (29)
5. Octavius Evans, WR – 35 (6)
T6. Jake Stetz, OL – 33 (10)
T6. Daniel Cantrell, LS – 33 (0)
8. Andrew Van Buren, RB – 32 (4)
9. Tyreque Jones, S – 31 (13)
T10. Khalil Shakir, WR – 30 (12)
T10. Scale Igiehon, DT – 30 (8)

(Career starts)

BIGGEST GAINS: WHO ADDED WEIGHT?

  • Herbert Gums, F-FR – NT: 303 lbs (+21)
  • Gabe Hunter, F-FR – EDGE: 238 lbs (+21)
  • Tyreque Jones, R-SR – S: 205 lbs (+18)
  • Andy Nwaoko, R-FR – DE: 242 lbs (+17)
  • Austin Bolt, R-FR – TE: 215 lbs (+15)

DROPPING DOWN: WHO LOST WEIGHT?

  • Isaiah Bagnah, R-SO - EDGE: 225 lbs (-19)
  • Nathan Cardona, R-FR – OL: 272 lbs (- 19)
  • Divine Obichere, SR – DT: 295 lbs (-19)
  • Ben Dooley, F-SO – OL: 305 (-10)
  • Markel Reed, JR – CB: 182 lbs (-8)

NUMBER CHANGES:

Once upon a time, single-digits weren’t just freely distributed to incoming freshmen. Since that policy changed a few years ago, we just don’t see a lot of numbers swaps anymore. That being said, only three guys recently swapped numbers.

Stefan Cobbs, JR – WR*
New number: 5 – Old number: 82

Tyler Visser, SR - WLB
New number: 32 – Old number: 43

Alexander Teubner, SO – S*
New number: 34 – Old number: 46

*Switched during spring ball

POSITION CHANGES:

No. 41 – Jaylen Clark, R-FR
New position: S – Old position: CB

No. 56 – Casey Kline, R-SO
New position: DE – Old position: EDGE

No. 32 – Tyler Visser, R-SR*
New position: WLB – Old position: S

*Switched during spring ball

ROSTER ADDITIONS:

The Boise State football program added 32 new players over the offseason, including 25 true freshmen, six transfers, and one grey shirt holdover from the 2020 recruiting class.

THE TRANSFERS:

Boise State added six transfers to the roster this offseason, four of which played at the FBS level last season.

Credit: Boise State Athletics
Oregon transfer Cyrus Habibi-Likio figures to make an instant impact in the Boise State backfield this fall.

No. 4 - Cyrus Habibi-Likio, SR – Running Back (Oregon)

Immediate Impact Level: High

Habibi-Likio was limited to a goal-line role at Oregon. He scored 21 rushing touchdowns on 122 carries in 32 appearances for the Ducks. The Broncos have offered him a chance to expand his role. He will be a great compliment to starting running back George Holani.

No. 16 - Jared Reed, SR – Cornerback (Utah State)

Immediate Impact Level: Medium

This is the third stop for Reed in college. He started at Portland State, then transferred to Utah State. He worked his way into a role with the Aggies last year, playing in all six games and logging two starts. He will attempt to unseat one of the projected starters at cornerback during Fall Camp, however, I believe he’s more likely to add depth to the position.

Credit: Boise State Athletics
Boise State WR Davis Koetter averaged 16.5 yards per catch and led Portland State with 8 receiving touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019.

No. 17 - Davis Koetter, SR – Wide Receiver (Portland State)

Immediate Impact Level: Medium

Koetter started off his career at Portland State, as emerged as a top receiving threat as a sophomore, collecting 626 yards on 38 grabs and a team-best eight touchdowns. Behind seniors Khalil Shakir and CT Thomas, there is room for the ball to go around. Koetter is a great candidate to fill that space.

No. 26 - Caleb Biggers, SR – Cornerback (Bowling Green)

Immediate Impact Level: High

Of all the transfers, Biggers might have the best chance to come in a crack the starting-22. He played 26 total games at Bowling Green, logging 19 starts along the way. He’s still awaiting his first collegiate interceptions, but his 100 career tackles are far more than any other player in the cornerback room right now.

No. 39 - Jalen Neal, FR – Cornerback (San Bernardino Community College)

Immediate Impact Level: Low

This is Neal’s second year in college, but due to COVID-19, last year did not count against his eligibility.

No. 75 - Will Farrar, SR – Offensive Line (Texas Tech)

Immediate Impact Level: Low

I could wind up completely wrong here, but there aren’t a lot of spots open on the offensive line. Left tackle John Ojukwu, left guard Garrett Curran, center Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez and right guard Jake Stetz are all back after starting last season, and senior Uzo Osuji and sophomore Ben Dooley are the lead candidates to start at right tackle. Farrar has the size and offers versatility, which could help him get on the field. But unless someone gets hurt, cracking the rotation prior to Sept. 2 will be an uphill battle.

THE FRESHMEN:

Five true freshmen enrolled early at Boise State and were on campus this past spring. That list includes four members of the 2021 recruiting class: wide receiver Kaden Dudley, quarterback Taylen Green, safety Seyi Oladipo, and edge rusher James Wilborn, Jr.

In addition, safety Isaiah Bradford, who was a holdover from the 2020 recruiting class, also joined the team during the spring. Bradford grey shirted last fall.

9 - Colton FitzGerald, FR – Quarterback (Saugus HS – CA)
10 - Taylen Green, FR – Quarterback (Lewisville HS – TX)
10 - Andrew Simpson, FR – Linebacker (St. John Bosco HS – CA)
13 - Jalen Richmond, FR – Wide Receiver (Chandler HS - AZ)
23 - Seyi Oladipo, FR – Safety (Eaglecrest HS - CO)
25 - Isaiah Bradford, FR – (Redlands East Valley HS - CA)
29 - Ben Ford, FR – Wide Receiver (Eagle HS - ID)
31 - Zion Washington, FR – (Reedy HS - TX)
45 - James Wilborn, Jr. , FR – (Avon Old Farms School - MI)
47 - Jai Jones, FR – (South Oak Cliff HS - TX)
53 - Marco Notarainni, FR – (Torrey Pines HS - CA)
59 - Rejhan Tatum, FR – (Del City HS - OK)
63 - Mason Randolph, FR – OL (Yorba Linda HS - CA)
73 - Joseph Amos, FR – OL (Lancaster HS - TX)
79 - Cord Kringlen, FR – OL (Holy Family HS - CO)
80 - Eric McAlister, FR – WR (Azle HS - AZ)
82- Kaden Dudley, FR – WR (Palmer Ridge HS - AZ)
85 - Matt Lauter, FR – TE (Torrey Pines HS - CA)
91 - Ahmed Hassanein, FR – DE (Loara HS - CA)

WALK-ONS:

8 - Colt Fulton, FR – QB (San Margarita High School – CA)
45 - Will Ferrin, FR – K/P (Davis High School – UT)
48 - Jordan Erickson, FR – S (Rocky Mountain High School – ID)
58 - Ty Tanner, FR – MLB (Rocky Mountain High School – ID)
65 - Mason Hutton, FR – LS (Hillcrest High School – CA)
67 - Bryson Kievit, FR – DT (Sprague High School – OR)
96 - Luke Voorhees, FR – TE (Pierce High School – CA)

ROSTER SUBTRACTIONS:

Sixteen players have left the Boise State program since the last roster update in April. Many of these have been known for a while now, but here is the full list of players who have left since last season:

  • Donovan Clark, R-FR – CB (New School: Missouri State)
  • Trevor Cole, R-SO – WR
  • Robert Cooper, R-FR – DL (New School: Eastern Washington)
  • Kaden DeLuna, R-JR – TE (Personal Decision)
  • Keola Downing, R-FR – P
  • Jonathan Earl, R-JR – CB (Medically retired)
  • Jaydn Ewing, R-SO – DE
  • Cade Fennegan, R-FR – Quarterback (New School: BYU)
  • Obi Gee, R-FR – RB
  • Andrew Faoliu (Personal Decision)
  • Brandon Hernandez, R-FR – OL
  • Brock Miller, R-SR – EDGE (Personal Decision)
  • Chris Mitchell, R-JR – CB (Medically retired)
  • Mason Sikes, R-SR – TE (New School: Western Illinois)
  • Koby Tryggestad, R-FR – LS
  • Amari Williams, R-FR – DT

Watch more Boise State Football:

See all of our Boise State football coverage in our YouTube playlist: