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National Signing Day: Boise State welcomes 22 new players

From the University of Wisconsin to its backyard in Meridian, meet the 22 players who signed with Boise State football Wednesday for National Signing Day.

BOISE, Idaho — In the last three days, head coach Andy Avalos and the Boise State football program landed six verbal commitments, including two transfers from the University of Wisconsin and Colorado. 

The Broncos also flipped a commitment from North Texas to the blue and orange, to round out a recruiting class of 22 scholarship players. Boise State stayed close to home, but also went as far as Germany to find its future talent. 

During the 2022 season, and especially in the Frisco Bowl victory, Bronco Nation saw Texas natives like Taylen Green, Ashton Jeanty, Eric McAlister, Latrell Caples and more, shine for Boise State. On Wednesday, the Broncos inked six players from the Lone Star State, including another standout running back. 

Avalos held a news conference Wednesday afternoon at JUMP to discuss Boise State's newcomers. 

Find everything you need to know about each new Bronco below:

Ty Benefield

  • Position: Athlete
  • Irvine, Calif. - Crean Lutheran High School
  • 6-foot-2, 189 pounds
  • 247Sports: N/A
  • Notable offers: BYU, Colorado State, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
  • Committed Nov. 9, 2022

According to MaxPreps, Benefield led Crean Lutheran in receiving yards per game (117), total touchdowns (22) and receiving touchdowns (20) this fall. Benefield's squad went 10-2 in 2022, including a 4-1 record in Empire play.

The dual-position athlete also tallied 91 tackles, seven pass breakups and four interceptions at defensive back.

Demanuel Brown

  • Position: Edge
  • Houston, Texas - Dekaney High School
  • 6-foot-2, 230 pounds
  • 247Sports: N/A
  • Notable offers: Grambling State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Oregon State, Tulane
  • Committed Nov. 7, 2022

Brown was at Albertsons Stadium for Boise State's dominant 49-10 win over Colorado State on Oct. 29. Following the win, Brown discussed his visit to The Blue and meeting other recruits with KTVB sports reporter Brady Frederick:

"We just clicked, like on the same night we all met each other in the gift shop. I was like, 'oh yeah, I can see myself with them for the next five years.' The coaches, they were showing me commitment. So, I was like, 'okay, this probably is the place for me.' … They really stand by what they say, you know. Week one, they fell short. Second week, they bounced back, like, 'what can we do to prevent from losing how we did last week.' They got heart. Man, I'm telling y'all, I'm ready. Coach, put me in, I'm gonna show out." 

As a senior, Brown was a menace in opposing backfields, racking up 19 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and five quarterback hits, on his way to 60 total tackles.

Kyle Cox

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • Eatonville, Wash. - Eatonville High School
  • 6-foot-6, 270 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 140 OT nationally
  • Notable offers: Air Force, Army, Idaho, Montana State, Portland State, SDSU
  • Committed June 24, 2022

Cox is a three-time TNT All-Area First-Team honoree and two-time Evergreen 1A First-Team Offensive Lineman. The big man also played basketball and competed in track for Eatonville.

Cayden Dawson

  • Position: Tight end
  • San Diego, Calif. - University City High School
  • 6-foot-4, 232 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 61 TE nationally
  • Notable offers: Nevada, Oregon State, SDSU, San Jose State, Washington State
  • Committed July 1, 2022

Dawson's athleticism speaks for itself. He competed in football, basketball, lacrosse and track, and helped University City capture its first San Diego Section Division III Championship on the gridiron in 2022. 

The standout tight end turned 19 receptions into three touchdowns and 227 yards as a senior.

Jambres Dubar

  • Position: Running back
  • Anna, Texas - Anna High School
  • 6-0, 196 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 37 RB nationally
  • Notable offers: Colorado, Incarnate Word, Louisiana Tech, Utah
  • Committed June 21, 2022

During an interview with KTVB in June, Dubar talked about his relationship with Boise State associate head coach and running backs coach Keith Bhonapha, and what Bronco Nation can expect out of him:

"Coach B, he's been recruiting me since he was at Washington and when transferred over to Boise, so I feel like the relationship was there and kept growing more and more. He's put a lot of running backs into the league. I had a talk with Doug Martin at my unofficial visit too, so we had a really good talk … I'm very elusive. I'm very patient with my reading, like reading the holes, I'm very patient with doing that. I can catch out of the backfield, I have some great top-end speed, and I'm not easy to tackle either."

Oliver Fisher

  • Position: Tight end
  • Sherwood, Ore. - Sherwood High School
  • 6-foot-4, 236 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 71 TE nationally
  • Notable offers: Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland State
  • Committed July 5, 2022

Fisher is another both-ways player and multi-sport athlete. He earned 2021 All-Pacific Conference First-Team honors on the defensive line, and a second-team all-conference nod at tight end in the same year.

Jackson Grier

  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - St. Thomas Aquinas High School
  • 5-foot-11, 175 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 272 WR nationally
  • Grier's first Division I offer came from Boise State
  • Committed June 22, 2022

Boise State's Grier file: "Helped St. Thomas Aquinas capture its third-straight 7A title, finishing with a 14-1 record in 2021…brother Landon plays DB at South Carolina…father Chris is the general manager of the Miami Dolphins."

Nick Hawthorne

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Fort Worth, Texas - Boswell High School
  • 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
  • 247Sports: N/A
  • Notable offers: Colorado State, Miami (Ohio), Oregon State, Utah State
  • Committed Nov. 15, 2022

Hawthorne was nothing short of a playmaker in the Lone Star State, racking up 44 tackles, 10 pass breakups, four interceptions and two tackles for loss in 11 games as a senior at Boswell. 

Franklyn Johnson

  • Position: Athlete
  • Little Elm, Texas - Little Elm High School
  • 5-10, 165 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 64 athlete nationally
  • Notable offers: Colorado State, Navy, UNLV, Utah State
  • Committed June 23, 2022

The Texas connection continues to shine in the City of Trees. According to Boise State Athletics, Johnsons played quarterback, cornerback, safety and wide receiver during his time at Little Elm. 

On Wednesday, former Boise State standout defensive back and current football recruiting assistant, Deandre Pierce, gave Johnson the following shoutout; "Texas speed something different! It's about that time bro."

Michael Madrie

  • Position: Defensive line
  • Argyle, Texas - Argyle High School
  • 6-foot-4, 255 pounds
  • 27Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 141 DL nationally
  • Notable offers: Arizona State, Colorado, SDSU, Washington State, Wyoming
  • Committed Aug. 2, 2022

Boise State's 14th signed National Letter of Intent came from Madrie, a big-time recruit and quarterback hunter from Argyle, Texas. As a senior, Madrie had 78 total tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks. 

Chase Martin

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Thousand Oaks, Calif. - Thousand Oaks High School
  • 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 109 LB nationally
  • Notable offers: Baylor, Fresno State, San Jose State, UNLV, Washington State
  • Committed Dec. 19, 2022

The multi-sport athlete's defensive statistics speak to why Martin received impressive offers during his recruiting trail:

Senior stats: 131 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.

Junior stats: 127 tackles, six tackles for-loss, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, two pass breakup and an interception.

A'marion McCoy

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Oakland, Calif. - Laney College
  • 6-foot-1, 170 pounds
  • 247Sports: N/A
  • Notable offers: Fresno State, Morgan State, Murray State, Norfolk State
  • Committed Dec. 19, 2022

The junior college product out of Laney College, who was featured on Netflix's Last Chance U, collected 35 tackles, four interceptions, four pass breakups, forced two fumbles for the Eagles as a sophomore. 

As a freshman at Laney, McCoy had 27 tackles, five pass breakups and two interceptions. McCoy returned one pick to the house for a touchdown.

Wyatt Milkovic

  • Position: Linebacker
  • Chandler, Ariz. - Basha High School
  • 6-foot-2, 225 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 126 LB nationally
  • Notable offers: Army, Cal, Colorado State, Nevada, Utah State
  • Committed April 8, 2022

The Basha product was one of Boise State's first commitments of the 2023 class. According to his file, Bronco Nation should we ecstatic Milkovic went blue and orange back in April:

"In 11 games as a senior, amassed 144 tackles, tied for the seventh-most in the state, including 20 for-loss, and four sacks (averaging 13.1 tackles/game)…recorded 13 quarterback hurries and three pass breakups…played in 11 games during his junior year, making 132 tackles, including 11 for-loss, and 4.5 sacks…added 17 quarterback hurries, broke up six passes, forced two fumbles and recovered one."

Chase Penry

  • Position: Wide receiver
  • Colorado transfer
  • Englewood, Colo. - Cherry Creek High School
  • 6-foot-1, 185 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 126 WR nationally (Class of 2021)
  • Notable 2021 offers: Colorado State, Harvard, Princeton, UNLV, Yale
  • Committed Dec. 20, 2022

Boise State welcomed a pre-signing-day surprise Tuesday, when Colorado native and Buffs transfer Chase Penry verbally committed to the blue and orange. 

This year in Boulder, Penry grabbed two balls for 25 yards. As a freshman in 2021, he had a touchdown and 86 yards on eight receptions. 

Carson Rasmussen

  • Position: Offensive tackle
  • Meridian, Idaho - Owyhee High School
  • 6-foot-5, 296 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 135 OT nationally
  • Notable offers: Air Force, Army, Idaho, Idaho State, Portland State, SDSU
  • Committed June 27, 2022

Rasmussen called the opportunity to represent his hometown "awesome," and added he has "a lot of pride" in staying home to wear the blue and orange.

"That just made my decision even easier. For all my family to come support me in all my games is just a huge factor for me. It's a way of repaying them for all their time and effort they put into me," Rasmussen said. "Why Boise State? It's just a really special place. Having family members that went there and just seeing that even NFL players still come back, it's kind of not a four-year commitment, but like a lifetime commitment."

Jason Steele

  • Position: Interior offensive line
  • Murrieta, Calif. - Murrieta Valley High School
  • 6-foot-4, 270 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 108 IOL nationally
  • Notable offers: Arizona State, California, Colorado State, Nevada, SDSU, San Jose State
  • Committed April 12, 2022

Steele competed in both football and track during his time at Murrieta Valley, collected all-conference honors as both and junior and a senior on the gridiron. 

According to Steele's Twitter account, he was able to sign his National Letter of Intent in Boise while watching his brother play in Tuesday's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. 

Max Stege

  • Position: Defensive line
  • Germany - Cologne Crocodiles
  • 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 182 DL nationally
  • Notable offers: Eastern Michigan, Houston, Idaho, Liberty
  • Committed Sept. 21, 2022

Stege was the first Bronco to sign his LOI due to the time difference between Germany and the western United States. 

He was a captain on Germany’s U19 National Team and Stege's stepfather, Khalid Khatib, was a seven-time national boxing champion in Germany, according to Boise State Athletics. 

Gabe Tahir

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Kennewick, Wash. - Kamiakin High School
  • 6-foot-1, 175 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 118 CB nationally
  • Notable offers: Air Force, Colorado State, Nevada, Penn State, Utah State
  • Committed Dec. 19, 2022

Boise State's Tahir file: Played on both sides of the ball in high school as a CB/WR combo … Two-time first-team all-conference selection during his prep career. 

Khai Taylor

  • Position: Athlete
  • Pittsburg, Calif. - Pittsburg High School
  • 6-foot-1, 165 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 165 athlete nationally
  • Notable offers: Air Force, Army, Nevada
  • Committed Nov. 8, 2022

Taylor and Brown were on The Blue for Boise State's dominant 49-10 win over Colorado State on Oct. 29. Following the win, Taylor discussed the visit with KTVB sports reporter Brady Frederick:

"It just felt more like home. You can feel the love over there, so that's what's really nice about it … It's like an actual family over there," Taylor said. "When I was talking to them, there's a relationship with everyone here. The town's gonna love you, the coaches are gonna love you. I'm coming in there bringing the energy, the juice and just to keep the tradition up there. Just keep building up, have fun with everybody out there. Go Broncos."

CJ Tiller

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. - Rancho Cucamonga High School
  • 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 40 QB nationally
  • Notable offers: California, SDSU, San Jose State, Utah State, Washington State
  • Committed March 18, 2022

One of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the class of 2023 committed to Boise State in March, and never looked back despite being recruited by former offensive coordinator Tim Plough. 

Tiller passed for 2,154 yards and 14 touchdowns and added 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the grounds in 11 games as a senior at Rancho Cucamonga. 

"(CJ has) a great head on his shoulders and comes from a great family," Avalos said, adding that Tiller is a tremendous player who people gravitate toward.

Titus Toler

  • Position: Safety
  • Wisconsin transfer
  • Bellflower, Calif. - St. John Bosco High School
  • 5-foot-11.5, 180 pounds
  • 247Sports: Four-star prospect, No. 41 S nationally (Class of 2019)
  • Notable 2019 offers: Colorado, Arizona State, Minnesota, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
  • Committed Dec. 19, 2022

Arguably the biggest get for head coach Andy Avalos' staff came on Monday, when former Wisconsin Badger defensive back Titus Toler committed to Boise State after four years in Madison. 

As a redshirt-junior safety in 2022, Toler played in five games, tallying seven tackles and a pass breakup.

Matt Wagner

  • Position: Tight end
  • Prosper, Texas - Rock Hill High School
  • 6-foot-4, 225 pounds
  • 247Sports: Three-star prospect, No. 78 TE nationally
  • Notable offers: North Texas, Georgetown, Lamar, Stetson, Tulane
  • Committed: Dec. 20, 2022
  • Wagner committed to North Texas this summer, but flipped his commitment to Boise State on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

This year's Frisco Bowl matchup was too coincidental for Wagner. The two schools battling over him in his recruitment were playing each other for the first time since 2000, at a venue just 15 minutes away from his hometown.

"When I saw that on the news, my jaw dropped," Wagner said. "It was an on-going joke around [my high school] that that game was called The Matt Wagner Bowl, not the Frisco Bowl, because that was ultimately the two schools that I was down to in my recruitment."

To read more on the conversation between Wagner and KTVB Sports Director Jay Tust, click here.

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