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Thursday, May 6, 2010
Boise State spring wrap

By Graham Watson

2009 overall record: 14-0

2009 conference record: 8-0

Returning starters
Offense: 10, defense 10, punter/kicker 2

Top returners
QB Kellen Moore, OL Nate Potter, DE Ryan Winterswyk, DT Billy Winn, S Jeron Johnson, WR Titus Young, RB Jeremy Avery, CB Brandyn Thompson, WR Austin Pettis, S Winston Venable

Key losses
CB Kyle Wilson, TE Richie Brockel, OL Kevin Sapien

2009 statistical leaders (* denotes returners)

Rushing: Jeremy Avery * (1,151 yards)
Passing: Kellen Moore * (3,536 yards)
Receiving: Titus Young * (1,041 yards)
Tackles: Jeron Johnson * (91 Total; 54 UA, 37 Asst)
Sacks: Ryan Winterswyk * (9.0 sacks/48 yards)
Interceptions: Brandyn Thompson * (6 INT, 67 Yards, 1 TD)

Spring Answers

1. Filling in for Wilson: The only void in the secondary is the one left at cornerback by first-round draft pick Kyle Wilson. There’s an abundance of young talent available, including Jerrell Gavins, Jamar Taylor and Ebo Makinde, who had a terrific spring.

2. Depth at receiver: Boise State returns four receivers who had 20 or more catches last year, but this spring was about the development of young players such as sophomores Chris Potter and Mitch Burroughs and freshmen Aaron Burks and Geraldo Hiwat. The Broncos have mainstays in Austin Pettis, Titus Young and Tyler Shoemaker, but these young players, including Kirby Moore, will give the Broncos even more depth.

3. D-line looks strong: The Boise State defensive line was one of the best in the country last season and should be just as good, if not better, in 2010. During scrimmages this spring, the defensive line got pressure on Moore and forced him into uncharacteristic mistakes. While there were some injuries on the line, it should be better and deeper than 2009.


Fall Questions

1. What to do with the running backs? The Broncos have nine running backs who could fight for time this year. Nine. But realistically, Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin and D.J. Harper will be the main backs while the others sit or fight for carries. This isn’t anything new. Boise State has had multiple backs before; it’s just a matter of determining how to divvy up the carries.

2. Offensive line shuffle: The good thing about playing so many offensive linemen the past couple of years is that there is no lack of depth. However, there could be a lack of consistency, which is why the Broncos are trying to settle on a permanent offensive line. It didn’t help that some of the main guys were out this spring, but the Broncos should have a nice group from which to choose.

3. Replicating special teams: The Broncos have had great special teams for quite some time, but with Kyle Wilson gone, the Broncos need a new threat to fill the void. Titus Young was great on kick returns and Chris Potter can help out with punts. Doug Martin and Jerrell Gavins also will be options on returns.