Damien Senior Joe Provenzano chooses Broncos

Coaching changes almost always lead to some sort of shake-up with recruits. For some, it means following the departed coach to the new location. For others, however, it can be the newfound exposure that provides their opportunity. Such was the case for La Verne Damien senior middle linebacker Joe Provenzano.

Despite receiving an offer from Northern Illinois, Joe Provenzano, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound heat-seeking missile chose to be a Bronco instead despite not receiving an official offer.

"I'm really excited about my decision," said Provenzano, who will start his collegiate career as a preferred walk-on. "Everything happened pretty late for me. They didn't start recruiting me until the coaching change. I had an offer from Northern Illinois, but I want to be a Bronco. "Playing for a big-time Division I school is something I've always wanted to do. It's a dream come true."

When Bryan Harsin was named Boise State head coach in December, Provenzano became a wanted man. As the Broncos showed more interest, so too did the Huskies. But he was far more intrigued by what the Broncos could offer him off the field than what he saw with NIU.

With a 3.4 GPA, he's standout in the classroom and received an academic scholarship. He's looking forward to majoring in business, so one look at the Micron Business and Economics Building was all it took. After taking his official visit on March 8 with his father, he knew Boise State was the school for him.

"Just walking around the campus and seeing the business building, I knew it was where I wanted to go," he said. "It was an easy decision at that point."

An instinctive linebacker, Provenzano arrives at the point of attack with a thump. His aggressive, physical style is something in which he takes great pride. He roams the middle of the field, having improved his tackles from 78 during his junior season to 115 last year after dropping 10 pounds in the offseason. With no position change in his future, he knows the most important thing for him will be to improve his position skills, focus on his speed and prepare himself for the increased competition level.

"The [Boise] coaches just want me to keep getting stronger," he said. "They don't want me to lose any weight, just build muscle and lose some fat. They want me to stay at linebacker. I just need to get better at the things I do."

Despite not receiving an athletic scholarship, Provenzano, who was primarily recruited by linebackers coach Andy Avalos, remains undaunted and has big plans for his time in Boise.

"I've got a real competitive streak in me," he said. "I'm fired up that I didn't get an athletic scholarship. It's motivating. I've been starting since my freshman year. That's not just something they give to you. You have to earn it. This is like that. My goal is to have a full scholarship for football by the time I'm done."

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