When it came down to crunch time, Sam Whitney just couldn't say no to the blue and orange.
Whitney, a three-star defensive end from California state champion Folsom High School, was a Sacramento State verbal commit until the latter stages of the 2015 recruiting period. A grayshirt offer from Boise State and a subsequent visit to Idaho's capitol city changed his mind.
"It's rough, obviously," the 6-foot-3, 219-pound Whitney said about grayshirting at BSU. "Right now I'm itching to get in pads and hit someome.
"But an opportunity at Boise State is too hard to pass up."
Whitney had talked with the Bronco coaches on a number of occasions, but things really picked up a couple of weeks before National Signing Day. That combined with his experience on his official visit to Boise State sealed the deal.
"At first, it was partially because of the level of football (BSU) plays at compared to Sacramento State," Whitney said. "I didn't know the coaches to well, but I got to know them. I committed after my visit. Coach (Bryan) Harsin is a real guy. He's not a used car salesman. Him, me and my dad talked about the grayshirt thing and it really was a positive. Everything in Boise is about Boise State football. I like that a lot."
Whitney sees himself as a defensive end at Boise State, and defensive line coach Steve Caldwell agrees. However, much like current Bronco player Tyler Horn, Whitney is willing to play any position he needs to. That includes defensive tackle.
"I've played football for 11 years and I've been a defensive end every year," he said. "Once I get to Boise, I'm a tool for them to use. If they want me to play long snapper, I will. Wherever they want me is where I will play."
Whitney is unlikely to report to fall camp in July because of his grayshirt, but will enroll in some online classes to begin his college education. However, if attrition or a season-threatening injury occurs, he is first in line to join the Broncos.
"The scenario right now is I am applying for housing so I can get there in July in case there is an opportunity," he said.
In the meantime, Whitney spends his days at school, at the gym or working in a local frozen yogurt shop (mainly in the gym).
"I do a speed training workout at Folsom High School," he said. "I work out two times a day."