Bronco Spring Ball Battles: Wide Receivers

It’s no secret that Boise State is going to have its hands full trying to replace superstar receiver Thomas Sperbeck, the unassuming catalyst of the team’s passing game the past three seasons

Boise State coaches are confident in who they will roll out onto The Blue this fall, and it starts with preparation and development during spring football.

Thomas Sperbeck recorded a jaw-dropping 224 receptions for 3,601 yards and 20 touchdowns during his career at BSU. He also served key roles in “trickeration” plays as both a passer and rusher. Waiting in the wings, however, is a batch of young, hungry pass-catchers who can’t wait to become the next household name.

Leading the way is senior Cedrick Wilson, (Memphis, Tenn.), a breakout star from the 2016 season who should pick up right where he left off. Wilson has 56 receptions for 1,129 yards and 11 touchdowns as a Bronco, all of which he recorded in one season. He will be the go-to receiver for Boise State this fall.

Also on the roster are redshirt seniors David McKinzie (Frisco, Texas) and Brock Barr (Redding, Calif.), senior Austin Cottrell (Glendale, Ariz.), redshirt juniors Sean Modster, (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and A.J. Richardson (Lomita, Calif.), junior Akilian Butler (Dallas, Texas), redshirt sophomore Bryan Jefferson (Leesburg, Fla.), sophomore Bubba Ogbebor (Frisco, Texas), and redshirt freshmen Christian Blaser (Meridian, Idaho) and Julian Carter (Scottsdale, Ariz.).

The Broncos brought in quite the haul of dynamic receivers in the 2017 recruiting class in Octavius Evans (Center, Texas), Cartrell Thomas (Lancaster, Texas) and Damon Cole (El Cerrito, Calif.). All three have a chance to play early, especially Evans, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound monster who is not afraid to go over the middle to make plays.

Finding someone to pair up with Wilson as a starter will be key for the passing game to continue its torrid pace. Ogbebor is the most likely of the group to develop into that type of player quickly. He has all the tools, size and skill set to make it happen. But, don’t count out Modster, Richardson, Carter or Evans in pushing for playing time, or even a starting role.

Boise State does not lack for talent at the wide receiver position, and there is a nice mix of experience and youth to make fans happy now while also building for the future. A young player or two will need to step up during spring camp and parlay that into fall, but the pieces are there for yet another successful campaign from the pass-catchers.

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