Building an OLine like a brick Wall(er)

While Boise State took a major step forward with their defeat of Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, continuing down that path will require the acquisition of players that have major conference potential, players like Zach Waller (6'6 270lbs OT) from Franklin High in Elk Grove, Ca.

Elk Grove's Zach Waller, who moved from tight end to tackle between his sophomore and junior seasons, was one of his league's top offensive linemen in each of the past two season, helping the still shiny, new Franklin High establish itself as one of the teams to be dealt with in the Sacramento Valley.

From the same area that produced Boise State standout Ryan Dinwiddie, Waller was initially pursued by Nevada-Reno.

"I thought I might be in a situation where I'd only have one choice," Waller said. The Pack was in the mix from the beginning and just three hours from home had a lot to offer. However, the Broncos came in midway through the season and were able to swipe away the 6' 6" 275 lineman that has plenty of room for increased size and power, though he is already overwhelming on the high school level.

After a visit to Boise and Reno, Boise won out. "I fell for Boise right away. The atmosphere up there as far as football is great. It also reminded me of home, Waller added.

While the Broncos have been known for spreading the field and passing the ball, as well as the innovative play-calling that helped secure the win over the Sooners, with the success of Ian Johnson and BSU's dedication during this recruiting season to bolster their ability to run the football bodes well for future showdowns with major conference powers—the types of games Boise State will have to win with great regularity before they get the type of long lasting respect that Gonzaga has etched out in basketball.

Zach Waller puts a defender on his backThe biggest selling point for Waller, he explains, was the comfort level. Boise was superior to Reno in several ways, but Waller's ease with the coaches and other players was the clincher. "I think the other guys are all great and I felt very comfortable knowing they would be my teammates," Waller said.

Easing the transition from California to Idaho is the fact that Waller will already be very familiar with another teammate, current high school teammate Brandyn Thompson, a cornerback recruit from Franklin that has also committed to BSU.

In fact it was while scouting and recruiting Thompson that Waller blossomed from someone the Bronco Coaches were impressed with to someone they had to have.

Thompson won't be the only familiar face to Waller. He was named to the Pre-Season All Sac-Joaquin Section 1st Team, along with new Bronco's Chase Baker (Rocklin HS), John Nisby (St. Mary's), and Doug Martin (St. Mary's)

Waller is aware there is a transition that he will have to overcome, but thoughts of home sickness or other concerns of incoming freshmen are all heavily outweighed by the enthusiasm for stepping onto the blue carpet for the first time as a Bronco.

"I get really excited thinking not only about playing, but eventually running out of that tunnel and into the stadium wearing the blue and orange."


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