Corral Conversations: Raphiel Lambert

To say that Raphiel Lambert had a good senior season would be a bit misleading. One look at just his accolades will tell you immediately that he is an incredibly talented athlete who dominated over the competition in his final High School season. So why did the Oregon native choose to go to Boise State for college, when he had stated previously that Oregon State was leading for his services..?

Following a season that saw him rush for nearly 1500 yards and 23 TD's, (good enough to be in the Top-5 of all classifications in Oregon), Raphiel Lambert had a choice to make. Stay in state and play in the Pac-10, or go to Idaho and play on the Blue Turf of Bronco Stadium. Lambert's decision to go south to Boise may have surprised some, but all it takes is a few minutes spent with the well-spoken young man to not only understand his decision, but to envy the conviction with which it was made.

Lambert, (who boasts a 260lb bench and a 500lb+ squat), was the Oregonians Player of the Week early in the season after rushing for 206 yards and 4 TD's on 27 carries against Central Catholic. For the season, Lambert was named the Metro League Conference Offensive Player of the year and 1st Team all-league as both a RB and CB, despite last season being his first to play CB. If Lambert's team had gone a little deeper in the Playoffs, he very likely would've been named to the All-State 1st team at both spots as well, but because they were bounced unexpectedly in the first round of the playoffs, he wound up being named 2nd team All-State as both a RB and CB.

It's that RB/DB versatility that has Boise State contemplating where to best put the outstanding athlete to use. "As of right now, the decision hasn't been made so it's pretty much either corner or running back", Raphiel stated. "I'm pretty much open to playing either or, even though I've been playing running back pretty much all my life, I've been playing corner recently, and I like playing that as well."

With a resume like that it's easy to see why he garnered so much recruiting interest. Before deciding on Boise State, he received written offers from the Broncos, Portland State, Montana, and Oregon State, he was also receiving a lot of genuine interest from Oregon, Washington, and Washington State.

So with a list of suitors that long, what was it about Boise State that put them over the top? Lambert wasn't shy in explaining that answer in detail.

"It just came down to Boise State feeling like the most comfortable place," Lambert described with gusto. "I love, (his emphasis)," the coaching staff there, they're young, energetic, exciting, and I've built an amazing relationship with them over the past year and a half and I'm really excited to go down there and play ball."

It appears that the Broncos focused more of their defensive coaches in their pursuit of Lambert, which could be indicative of their intentions of where he lines up on the Blue.

"I talked a lot with Coach Wilcox and Coach Julius Brown and me and Coach Petersen built a pretty good relationship as well. I think it's one of the best coaching staffs in the nation. They're great people, and then they've got these great players. They're were really open with me, they told me everything that I wanted to know and didn't try to sugar coat everything. They were very honest."

During his official visit to Boise State, Raphiel said that he was hosted by players Antwon Murray and Jarrell Root, but also got to know Kyle Wilson very well. I spent a lot of my time with corner Kyle Wilson, me and him built a pretty good friendship, and one of the redshirt freshman who played Defensive End named Will." (DT Will Lawrence.)

"I had a great time on my visit, I was actually the only recruit there on my visit at the time. It was when they played Southern Mississippi. It was fun, I got there, ate a lot, hung out with the players... it was a great visit."

When pressed for what really stood out on his Boise State trip, Lambert wasn't shy about what won him over. "Amazing game atmosphere, he simply stated. I went to the locker room before the game and an hour later when I came out it was just packed with people tailgating and everything. Everyone around was all about the Boise State football team and it was just a really great game atmosphere. A very great fan base.

Something tells me that before Raphiel Lambert is done in Boise, he may help to build an even larger and stronger Bronco fan base.

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