Jeremy Avery and D.J. "The Texas Tornado" Harper get their chance to shine this fall in the backfield for Boise State. They have been working extremely hard in practice and in the weight room and it is showing. There's plenty of talent behind them.
At first glance
football season was a resounding success. With
12 wins, a conference title, top 15 final ranking, and a budding superstar at
quarterback there was very little room for any criticism.
A deeper look into the 2008 season reveals one major issue:
the inability to run the football
against the stiffer competition which led to the inability to sustain drives
which led to a tired defense and way too much pressure on a freshman
quarterback. Plain and simple, had
been able to run the football they would have beaten TCU in the Poinsettia
Bowl. The defense that played so
gamely that December night would not have been on the field for 40 minutes and
would not have given up 475 yards and 30 first downs.
As the 2009 season comes upon us, one would think that a
lot of this season's failures and successes will depend greatly upon a young
undersized yet athletic offensive line and a stable of extremely talented
running backs. If this line can so much as be a slightly above average (not
great) unit we could be looking at the most dynamic offense in the history of
. The Broncos have a few young studs
that can't wait to burst upon the scene!
Jeremy Avery (5-9, 173, Jr.)- Avery is a high level Bowl Championship
Series school talent. About the only
thing you wish were different is maybe that he was a little bigger.
Had Jeremy not received qualifying ACT scores late in the game he would
most definitely be playing in the Pac10 Conference, he's that good!
The '09 season is Avery's chance to shine; he finally gets to be the
featured back as a redshirt junior. This
will be an upgrade for
from 2008 (sorry IJ). I look for
Jeremy to wind up with about 1,200 yards and 12-15 touchdowns.
Also look for him to have a coming out party of sorts against
! (120 yards and two TD's)
D.J. Harper (5-9, 198, Jr.)- Five years ago
would not have dreamed of having a guy this talented as a backup.
In 2006 Johnson's backup was Brett Denton, who was a solid player but
certainly not the breakaway threat that Harper is.
So to say that the talent level has increased at the running back
position is an understatement! Harper
is a cat quick scat back who spurned several schools including Texas Tech to bring
his game from the great state of
to the Blue. He like Avery is a
home run threat every time he touches the ball.
I look forward to seeing D.J gain 450 yards or so and score six-eight
TD's in relief of "Peanut! Also,
watch this guy as a kick returner and out of the backfield as a receiver (4.4
Matt Kaiserman (6-0, 188, Fr.)-(the wildcard)
Kaiserman is a local kid out of
that has drawn rave reviews from those within the program.
I'm told he's Brock Forsey-esque, which to me means the guys a
baller, flat out. Not a kid that is
going to wow you with his athleticism or anything--just tough as nails and knows
how to make things happen. Look for
him to play a somewhat limited role this year but to make some big plays at key
moments ala Derek Schouman when Derek was a freshman.
That year, Schouman caught 17 passes but it seemed like they were all
huge (i.e. the game-winner in the Fort Worth Bowl).
Another thing you like about a guy like Kaiserman is the fact that he is
blue-collar all the way and will push the guys in front of him to be better.
Jarvis Hodge (5-9, 203, Jr.)-I hope this guy plays a lot because if he's
in there it means the Broncos are winning big.
Hodge has been the ultimate team player since he came here as a lightly
recruited guy out of
. His niche this year is going to be
laying some hat on special teams. Great role player, never whines about playing
time, just comes to work. THANK YOU JARVIS!
Malcolm Johnson (5-10, 181, Fr.)—when a guy rushed for 6,975 total yards in his high school career, one
has to sit up and take notice. As a
senior, Johnson averaged 204 yards per game, rushing for 2,635 yards on 287
carries with 25 touchdowns. MaxPreps.com
named Johnson the Best Player in the State of
He was All-League three years and was the Mt. Hood Conference Player of the Year
twice. He was named ESPN's high
school player of the week, he appeared in Sports Illustrated's Faces in
the Crowd and he dominated in the
high school all-star game.
He has all the attributes of a great running back according to his coach
Terry Summerfield. "He has speed
(11.0 seconds in the 100-yard dash), power, toughness, vision, receiving ability
and — most notably — tremendous balance.
Still, he has no yards in college
yet and he has to prove himself and most importantly learn the complex Bronco
offense. It is not known at this
time if Johnson will redshirt or play as a true freshman.
(and there's always Doug Martin...)
gets the running game going, how good can Kellen Moore be? Scary
and other opponents would have much, much more to prepare for.
That really is the only question mark going into the 2009 season.