Waiting for the Other "Shoe" to Drop

The leaders of Boise State's wide receiver corps are well known--Austin Pettis and Titus Young are both on the Watch List for the Biletnikoff Award. With Pettis & Young both gone next season, Bronco fans have been waiting for a third star to emerge and so far that hasn't happened. Who will be the leader of the Bronco receivers next season? The time to decide that is now.

 

On the one hand, Bronco fans know that talent and production abound in the 2010 receiving corps with Titus Young and Austin Pettis.   

However, the burning question is:  "What do the Broncos do if one of them suffers an unfortunate injury, as was the case last season in the form of a late injury to Pettis?"  Further, who will take the leadership role when 2010 Young and Pettis are gone?  

Fresh in the memories of Bronco fans is Derek "Schou" Schouman, now an NFL tight end with the Buffalo Bills.  

It is now time for the other "Shoe" to step forward.  

Like Schouman, Tyler Shoemaker is a local product, out of Boise 's Mountain View High School .   

Shoemaker, who was second to teammate Mitch Burroughs in the 10-yard dash at the 2006 Idaho Football Combine, has shown he can be a deep threat to complement Titus Young.  Shoemaker runs a 4.68 40 and has an impressive 36.5" vertical leap.  He has great hands and excellent route-running ability.  

Last season, Tyler made 21 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns.  It may surprise some people that even with Young's 2009 heroics, Shoemaker led the team with 16.4 yards per catch.  One highlight came in the Hawai'i game.  With a fourth-and-two from the Hawai'i 35 and a Warrior defender coming at him, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore dumped a short pass off to Shoemaker, who ran into the end zone virtually untouched.     

Tyler has fairly good size (6-1, 217) so he can be a good target for Moore .  He has great hands and I don't remember him dropping too many passes since he came to Boise State .  He runs good routes that make it easy for Kellen to be on the same page with him.  A third high-quality receiver would make all the difference between Boise State being a great team and one that is perceived as "the best in the nation".  

It would be tough for Titus or Austin to elevate their game beyond what it already is.  The same is not true for Tyler .  He still has a lot of upside and, with his own personal improvement, could significantly elevate the status of Boise State .  

As great as Young and Pettis are, there should be plenty of opportunities for a third wide receiver to find the space needed to operate successfully.  While Shoemaker certainly has the experience to be that guy, he will need to upgrade his game in order to hold off some of the other talented players breathing down his neck.  

Last year, I predicted in the review of his recruiting class that Shoemaker would be a household name by the end of the year.  While I don't know if that's true, he didn't make the impact I thought he would when I wrote that article.  Sure, Young and Pettis are superstars but "Shoe" needs to stand amongst them as a trio.   

Go "Shoe" Go!

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