The duo of Austin Pettis and Titus Young set the pace for the Boise State wide receivers, but it is important that Pettis & Young help the talented young receivers that will be the future of the program. (Note: Photos are the property of Foto208.com--all rights reserved.)
Butch and Sundance.
Batman and Robin. You're likely familiar with these famous ‘dynamic
duos'. While not as well known to
those outside Bronco Nation, at least not yet, the duo of Austin Pettis and
Titus Young is already in a league of its own.
Perhaps the best tandem of wide receivers in the country, not to mention
the Western Athletic Conference, these two seniors will shred defenses in 2010.
At 5'11" and 170 pounds, Young is the diminutive leader of the wide
receiver corps although there's nothing small about his achievements.
All he did in 2009 was post over 2,000 all purpose yards and score a
team-leading 15 touchdowns. While only 10 of those touchdowns came at the
tail-end of receptions, Titus still gained over 1,000 receiving yards--a
phenomenal season for most wide receivers.
Young's signature weapon is his blazing 4.4 second sprinter speed,
dashing through defensive backfields and kick cover units like the opposing
players are standing still. Always
working to make himself better, Titus has improved his catching ability and overall
consistency to make him more than just a deep threat.
A prime example of his never-say-die dedication is Titus' amazing
heads-up play against
that is regarded as one of the standout plays of the 2009 season.
Following Bronco running back Jeremy Avery's breakaway to the end-zone
where Avery fumbled at the goal-line, Titus pounced on the loose football just
before it rolled out of bounds. Had
he not hustled to the loose ball in the end zone for the touchdown,
would have started possession on their own 20 yard line with a huge reversal in
momentum. Titus is a weapon regardless of whether or not he's toting the rock.
The other starting wide receiver Austin Pettis was equally impressive as
a junior. Repeatedly making
acrobatic and sideline catches that would make Larry Fitzgerald jealous, Pettis
relies on his considerable frame and glue-like hands.
Standing at 6'3" and weighing in at 201 pounds, Pettis often
out-leapt and out-stretched defenders for highlight reel grabs.
Bronco quarterback Kellen Moore refers to Pettis as a basketball player
on the football field, referencing his superhuman leaping ability.
Not only can Pettis catch air like
but he also boasts the softest and most consistent hands on the
roster, possessing a propensity for catching every ball thrown in his vicinity.
Though injured for the final game of the 2009 regular season, Pettis
still posted a remarkable 63 receptions for 14 touchdowns and a greater
per-catch average than Young's. When
a catch needs to be made, Pettis is a sure-fire bet.
The backup wide receiver positions may be short on current stars but
don't lack for touted football talent. Kirby Moore, brother of quarterback Kellen Moore, runs smooth routes (although his
notable touchdown against
was actually a botched route) and has dependable hands.
Kirby fittingly wears the obscure number 34 as he is often overlooked by
opposing defenses. As his skills
develop, he will create real matchup problems when teamed with
other outstanding receivers. Standing
at 6'2" and weighing 196 pounds, Kirby's size gives him an immediate
advantage which should play havoc when he and Kellen unleash the Moore to Moore
connection. Playing as a true
freshman, Kirby posted respectable numbers in 2009, with 21 catches for 242
yards and 2 touchdowns but looks to up those numbers in 2010.
In the slot receiver position, Tyler Shoemaker has paid his dues and
typifies the hard working blue collar Bronco mentality.
This 6'1" 207 pound junior made some impressive touchdown grabs in
2008 but faded in both playing time and statistics last year, mostly due to
various plaguing injuries. Shoemaker
has good size and football smarts to match and is a solid third receiver that
should increase his yardage this year. He
is a real team player and runs clean routes and is always a solid option with
the other receivers receiving most of the defense‘s attention.
Mitch Burroughs and Chris Potter were seldom used in 2009, largely due to
the considerable talent ahead of them on the receiver depth chart.
While both are somewhat diminutive at 5'9" and 188 and 161 pounds
respectively, they make up for it with their quickness.
Burroughs had several drops that stand out from the 2009 season but much
of that can be attributed to inexperience which will diminish with increased
snaps. Potter pulled down a very
important and impressive sideline grab in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl when the Broncos
were backed up deep in their own territory.
The catch resulted in a first down which kept the high-flying TCU offense
off the field for that much longer.
also boasts a wealth of young talent in receivers that did not play in 2009.
Aaron Burks and Geraldo Hiwat brought a great deal of excitement when
they signed with BSU in 2008. Both
of them red shirted in 2009 and haven‘t made much noise outside of scrimmages
but look for that all to change soon. Hiwat
brings generous size and blazing speed to the table while Burks brings good
hands, clean route-running skills and decent speed.
Hiwat is 6'4" and 189 pounds while Burks tips the scales at 186 on a
lanky 6'2" frame. Both Hiwat and
Burks made impressive receptions in the spring game and continue to earn
accolades in fall camp.
The talent pool does not stop there however.
brings another highly touted pair of wide receivers in Troy Ware and Matt Miller. Though it is probable that
both will red shirt in the upcoming 2010 season, they bring plenty of potential
that can only improve with time. Miller
received all-Montana State accolades in 2009 as a senior while
native Ware shows a knack for
route running and possesses decent speed.
As a receiving corps, the Bronco receivers are considerably deep and
talented and are easily one of the nation‘s best.
has never before been as loaded with dynamic weapons as they will be in 2010.
Most of these young men are tall compared with former Bronco stalwarts
and many of them also possess elite speed. The
2010 season should be a highlight reel year for the BSU receivers especially
since Pettis and Young are both touted as potential first round draft picks in
2011. With Kellen Moore's veteran
leadership, this year should be an exciting and compelling year for the Bronco