Immaculate Receivers

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 rights reserved.)

Butch and Sundance.  Bonnie and Clyde .  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 Fresno State 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, Fresno State 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 Jordan , but he also boasts the softest and most consistent hands on the Boise State 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 San Jose State 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 Boise State 's 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.

            Boise State 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.  In 2010, Boise State 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 Southern Cal 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.  Boise State 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 wideouts. 

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