The Boise State recruiting Class of 2014 will be the first measuring stick of this new coaching staff. Graduating offensive lineman/wide receivers and Aaron Baltazar transferring have created immediate needs. Before the coaching staff was blown up, they had gotten several verbal commitments (and some of these backed out even before Coach Pete left) from the following position groups according to scout.com:
TE: 1, OL:3, QB:1, RB:1, DE:3, DB:3, WR:1.
This shows us the road map for what Boise State is looking for in part. Taking a closer look at the depth chart and factoring in the teams weaknesses it looks like OL,DL,DB and WR are critical areas of need. Skill players have the best chances of playing as true freshman so it isn’t unusual to expect that Boise State could find a DB or WR to play immediately. Boise State has played several true freshman at DL recently so that is possible as well.
Recent history tells us good things can still happen in times of transition.
Dan Hawkins first recruiting class was 2001. He was elevated from the staff to replace Dirk Koetter and they hit the recruiting trail with a different story. Koetter wasn’t going to improve Arizona State by poaching Boise State recruits so that wasn’t as much of a concern as it is now. Hawkins was a complete unknown to potential recruits as a Head Coach and, as far as recruits knew at the time, the offensive and defensive playbooks were going with Koetter. LB Andy Avalos, DB Cam Hall, DB Gabe Franklin and RB Lee Marks were signed in that first class and turned into sensational Broncos. There were several in that first class who never did work out.
Chris Petersen was elevated from offensive coordinator to Head Coach for the 2006 season. Hawkins told me he didn’t try to recruit many or any Boise State recruits to Colorado because they couldn’t make a big enough difference in the Big 12. Coach Pete’s first recruiting class had the advantage of selling the Boise State offense to recruits since Pete wasn’t leaving. Cedric Febis, Jeron Johnson, Tommy Galarda, Will Lawrence, Jason Robinson, Derrell Acrey, Kyle Efaw, and Nate Potter all were included in that first class, ironically not a difference making QB, RB or WR amongst them.
Now it is Bryan Harsins' turn.
The sales pitch is different in that this is the first time a former player and coach has returned to be the Head Coach. Harsin can sell his Texas experience, Sanford his Stanford time and Yates the Texas A&M tale. All three would rather be at Boise State. But, they have to sell that AGAINST the most successful Boise State coach ever who is now eager to convert the now better Boise State recruits into a Pac 12 opportunity. Will this translate into at least 4-7 program changing recruits in the Class of 2014? In this time of transition it has happened before but never with as much competition, a momentum changing 5 loss season and Legendary coaching exit. Game on.