National signing day has come and gone, and now pundits are left to assess the damage and predict how well schools will do with their new tools in the future.
Not an easy job, to be sure.
Out west, Boise State managed to make it through the day without much hoopla surrounding either itself or its newly signed athletes. The Broncos ended up with the No. 62 overall signing class, according to the team rankings from Rivals.com, reeling in 12 three-star athletes.
Although Boise State was relatively quiet on February 6, there were still good and bad elements to the school’s overall effort.
Let’s take a look at some of those areas.
The Good: Linebackers
Most of the linebackers signed to the class of 2013 won’t see much time on the blue turf for the Broncos this coming season, but their services will be greatly appreciated in years to come.
Boise State has some solid future parts in linebackers Joey Martarano, Tanner Vallejo, Gabe Perez and Durrant Miles. All four young men stayed true to their original verbal commitments to sign with the Broncos and could be making an impact together for the defense someday.
It remains to be seen whether Martarano, a likely first-round draft pick in this year’s MLB draft, will stick around Boise to put on the pads in the fall. Obviously, losing him would be a blow to what is currently a very good stock of young players at the position.
But even if Martarano does opt to play baseball instead, 2013 could be remembered for the pickups at linebacker as much as any other position in a few years. All four players have the physical tools to become starters at Boise State.
The Bad: Offensive Line
Yes, signing Andrew Tercek was huge for the Broncos, as he was one of the most talented and highly rated recruits that Boise State had gotten a verbal commitment from prior to national signing day. But other than Tercek, the Broncos only picked up two other offensive linemen, Eli McCullough and Archie Lewis.
Boise State will have to replace three starting linemen from the 2012 squad this coming season and will do so with some parts that have experience. However, the Broncos will lose three potential starters from the offensive line again at the end of the 2013 season. From there, things get a little hazier.
It would have been nice to see the Broncos pick up some pieces to protect their quarterback of the future. At the same time, Chris Petersen’s staff clearly did their heavy lifting on national signing day in the defensive department.
Surely potential starting quarterbacks of the future such as Nick Patti and Ryan Finley would have liked to see some big boys signed as well.
The Good: Outdoing the Rest of the MWC
For the third year in a row, Boise State’s overall recruiting class was ranked higher than any other Mountain West Conference school. This year, Fresno State came very close to taking the crown from the Broncos, ending up at No. 64 along with Connecticut and Kansas State.
For many, this fact isn’t all that surprising. As the program with the most success of schools in the MWC over the past decade, some may argue that Boise State should actually be ranked even further ahead of their conference mates on national signing day.
Although team rankings only go as far as adding weight to one’s argument about the future strength of a program, it is encouraging to know that Chris Petersen normally gets the best out of the players he ends up with. If the players he gets are generally more highly rated than those being recruited by conference rivals, it just serves as more of an edge.
Boise State’s rank overall was down from a year ago (No. 62 from No. 54 in 2012), but as long as it continues to outpace the competition in conference, the Broncos should continue to be the favorite every year to win the Mountain West crown.
The Bad: Stealing No One
If you were surprised that the Broncos didn’t receive more coverage on television networks that devoted the entire day to national signing day, you shouldn’t be.
Boise State simply didn’t experience any headline-worthy drama.
Twenty-one of the school’s recruits had verbally committed by February 2, and the Broncos' biggest signing of the day came from wide receiver A.J. Richardson, who was leaning heavily towards Boise State before national signing day.
Taking Tanner Shipley from BYU a couple of weeks ago was nice, but it would have been even sweeter to see the Broncos land a surprising steal such as defensive tackle Toby Johnson, who is considering a slew of SEC schools but had not yet made up his mind at the end of the day.
In reality, if not stealing any recruit is one of the worst things that happen to the Broncos in 2013, it should be a pretty good year.
All things considered, the Broncos got almost everything they wanted, and there wasn’t too much drama in Boise. That much the coaching staff can be thankful for.
In the end, Boise State appears to have signed a pretty solid recruiting class and gave Coach Petersen’s staff a handful of options for the future, especially on defense. In addition, running back Aaron Baltazar and quarterback Ryan Finley could one day become stars on the blue turf.
I’m going to give the Broncos a B+ rating for their national signing day efforts in 2013. They didn’t exactly make a “splash," but went about their business effectively and came away with some good additions to the team.
That’s really all you can ask for from any school. A lack of fireworks in February is easily forgiven when Ws are being racked up in the fall.