Boise State enters the 2010 season with the biggest expectations in school history -- the possibility of a national title berth.
The expectations are the result of returning 22 of the 24 Fiesta Bowl starters and 78 scholarship players, giving the Broncos an impressive amount of experience and depth for a WAC team.
Coach Chris Petersen just doesn't want to see any complacency in his team, which went 14-0 last season and is 26-1 since the start of the 2008 season.
Two and a half weeks into spring ball, he likes what he sees -- intense, competitive practices.
"Everyone needs to be extremely paranoid and have an edge," Petersen said. "If we do that and get that, then we'll have a chance. And if we think we're going to repeat because of the guys we have coming back, because of what we did last year, I promise you we won't."NOTES, QUOTES
SPRING OBJECTIVES: The Broncos are focused on cleaning up details and developing their depth this spring because they are so loaded with returning starters. For quarterback Kellen Moore, that means better footwork and more consistency with the deep ball. For 1,000-yard tailback Jeremy Avery, that means improving his hands and blocking. For cornerback Brandyn Thompson, the Fiesta Bowl hero, that means improved consistency. And there are a few position question marks -- the offensive line has been shuffled, NFL-bound cornerback Kyle Wilson must be replaced and the young wide receivers need to step up.
BUILDING BLOCKS: Boise State might have the best collection of offensive skill players in WAC history, starting with Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Kellen Moore. He's joined by wide receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis, who combined for 29 touchdowns last season, and tailbacks Jeremy Avery, D.J. Harper and Doug Martin, all of whom could be the featured back if necessary. Throw in a strong blocking/red-zone receiving tight end in Tommy Gallarda and outstanding receiving tight end in Kyle Efaw and you have what should be a nearly unstoppable offense. The defense is no slouch either, with a loaded line that could garner four All-WAC awards and three playmaking safeties.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is a great situation for coaches to have and I hope the lineup looks much different than it did in the Fiesta Bowl. ... That's our goal as coaches, to constantly upgrade talent. If one of our younger guys can beat out an older guy, that's the way we want it here." -- Boise State coach Chris PetersenSTRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
2010 OUTLOOK: The Broncos return 22 of 24 Fiesta Bowl starters and are extremely deep nearly across the board -- quarterback is the most notable exception -- so this should be a big year for them. They open against Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., and play Oregon State at Bronco Stadium for their third game, so by the end of September this could be a national championship contender.
CB Ebo Makinde -- He impressed with his skills and his work ethic as a redshirt and joins the race for the vacant starting spot in the secondary. If nothing else, he should be a major contributor on special teams.
TE Gabe Linehan -- The Broncos' special teams scout player of the year in 2009 should be a factor on special teams and in the passing game. He's a little light, but the former high school quarterback gives the Broncos a second downfield threat at tight end.
DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe -- The Netherlands native only played one year of American football before joining Boise State. He's making big strides this spring and could provide an intriguing option behind starters Billy Winn and Chase Baker.
--Senior S Jason Robinson, a terrific special-teamer, is suspended indefinitely. He was arrested on a felony charge that put his career in jeopardy.
--Senior OL Kevin Sapien, a starter, retired because of neck and shoulder injuries. He and CB Kyle Wilson are the only departed starters.
--Former California defensive coordinator Bob Gregory has joined Boise State as the nickels coach. Gregory was the defensive coordinator at Boise State in 2001 before going to Cal.
--Sophomore Raphiel Lambert has moved from cornerback to tailback.
Previous Report: 03/25/2010