Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser for Kuna’s Hero Trio

CAM00570The Boys & Girls Club in Kuna is holding a silent auction to benefit Kuna’s Hero Trio. Boise State University was very generous and donated some items that I think Boise State fans would be very excited to get their hands on. All proceeds from the silent auction will be going to the KH3 charity that was created to benefit the families of 3 young men who experienced tragedy. That charity now aims to be there for other families who maybe in need during hard times.

To learn more about Kuna’s Hero Trio click here or here.

The items up for auction are as follows:

Item #1 – Kellen Moore limited edition autographed “50 win” framed photograph. (starting bid 100)

Item #2 – Nike Boise State football signed by Coach Bryan Harsin. (starting bid 50)

Item #3 – Large Nike Boise State T-shirt (starting bid 15)

Item #4 – XLarge Nike Boise State T-Shirt (starting bid 15)

If you are interested, everyone is welcome to come into Reed Elementary between 9am – 6pm in Kuna, Idaho & place a silent bid on the items (items are on display in the school). The silent auction goes until next Thursday at 5:30. Winners of the items will be called Friday, August 1st to pick up their prize.

Remember, all proceeds go to this great cause. So get some awesome Boise State gear, and feel great doing it!

 

BTN’s Take – Boise State’s Quarterbacks

 

Photo courtesy of Brian Losness – USA TODAY Sports

 

Question: What can we expect from the Quarterback position this year? What do you make of the backup position?

Derek -  I think we can all agree that Grant Hedrick is the man this year.  It would take either a major catastrophe or an incredible fall camp by either Ryan Finley or Tommy Stuart for anyone other than Grant to be under center against Ole Miss on August 28th.  The real question is what kind of quarterback play will Hedrick bring to the field this year?  Will his years in the program, and his familiarity with Harsin’s system turn him into an all-MWC type QB?  Or with only half of a season under his belt will he simply do what it takes to keep the Broncos in the game and give them a chance to win?  My opinion is that as the Broncos prepare for the MWC championship game in early December, Grant Hedrick will be the quarterback that everyone is talking about for offensive player of the year.  I liked what I saw from him last year, and if he is given full control of the offense with nothing holding him back I think we will see great things from him.  We saw many times last season, especially when he took over against Nevada, what he can do with his legs.  He also made some incredibly good throws at times, and with a full year practicing as the number one guy, I think we will see him get even better.  He may be the closest thing Boise State has had to a duel- threat quarterback in a long time…. (Jared Zabransky?  Bart Hendricks?).  With the weapons he has at both receiver and running back, and his ability to make plays with his legs and arms, I really think we may see a Boise State offense that is going to be incredibly hard to predict and defend this season.  The two question marks will be can the offensive line give him time to make the plays, and can Hedrick’s propensity for turnovers (mainly fumbling) be limited.  If we can get past those two weaknesses, Grant Hedrick will add his name to the long list of great Boise State quarterbacks.

The past couple seasons our main discussion when it came to Boise State’s quarterbacks was who is going to be the starter?  We had social media wars with #TeamPatti and #TeamSouthwick, (was there ever a #TeamHedrick?)  and we pretty much knew that the loser of the starting QB battle would be the back-up.  Even in all of Kellen Moore’s years we knew each season who the clear-cut back-up would be – Hamdan, Coughlin, Southwick.  So do we have a clear-cut back-up this season?  Common sense says Finley has been in the program so he will be the man.  I am going to go against common sense (which has gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past) and say Tommy “Football” Stuart is  the man this year.  I am not much into watching film, but there was something about watching Tommy’s recruiting videos that hooked me.  Plus, all the kid does is win – in High School and Junior College combined he is 33-3, and was the MVP of the CCCAA State Championship game in Junior College and the MVP of the Maryland High School All-Star game (The Crab Bowl – Yum!).  Grant Hedrick may be the starter, but put me on #TeamTommy for the back-up spot.

Heath - I might end up being the overly optimistic one in this conversation. But I ultimately think the situation is much better than people view it on the surface. I put a lot of faith in what Bryan Harsin has done in the past at Boise State. When looking back at Hedrick last season, I don’t think he was as bad as his lows, but I do believe he has the potential to be as good as his highs. Last season watching Hedrick, I felt like the offense was conservative and restricted to simple play calling. Which is saying something considering the offense we ran last year. However, despite that, Hedrick still threw 16 TD’s & only 5 picks. Hedrick is a Harsin guy – Harsin recruited Hedrick while he was at Boise State. I imagine during that time Harsin had a plan for Hedrick, who would have thought we would see that plan in action.

As for the backup spot, I have to say Finley is the guy and then everyone else. I think it is easy to forget how highly touted Finley was when he signed on at Boise State. He was supposed to be the next generation of Boise State QB’s. The size of a “prototypical QB” and the drive and mental fortitude of a “Boise State guy”. Stuart obviously has the excitement factor, and seems to be the right kind of guy. But I just have to imagine if Finley is healthy he has a major edge going into the season. If Finley still has lingering issues though, then we all better just cross our fingers Hedrick is an iron-man. Because I can’t imagine we have much success with Stuart or Ogle next year.

Jeremy – I think there should be a balance in expectations with Grant Hedrick. On one hand, we are scrapping the old new offense and returning to the multiple offense Boise State has been known for, a system Hedrick has experience in. He needs to be given some leeway, the entire offense is learning Harsin’s and Sanford’s approach. That said, Grant is also a 5th year senior. If any QB should make the transition quickly, you would hope it’s the experienced veteran. Ajayi returns, along with a talented WR group and a play-caller that we hope is more imaginative with this offense this fall. Cannot ignore the youth and lack of depth on the O-Line though. Grant’s judgement will ultimately be decided by the play of his teammates. Grant statistically was actually pretty decent in 2013, he just turned the ball over too much. Just my opinion, but I don’t think the Broncos can win the MW without Hedrick taking a step forward this season. He doesn’t need to be Kellen, but he does need to be a leader on this offense, and must lead by example. He threw for around 1800 yards, 16 TDs, and 5 INTs with a little more than half a season to work with. I think north of 2900 passing yards, 30 TD passes, and at most 11 INTs is what it would take to win the conference. It’s so hard to give a concrete expectation with all the uncertainty with the new staff, but I hope Grant goes all 2006 Jared Zabransky on us and follows up a turnover-laden season with a consistent but safe season. I go back and forth. One day I think he’ll surprise, the next I think it will be another season in which multiple MW teams have better QB play than Boise State. I will say this though: I’ll be sweating bullets if Grant goes down and Finley or Stuart have to pick up the slack.

Tami – The ideal situation is to have a mature, stable starter with a deep and thorough understanding of the new offense. He should be accurate, hopefully have a cannon, and be able to extend plays with his legs when the situation requires. It is a rare quality for a quarterback to be able to only scramble when it adds to the quality of the play, not just out of desperation. I don’t want to see our starter getting huge running yards because the routes aren’t hooking up or because the offense is predictable. I want to see the yards come from designed run plays and recognition by the QB that they are open and should take off and make us drool over a true, Andrew Luck style dual-threat. Grant Hedrick is probably the guy. Senior leader, works extremely hard, smart kid, got some quality minutes last year.  The past is in the rear view. His success is going to depend on his commitment to conditioning this summer, how well he picks up the new offense, how many reps he gets with the receiver corps, and the offensive line. Too many question marks for those who long for the stability that surrounded this program a few years ago, but we’re in ATF mode round here now.

As far as backups, Finley looked like a pretty clear 2 at the spring game, and rightly so. Tommy Stuart captured my imagination though. I think that is going to be a big battle going into fall camp, with Finley coming out ahead. Imagine a world in which we get to see an inventive small ball package with Stuart, Shane Williams-Rhodes, Dallas Burroughs, and Devan Demas. Yee!

More than likely though, there will be problems to solve. Grant did have issues hanging on to the ball last season. The defense looked fantastic at the spring game – are they that awesome or were the receivers really having THAT hard of a time getting open? None of this is going to be solved before the end of fall camp, and we’re going to find out the answer in the most nerve-wracking way possible: In Atlanta, vs. Ole Miss, in the heart of the SEC, playing the prime time game on ESPN. Here’s hoping for a game more reminiscent of VT and less of UGA 2005.

Noel - This is definitely as not-as-exciting of an off-season when it comes to the quarterback position that we expected at the start of 2013.  This was supposed to be a big battle between Grant Hedrick and Nick Patti for the future Kellen-ness of the program.  But, since Joe went down, Grant got the nod, and Nick left for his home state, it’s all but Hedrick’s starting job. So we’re all set with the starter.

Our most intriguing look is going to be the back up spot.  We know how important that can be especially after last year. I think Finley has the major advantage to be the #2 since he’s been around the program a bit longer. As long as he’s fully recovered, he’s the guy.  Tommy Football has some major upside though and showed it during the spring game. It would be a major coup to have him move up to #2 after fall camp.

Look. Do I expect this to be 2007 or 2010?  Probably not. But I expect our quarterbacks to be useful. With a QB coach as a head coach and an amazing coaching staff backing him up, our young quarterback groups should be able to handle their business.

 

Gage- I’m swinging the pendulum to the opposing side–putting on the villain cape and thus forgoing my usual homer like tendencies. Simply put, the faith I have in Grant Hedrick is washy. Last year was a dismal season as a whole. Compare it to habitual Boise State standards and well, no, don’t do that. The record (8-5) speaks for itself and although not horrible (On the bright-side, our “friends” up north might do some unspeakable things for that record) still, FAR…..far…….. far, from what Boise State fans have grown accustomed to.

Quarterback play was not the kryptonite nor was it better or worse than pedestrian. Grant’s season stats weren’t eye-popping, but at first glance someone could pose the question ‘really, just average?’ His line (mentioned above by Heath) was formidable. 1,800 passing yards w/ 16 TD’s, 5 INT’s and a completion percentage of 69% (Only started 7 games–bowl game included) Where lies the problem?

From my expert analysis (ha ha ha) I saw a quarterback who struggled to be consistently accurate on mid-to-deep throws and lacked the big play ability (7.5 yards per attempt, #51 in the country). Grant scuffled in critical situations, completing only 59% of his attempts on 3rd down and throwing four of his five total interceptions. #9 commonly looked unsure of himself and never seemed comfortable in his surrounding; Grant’s reads and/or play progression were sporadically precise, but more frequently forced. Lacked the awareness to feel the pressure of pursuing defenders and would commonly hold the ball longer than needed. Most frustrating being that he often neglected his biggest asset–speed & athleticism. YET, I give him a partial pass because of the following: 1. He took over mid-season and has never had an off-season to prepare as the clear-cut starter 2. Receivers lacked explosion and were atrocious on reeling-in deep balls 3. Offensive line was consistently inconsistent 4. Last year’s offense was in disarray, a sloppy-jumbled-quickly-sewn-together-concoction of what was supposed to appear as a Boise State offense but lacked the usual prowess and creativity. The mastermind was (now gone, phew) offensive coordinator Robert Prince.

To piece it all together, I just think Grant is more average than he is exceptional. I believe he what is called a “game-manager.” A QB without elite talent who won’t lose you a game, but won’t win you one either. He is not the guy you say – We need a first down here, give the ball to Grant. None of which means he is impossible to win with.

All in all, if the new regime is able to input a systematic approach that allows Grant to utilize his strengths (arm and mobility) and use them to feed off the potentially strong running attack, I foresee success. If not, I’m concerned. I hope my fear is erroneous.

Your Take – What do you make of the quarterback situation this year?  How will Grant do, and who will be the back up?  Let us know in the comments, on Twitter, or Facebook!

 

Getting Behind BTN Hall-of-Famer Scott Jorgensen

Scott-Jorgensen-WEC-53-450x

Image Courtesy: http://www.mmaweekly.com/

Scott Jorgensen is a lot of things, a 3x Pac-10 wrestling champion, former #1 contender, BTN Hall-of-Fame inductee, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. However, tomorrow night this former Boise State star could very well be fighting for his future in the premier MMA organization in the world, the UFC. Jorgensen is coming off back-to-back loses and loses in 4 of his last 5 bouts. And though many including myself would point to the fact that 3 of those 4 loses have come against guys who are either champion, former champion, or #1 contender’s, the UFC tends to have little sympathy or care about such things. The UFC is a cut-throat business where a losing streak often means walking papers.

There is no doubt Scott Jorgensen is aware of this fact. Overall, I am pretty sure he is probably tired of addressing these questions all together. My purpose in writing this article in fact is not even to rehash these issues over and over again. My point in writing this was to make Bronco Nation aware that one of our own is going into battle tomorrow and they should tune in. The fight itself will be on Fox Sports 1 between 3 and 5pm. But even if you can’t catch the fight don’t hesitate to send Jorgensen some well wishes on Twitter (@ScottJorgensen). Jorgensen is one of our own, he wrestled at Boise State, and still trains here today. He has opened a gym in Boise, and has spent a lot of time giving back to the community. It is time for Boise to support one of our own.

Good luck Scott, the Blue Turf Nation has your back!

What They Are Saying – Demarcus Lawrence

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Image Courtesy: USA Today Sports

Boise State has a tradition of proving people wrong. That tradition does not extend to just the football however. Every year the NFL combine seems replay a familiar cycle. It kind of goes like this.

1.) NFL Combine invites Boise State Player to attend.

2.) Said Boise State player accepts invite.

3.) Boise State player comes and blows everyone’s mind.

4.) Rinse, recycle, repeat.

This year, that player we are talking about is Demarcus Lawrence. Boise State fans already knew what they were getting when he was invited this year. But this is what NFL experts, and media are saying now that he is currently in step 3 of the cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, if you missed Demarcus run the coveted 40 yard dash, you can see it below.

Coach Tweets – Fans Speak – Part 2 (Recruiting Recap)

Recruiting is a lot like football Christmas for fans and coaches. Today has been a lot of fun, and you have to thank Coach Harsin for adding to the excitement. If you missed “Part 1″ of this check it out here.



 

 


 

 

 


 


 

 

 


 

Coach Tweets – Fans Speak Part 1 (Recruiting Recap)

Today is signing day, and if you have followed us, or Twitter. You know Coach Harsin knows how to rock social media. So as other sites give you scouting, and in-depth looks at the players. We thought we would give you a different kind of recap. Show you the tweets of Harsin announcing the players, and our favorite fan tweets about that player. Enjoy!

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Part II will be coming soon!

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBTN

BTN Offseason Interview – Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe

Ricky Tjong Tjoe

Image Courtesy: BroncoSports.com

Blue Turf Nation has built a tradition of providing fans with great offseason interviews. This season is no different and we are excited to start with a man who epitomizes what it means to “Bleed Blue”. Coming all the way from the Netherlands his transition to America was not an easy one, but one he made to chase his dream. Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoie is a true Bronco and because of that, we are very excited to give you all our first offseason interview.

BTN: You just spent time at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. What was the experience like? What is next for you as you prepare for the NFL Draft?

Ricky: It was a great experience for me because I got the opportunity to show my skills and keep improving as a football player; On top of that it was just a great experience to be a part of it coming from the Netherlands, I am just giving this my all and I am trying to take this as far as I possibly can. I had a great time meeting great people and even better players over at the NFLPA game. I learned a lot about the process of getting in the NFL. I think this experience really motivated me to work harder and to not ever give up because this journey is only getting harder.

BTN: Coming from the Netherlands what was the transition to football like in America?

Ricky: It has been a crazy ride coming from the Netherlands and I took a real big risk moving to Boise by myself to enroll at Boise High School. It hasn’t been easy at all, but I feel like I had a great support from the beginning of my journey, My host parents made the transition as smooth as possible and my high school coaches made sure I wasn’t falling behind in football or school wise. Even though the people surrounding me helped me out a lot, it all came down to setting goals and achieving those. My family took a big risk financially just to send me across the world to chase my dreams, I had to keep in mind that I came here to play football and that is what I focused on.

BTN:Did you play a lot of football before you moved here?

Ricky: Before I came to Boise I played for the Amstelland Panthers in the Netherlands which is a club football team similar to a club soccer team in the United states. We had few coaches and mostly just scrimmaged and did the things we had seen on other peoples highlight films. Things got real serious when I made it to Boise and realized that Football is a lifestyle instead of a hobby. I was overwhelmed when I started for Boise high because unlike before everyone knew what they were doing and things became more serious.

BTN: While at Boise State you made a lot of plays, and played in a lot of great games. What memory or memories stand out to you? What was your favorite moment at Boise State?

Ricky: I have two memorable moments that I can really think of at this moment. The first one is my first college game I had ever played in against Virginia Tech. Coach K allowed me to be in the game for about 3 plays because I messed up pretty bad and Tyrod Taylor broke for a 15 yard gain because of me.

The second memory is my sophomore year against Air force, It was the first game coming back from my NCAA suspension. It was such an emotional game for me because I had just been so upset and angry for not being able to be out there with my teammates for the first 6 games of that season.

BTN:There is always a lot of outside noise about Boise State and how it compares to other national powers. How do you feel Boise State has prepared you for the next chapters in your life?

Ricky: Since I have been Boise state I have endured so many different types of adversity, from incredibly hard workouts to being suspended for six games. Boise State has really made me into a man. Coach Pete educated me and my team mates on what it  means to be a real man, and at first I was a bit skeptical but now that I am a little older I realize the truths he spoke. I also am very grateful for the 100+ friends and family members I now have in my (old) teammates.

BTN: Right now there is obviously a big transition going on at Boise State. With Petersen leaving, and Harsin and company taking over. How do you feel about the transition that is taking place? What kind of impact do you think this coaching change will have on the future of Boise State Football?

Ricky: I’ve been around this staff and team these past 2 weeks and I think that this change is going to be great. I expect great things from our new team. All the coaches have something to prove and they are ready to get to work.

Follow Ricky on Twitter: @tjong4tjo3

Stars Don’t Always Matter In Recruiting

Stars Don't Matter

Image Courtesy of Scouts.com

It is recruiting season and with that a lot of fans have had their eyes on who may or may not be a future Bronco. The game is typically played by fans looking at recruiting sites, checking to see who has offered a player – specifically how many “big” schools have offered him. Then, after that, you look up and see those little yellow stars next to a player’s name. So much is said about a player based on those little yellow stars, but in reality it doesn’t always tell the whole story. Now don’t get me wrong, I was as excited as anybody when I saw we flipped a 4 star player from Texas A&M. But as recruiting has drawn on and time has passed, a lot of things have become apparent – this staff is going to have to find some of those guys who don’t have big offers, or 4 stars. They are going to have to do it the way we/BSU got here, that is finding the guys who don’t have all the offers, but they have a chip and a ton of potential nobody else sees. Think about this – think about the picture I have placed at the top of this article. Ryan Clady, Jeron Johnson, Ian Johnson, Shea McClellin, and Kyle Wilson were deemed to not be worthy of a ranking.They were just some kids looking to play football at a D-1 school.

I write this article not to try and lower expectations for fans and recruiting. I simply write it as a reminder to myself and anyone who reads it, that stars are nice. But kids who want to prove the world wrong can be just as rewarding long-term. This program was built on “no names” who went out and made the world recognize who they are. Perhaps, this class will simply be another group who has to prove the world wrong. Maybe the next guy who signs his letter of intent to play at Boise without stars by his name will simply be the next 1st round draft choice from Boise State.

Follow me on Twitter: @HeathBTN

Introducing Our Newest Contributor – Former BSU Safety Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson We at Blue Turf Nation are very excited to announce that Jason Robinson, will be joining us as our newest contributor! Jason played at Boise State from 2006-2010, and was the Captain of the Special Teams in 2009. He is currently the founder and creative director of About That Life Clothing. We can’t wait for Jason to bring our readers some of the best football knowledge you will find online.

Join us in welcoming Jason Robinson to the Blue Turf Nation team!

Follow him on Twitter: @Jrob5

You can also see some of his work here:

How Denver can stop LeGarrette Blount

An Open Letter To Coach Pete