Ian Johnson, Vinny Perretta strike deals with Vikings; Childs to Chargers; Hawkins to Cowboys; O'Neill to Jaguars

By Chadd Cripe

Former Boise State tailback Ian Johnson and former Boise State wide receiver Vinny Perretta reached free-agent agreements with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday evening.

Johnson's wife, Chrissy, and agent, Bruce Tollner, confirmed his contract. Perretta and his agent, Buddy Baker, confirmed his.

Tollner said Johnson chose among 12-15 suitors after the draft concluded. The deciding factor: the best situation for earning a roster spot. The Vikings have two veteran tailbacks — Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor — and a third tailback with no game experience (Albert Young).

The recruiting war included head coaches, position coaches and general managers, Tollner said. That took some of the sting out of Johnson, the Broncos' top NFL prospect this year, not getting drafted.

"I think (Johnson) was excited to be able to choose among 12-15 teams," Tollner said. "At the end of it, he sounded very fired up, even though he went as a free agent."

Johnson will be reunited with Peterson, the opposing star running back in the Fiesta Bowl, and Perretta, a good friend whom he played with for five years at Boise State.

"That's sweet," Perretta said. "I love playing ball with Ian."

Perretta chose the Vikings over the New York Jets and Jacksonville, he said. The Vikings were the one team to fly him out for a pre-draft visit. He gives the Vikings at least nine receivers, but it's not a star-studded group.

"The receivers coach told me he would see me again," Perretta said. "The whole situation was right. It was the best opportunity to make a football team."

Wide receiver Jeremy Childs, who set a school single-season record with 82 catches in 2007, has reached a free-agent deal with the San Diego Chargers, he and his agent said.

Wide receiver Julian Hawkins has agreed to a deal with the Dallas Cowboys, he and his agent said.

"This is a total dream," Hawkins said. "It's a dream finally coming true — not just for me, but for my whole family."

And tight end Chris O'Neill is headed to Jacksonville this week for a free-agent workout. He had hoped to land a contract, but is determined to make this opportunity count.

"Boise State, we've always got to prove ourselves," O'Neill said. "Someone always thinks someone is better than us. They always pick us not to win the WAC, to finish second. We always go show them it's different — that we can play with the big boys, that we can win the WAC all the time. Now we've got to go do it in the pros."

Also, I talked to Idaho draft pick Eddie Williams a few minutes ago. Williams, who tore his right ACL against Boise State last season, says he will be ready for training camp.

"It put a big speed bump in my plans," he said of the injury, "but a lot of hard work went into it, I had a good trainer and a good doctor and I was able to come out of it."

I'll have more in tomorrow's newspaper.


Boise State was shut out of the NFL Draft on Sunday for the first time in four years.

Tailback Ian Johnson and wide receiver Jeremy Childs, both of whom were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, now will angle for the best free-agent situation possible and try to make a roster the hard way. Former Broncos who have made good careers as undrafted free agents include safety Quintin Mikell and defensive back/returner Chris Carr.

Check back often for updates.


The Washington Redskins selected former Idaho tight end Eddie Williams with the 12th pick of the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Sunday — the 221st pick overall.

Williams was an All-WAC first-teamer. He likely would have been drafted higher, but he suffered a severe knee injury last season against Boise State.


Former Boise State tailback Ian Johnson isn’t being followed by an ESPN camera during today’s NFL Draft coverage after all.

Johnson decided not to do the live remote, agent Bruce Tollner said via text message. ESPN had announced its plans earlier in the week — making Johnson one of two players the network planned to follow for second-day coverage.

It appears Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer was the replacement for Johnson. He has been shown several times waiting for a call from an NFL team.

Johnson’s decision isn’t a huge surprise because he has been avoiding media attention all week.


San Jose State defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert was the fourth pick of the third round Sunday in the NFL Draft. Gilbert, a tackle at San Jose State, likely will play end for the Chicago Bears.

Gilbert was the WAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and the national leader in tackles for loss. He collected four of his 22 tackles for loss against Boise State.

It was a long wait for Gilbert, who some thought could have gone late in the first round.

Later in the third round, the Atlanta Falcons took San Jose State cornerback Christopher Owens with the 90th pick overall.

Hawaii defensive back Ryan Mouton also was taken in the third round.

Hawaii defensive end David Veikune was the only WAC player drafted on the first day.

I’ll be following the Boise State, WAC and Idaho State players who are draft or free-agent prospects throughout the day.


Here’s the list of WAC players drafted this year:

No. 52 (second round): DE David Veikune, Hawaii, Browns

No. 68 (third): DL Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State, Bears

No. 90 (third): CB Christopher Owens, San Jose State, Falcons

No. 94 (third): DB Ryan Mouton, Hawaii, Titans

No. 174 (sixth): QB Tom Brandstater, Fresno State, Broncos

No. 184 (sixth): TE Bear Pascoe, Fresno State, 49ers

No. 191 (sixth): CB Coye Francies, San Jose State, Browns

No. 198 (sixth): LS Jake Ingram, Hawaii, Patriots

No. 221 (seventh): TE Eddie Williams, Idaho, Redskins

No. 243 (seventh): WR Marko Mitchell, Nevada, Redskins


Now that two WAC defensive backs have been drafted in the third round, it’s more clear what Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson gave up to return for his senior year — and how high he could go next year. Wilson likely would have gone ahead of San Jose State’s Christopher Owens and Hawaii’s Ryan Mouton because of superior speed and his punt-return ability. With coaches saying he got better this spring, Wilson should have a shot at a first-day selection next year.

Also looking ahead, the first fullback taken went late in the fourth round. Boise State senior fullback Richie Brockel has been labeled the No. 1 draft prospect at that position in this year’s senior class by draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.


I had a line in my Ian Johnson story today saying that the last 12 Broncos drafted have played in NFL regular-season games. Here’s the breakdown (all stats according to nfl.com):

TE Dave Stachelski (fifth round, 2000): 9 games from 2000 to 2001 with New Orleans.

S Shaunard Harts (seventh, 2001): 51 games, 17 starts from 2001 to 2004 with Kansas City.

OL Matt Hill (fifth, 2002): 27 games, 2 starts from 2002 to 2005 with Seattle and Carolina.

TE Jeb Putzier (sixth, 2002): 69 games, 17 starts since 2002 with Denver, Houston and Seattle.

RB Brock Forsey (fifth, 2003): 17 games, 2 starts from 2003 to 2004 with Chicago and Miami.

OL Daryn Colledge (second, 2006): 48 games, 44 starts since 2006 with Green Bay.

S Gerald Alexander (second, 2007): 21 games, 17 starts since 2007 with Detroit.

WR Legedu Naanee (fifth, 2007): 29 games since 2007 with San Diego.

FB Korey Hall (sixth, 2007): 25 games, 15 starts since 2007 with Green Bay.

TE Derek Schouman (seventh, 2007): 19 games, 13 starts since 2007 with Buffalo.

OL Ryan Clady (first, 2008): 16 games, 16 starts in 2008 with Denver.

CB Orlando Scandrick (fifth, 2008): 16 games, 2 starts in 2008 with Dallas.


Defensive tackle B.J. Raji was the fourth first-round draft pick — all starters — off the 2005 Boston College team that beat Boise State 27-21 in the MPC Computers Bowl. That was the Broncos’ last home loss.

The Eagles’ list includes defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (No. 32, 2006), quarterback Matt Ryan (No. 3, 2008) and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus (No. 17, 2008). Raji was the No. 9 pick.

1240802437 Ian Johnson, Vinny Perretta strike deals with Vikings; Childs to Chargers; Hawkins to Cowboys; O'Neill to Jaguars Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

NFL Draft dummies

NFL draft guys are stupid for not taking Ian earlier. They always overlook the potential of our players. Some of these guys that went earlier in the WAC had their blood spilled by the Broncos. Why do they always overlook this fact?


the college and pro games are completely different. It doesn't matter how well Ian did against these guys at the collegiate level, it matters how well he fits the NFL game.

It's also a matter of economics. Why give a guy 3rd- or 4-th round money when you're pretty sure he'll be available in the later rounds.

Not really

College and pro games are not completely different, although they incorporate different styles of play. It's still football, and the Broncos have COMPLETELY dominated the WAC for about a decade now. The NFL is just stupid for overlooking this fact. They over rate some players just because of their school while they under rate others.

They are still 12-1 against the MWC also.

Ian and Childs

Their draft status only shows that no matter if a WAC player or from ACC, SEC, etc., scouts and coaches have to believe you can play at the next level. Me personally, I do not think Ian or Childs are NFL worthy. Both are too small and soft in my opinion. Both could line up for the Burn and hold onto their BSU glory days.

Again, the Bronocs have

Again, the Bronocs have literally dominated the MWC too. And the MWC dominated the SEC last year. As for being short, they said the same about Barry Sanders too who was 5 ft 8, Ian is 5-11. About the same weight too. No softness here except probably in your thinking.

Ian in the League

Gman, keep it real.....Ian is not a tough or durable back, he has been often injured the last two years. And RB is the one position that gets hit nearly every play. Barry Sanders was an elite back and surely Ian is not in that league. Barry also never allowed a defensive player to get a clean shot on him due to his elusiveness, Ian is not as shifty as Barry was.

Two Rounds

Two rounds left in the draft........

How do you know how IAN

How do you know how IAN would do in the NFL? What about Chris Johnson from wimpy ECU tearing it up for the Titans?

Once Again

Chris Johnson is bigger, faster and stronger than Ian Johnson gman......

You obviously haven't

You obviously haven't studied the statistics and are elephant hurling. They are practically identical in height and weight, not to mention the better stats by Ian.

Ian Johnson stats:


Chris Johnson stats:


ACC is for wimps by the way... They make the NFL weak.

So you do NFL right? Maybe you're replacing Madden? ;-p

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

The NFL probably couldn't

The NFL probably couldn't find a running back even if it fell into their laps and called them "momma." As for Rush Limbaugh, only a oregonian would compare him to Beethoven.

When did Rush Limbaugh play in the NFL (scratches head)?

Read the sig, sad Sherpa.

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

Oregonian, to you Rush

Oregonian, to you Rush Limbaugh was probably god himself... Can't wait to beat up on your Disneyland characters next spring.

Son, Rush is only slightly better than Coast to Coast AM...

Mangle your facts with football exclusively.

I still fondly remember that Tom and Jerry, Heckle and Jeckle, Star Trek, Beverly Hillbillies came before Oprah, Donahue...yet for syndicated TV talk shows Mike Douglas was KING!

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

You can even add Rush

You can even add Rush Limbaugh on your team too!

At least at Oregon....

a kid has the chance to play at the next level. Even though you beat the Ducks, they had 6 players drafted into the NFL...they will have 2-3 more take free agent contracts. Boise State will never come close to this...

And Yet, Oregon Still Lost

All that NFL talent, and nothing to show for it. Bummer.


So please tell me the WAC has produced more players than the ACC. One round left for your hero gman, and Ian ran against soft WAC teams....

Not impressive.

The fact is that Ian has been anything but impressive the last two years. He needs a lane, and is no longer able to create anything on his own. I hope for Ian's sake he is drafted, but I think he will have a very hard time in the NFL, and I don't think he WILL be drafted.

Baloney... He has done it

Baloney... He has done it all himself. Broke tackles and produced the "all time" touchdowns for the WAC. The NFL is stupid anyways. It's boring to watch.. They couldn't find their butt even if it had a bell on it.

Or a Vandal I ;-p

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

Just Look

All of these teams are picking RBs from smaller programs and some to be honest I have not heard of before Ian. It is sad that most BSU fans look at stats and not ability. When a team such as BSU plays the soft schedule, Ian will shine. But once he plays against a school that is tough on defense, he struggles a lot. You can call the ACC wimps gman, but please tell me BSU would compete on a high level in that conference and mean it. And the ACC is down compared to previous years, and BSU will still be at the bottom of the pack. Don't even compare them to SEC, Big East, Big 10 or Big 12.

What I am tired of it the old thinking of BSU fans. That team beat this team and BSU killed that team. It does not work that way, any team on any day and systems win games. "Trick play" BSU goes to that whenver they feel like they are on the ropes and they will not surprise too many more teams with that in the future. So let's se if a BSU player gets his named called in the final round and then we can bring this up when little Kellen Moore enters the draft.

P.S. When i say BSU, I mean Boise State, not Ball State....

Here are some facts

First, Johnson has had some solid games against solid teams.

Second, even though BSU plays in the WAC which isn't as strong as the ACC, they dominate it yearly.

Thirdly, BSU does produce very able athletes for the Draft. Collidge, Hall, Clady, Scandrick, Alexander, Shouman and Forsey. That's not even the full list. And I'm not saying the ACC doesn't produce strong athletes as well. But all those guys played in the WAC and transitioned well into the NFL.

And Fourthly, calling them "Trick Play" BSU is a very unispired move. Trick plays are fun for players to get the chance to run, but beyond that, they are very intellectually based. Not every team can run them and it just gives credit to the INTELLIGENCE of BSU football players. Smart players are often better than big players. Look at Ed Reed for the Ravens. Smartest free safety in the league in my opinion, and one of the most productive.

Looks like free agent its to be

Certainly didn't expect him to be this far down but its not over yet. See where Williams from Idaho went to Redskins.

Riguy 25

Good points, but how many players you named are left and are actually productive. Took Q. Mickell a while to get where he is. Scnadrick will be out of the league soon. Your lineman and Hall will be good, others treading water. And yes, Ed Reed is the man!!!!

All I am trying to say is Ian will not be this big superstart that everyone thinks he can be. IF he makes it, his role will be limited to special teams. And poor Jeremy Childs will have to find another way to support his kids.

I agree

Childs should have waited another season to enter the draft. There were too many strong recievers this season and he just didn't have the season to make it. And I only expected Johnson to play special teams, at least for the start of his career.

Childs was forced out

Just to clarify...Jeremy Childs didn't leave a year early on his own accord. He was told not to come back...the list of issues is too long to list. The biggest being that he was having a hard time seperating his personal life from football and academics....too bad, wasted talent

Player updates

All but Forsey are still active in the league as of right now. Not sure about Shouman, but the rest I know are still with one team or another

College major?

What is Ian's and Childs' educational major at BSU besides football?

Johnson's and Childs' academic majors

Johnson graduated in Dec 2008 with a degree in Management (entrepeneurial emphasis). Childs, who cares? He DID leave early on his own. It was a year ago that he was suspended for academic reasons but then came back and all was well. He simply chose to leave early to make a career for himself.

Last 13

Looks as if Ian or Childs are going to make it, it will be as a free agent.

the big question

actually the big question now is if ian doesnt make it to the nfl will his wife leave him were all wondering that one she seems like a golddigger

Ouch I know Chrissy and she

Ouch I know Chrissy and she is very happy with Ian. It's a shame that many imply or believe that everything is about money, but some actually love the one they are married to.
When you see those two together you can feel the energy. I couldn't see anyone pushing a wedge between them, even if they didn't have two dimes to rub together.

childs what were you thinking

and childs was very ignorant for leaving early he shouldve in creased his stock with another good season oh well

Childs was forced out

Just to clarify...Jeremy Childs didn't leave a year early on his own accord. He was told not to come back...the list of issues is too long to list. The biggest being that he was having a hard time seperating his personal life from football and academics....too bad, wasted talent

You are wrong, sportsfan

You are confusing Childs' problems over a year ago with now. He was suspended over a year ago, then came back, all was well. He left this time on his own. Please don't give the guy any more bad press than he already has.

No confusion here

The guy has been nothing but headaches his whole time in Boise...multiple "team" infractions (the stuff that isn't reported). He's never been a "model" citizen: academic issues (cheating, grades), several stories of womanizing, and one very interesting and true story involving a team mate's wife.

I know he sat down and talked with coaches about his future. We'll never know what those talks were specifically about, but I can tell you that the above issues were part of the discussion.

Again, wasted talent.

36 WR's taken 23 RB's taken

and no Childs or IJ...

There were some RBs from other schools that had less career yards than IJ and his one "big" soph season. NFL draft is pretty much a crap shoot after the fourth round. Even scouts will admit that they don't know whether or not a kid will really stick.
From a player stand point a FA contract is sometimes a better way to go because you have more control over where you go and compete for a spot


Gman, you put the fan in fanatic. Guys like Ian J. are a dime a dozen, so why waste a draft pick. Just invite them to camp. I'm not saying he couldn't be successful at the next level, it's all about the O-Line.

Gman1 is an idiot

Gman you are the dumbest person alive. 1. The NFL game is not the same as the piss poor WAC PERIOD. Ian Johnson was an outstanding player when he had the best o line in the wac. When he had what he had this year he blew. Oh and didn't wimpy ECU beat boise state??? and TCU???? So lets not talk trash about how much better bsu is when you just speak about selective game ok moron. WOW it sounds as though Ian johnson is your husband or something. Get off his man junk and realize that he WONT excel in the NFL because they teach them how to tackle there, but hey maybe you can just continue to live in your fantasy world where BSU play piss poor teams all year and then gets dismissed by whoever they play because they are overrated. Oh and if you look at ian johnson and chris johnson they aren't basically the same. Chris was drafted.Are you mentally handicapped or what man. Stats dont equal success. Chris runs a 4.24 ian runs a 4.45 just a little different. Heres what you should do. Let the draft experts do there job and you keep eating Cheetos of your stomach. PS YOU ARE STUPID.....Oh and are you a draft expert???? Case closed dummy

You are the dumbest person

You are the dumbest person alive? Are you an expert on facts or something? Did you realize that BSU already beat TCU earlier? Also if the WAC was so poor then why did the NFL even draft 10 of them this year?

Also are the draft experts right on everything? What about Kurt Warner or Jeff Garcia?

Case closed stupid...

Da_ACC and the ACC hype

What's your educational level? "Ian or Childs" are plural, and if they make it, it will be as "free agents". And, please use a spell checker to make your idiotic posts a little clearer to understand. After all, being from the East Coast you should at least be able to assert your superiority over us westerners with some command of the English language instead of sounding like a Jersey jerk from a rundown tenement.

You obviously don't have the intellect to see that Boise State is building a top flight program, and this year's team will be their best ever. The mighty ACC has a couple of top tier teams, and then falls into mediocrity making them a lot like the WAC. Boise State would match up very well against the leading ACC teams next year. Follow their progress beginning with Oregon.


All I can say is be for real when it comes to BSU....NO DRAFT PICKS. NONE, yet all of the teams that you beat on a regular basis had a few picks. Boise Burn a.k.a. BSU Central, make room for a few more ex Broncos.


Probably a good thing that he chose not to have the camera crew around.

Like I said 8 months ago

Ian will not get drafted. Surprise surprise surprise.


No surprise to me!

Shut Out

Not surprising. The NFL scouts know what they're doing, and they recognize these BSU players for what they are: solid college players in a weak conference. I know there are some notable historical exceptions in the NFL, so when Johnson and Childs get free agent contracts, they will have a chance to prove the NFL pundits wrong. Until they do, BSU fans should quiet their criticism.

too much packaging

No matter how well a product is promoted in the end it needs substance. I hope he lands some kind of a free agent spot. I have often wondered if that national proposal hasn`t worked against him. Good promotion but......

Ha! Vikings

Not that I really think that Ian has a snowball's chance with the Vikings, it would be funny if he made it and was backing up Adrian Peterson...