By Chadd Cripe
© 2010 Idaho Statesman
Tight end Hayden Plinke of Hillsboro, Ore., will go down as one of the most enthusiastic recruits in Boise State football history.
Plinke orally committed more than two weeks ago but was still amped during a phone interview Tuesday night.
“I’m still kind of in shock,” he said. “… It’s every little kid’s dream to go play college football. Watching that (MAACO Bowl) on TV, it kind of hit me — ‘Wow, that could be me on ESPN one day.’ I never really thought it would happen, but I kept working.”
Plinke (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) was a two-year starter at Glencoe High and an all-league first-teamer this past season. He played a true tight end position and was named his team’s most inspirational player.
He plans to grayshirt and join the Broncos in January 2012.
Plinke also had an offer from Air Force and said he thinks he would have ended up at Oregon State if the Broncos hadn’t offered him a scholarship.
He made a one-day visit to the Broncos’ high school camp last summer at the invitation of linebackers coach Bob Gregory, who wasn’t there that day.
“They didn’t even really know who I was,” Plinke said. “I showed up at the camp and I did pretty good there and I started building a relationship with the coaches, (tight ends coach Scott) Huff in particular.”
Plinke figured it was most important for him to show the coaches that he had the attitude they want — strong character, work ethic and passion for the game.
“I was there for one day and it was kind of like a business trip,” he said.
Plinke cited the fervor of Bronco Nation and his respect for coach Chris Petersen as reasons he wants to play for the Broncos.
“The Broncos always win,” he said, “and I want to be a part of that.”
2011 RECRUITING CLASS
High school seniors (15)
— QB Jimmy Laughrea, 6-2, 185, Rocklin (Calif.) HS
— DE Sam Ukwuachu, 6-5, 203, Pearland (Texas) HS
— WR Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 165, Rocky Mountain HS (Meridian)
— DT Jeff Worthy, 6-4, 280, Whittier Christian HS (La Mirada, Calif.)
— DL Robert Ash, 6-3, 255, Cosumnes Oaks HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)
— S Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 195, Kelowna (B.C.) Secondary
— OL Rees Odhiambo, 6-3, 298, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy HS
— RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 200, Liberty HS (Frisco, Texas)
— LB Blake Renaud, 6-2, 230, De La Salle HS (Concord, Calif.)
— OG Marcus Henry, 6-3, 275, Bellevue (Wash.) HS
— CB Eric Agbaroji, 6-1, 180, Midlothian (Texas) HS
— S Corey Bell, 5-11, 200, Capital HS
— DB Darian Thompson, 6-2, 172, Paraclete HS (Lancaster, Calif.)
— TE Hayden Plinke, 6-4, 230, Glencoe HS (Hillsboro, Ore.)
— LB KT Tu'umalo, 6-2, 200, Punahou School (Honolulu)
Junior college transfers (1)
— S/LB Dextrell Simmons, 6-0, 210, Blinn College (Spring, Texas)
Grayshirts from 2010 (3):
— WR Troy Ware, 6-2, 164, Vista (Calif.) HS
— DE Tyler Horn, 6-4, 225, Mountain View HS (Meridian)
— TE Holden Huff, 6-6, 195, Rocklin (Calif.) HS
Columnist Brian Murphy takes a look at what Conference USA's new TV deal could mean here.