Boise State announces 2011 recruiting class

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com
© 2011 Idaho Statesman

Boise State announced its 2011 recruiting class — or at least has posted bios and pictures of the 19 players in the class. We had 18 of the players confirmed below, the only addition is California safety Lee Hightower.

Boise State also added three grayshirts from last year.

Here's some info on Hightower, who had committed to Penn last week:
A two-year letterwinner at Loyola High School in Los Angeles…Named second-team All-Serra League as a senior … Capped his prep campaign with 40 tackles, 18 pass break-ups two forced fumbles and an interception…Garnered Daily News All-Star recognition … Junior season recorded 50 tackles, 12 pass break-ups and four forced fumbles … Was also a four-year letterwinner in track and field, finishing as the CIF runner-up both his sophomore and junior seasons … member of the Honor Roll, was both a California Scholar and a National Merit Achievement Scholar … High school football coach was Mike Christensen.

Original post

Here is a list of the players that have told the Idaho Statesman they will sign with Boise State on Wednesday or have already enrolled in school this semester. Like everything in recruiting — especially at this time of year — the list is subject to change.

Unlike many schools, the Broncos are not providing updates when they receive letters of intent. USC is sending out text messages to fans who sign up for them. I just saw a tweet from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly confirming that he received a letter of intent from a key member of his class. At Georgia Tech (and other places, I'm sure), there was an all-day party that fans attended — and coaches wrote the names of recruits on a board at the front of the room when recruits faxed in their LOI.

Boise State's incoming class is already quite close and confident, reports our Chadd Cripe.

2011 RECRUITING CLASS

High school seniors (17)

• QB Jimmy Laughrea, 6-2, 185, Rocklin (Calif.) HS

“I got what I wanted,” Laughrea told the Rocklin Placer Herald this week. “I wanted a scholarship to a big-time school and I got it.”

Here is our story about Laughrea, who was the first player to commit to Boise State in this class.

Laughrea has signed with Boise State, per a California TV station.

• DE Sam Ukwuachu, 6-5, 203, Pearland (Texas) HS

"He has a great work ethic. He's very quick — very fast off the edge. He plays with really good technique," Pearland High coach Tony Heath told the Statesman.

• WR Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 165, Rocky Mountain HS (Meridian)

"It's just always been my dream school and to get to play with my brother would be really sweet," Burroughs, the brother of current Bronco wide receiver Mitch Burroughs, told the Statesman.

• DT Jeff Worthy, 6-4, 280, Whittier Christian HS (La Mirada, Calif.)

"I just had that gut feeling that this is where I belong," Worthy told the Statesman.

• DL Robert Ash, 6-3, 255, Cosumnes Oaks HS (Elk Grove, Calif.)

"We felt all along the way (coach Chris Petersen) and his staff run that program, it would be a good transition for Robert," Consumnes Oaks coach Ryan Gomes "I just had that gut feeling that this is where I belong," Worthy told the Statesman. "We preach character and integrity and I know that's at the forefront of the Boise State program."

• S Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 195, Kelowna (B.C.) Secondary

“I really liked the school, they have a really good team and I really liked the coaches,” Loffler told the Statesman. “It was a pretty easy decision.”

• OL Rees Odhiambo, 6-3, 298, Mansfield (Texas) Legacy HS

Odhiambo was a late bloomer. He did not even start playing until his sophomore year. "I was completely lost," Odhiambo told the Dallas Morning News.

From our story about Odhiambo: "He's made huge strides every year. It's amazing the amount of improvement in strength and understanding. He's an extremely hard worker. He lives in the weight room," Legacy coach Chris Melson said. "Rees is going to be all upside."

• RB Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 200, Liberty HS (Frisco, Texas)

One of the most highly regarded prospects in the class, Ajayi also earned high praise for character.

"Nothing I can say can really describe what kind of kid he is," Liberty coach Galen Zimmerman told the Statesman.

Ajayi is the "real deal," a columnist wrote in this Dallas Morning News piece.

• LB Blake Renaud, 6-2, 230, De La Salle HS (Concord, Calif.)

ESPN says Renaud has a chance to be a major force in the middle of the Boise State defense.

Renaud chose Boise State over Oregon State, Ohio and Minnesota, he told Oakland Tribune. His friend and teammate, defensive end Dylan Wynn, chose Oregon State.

"It was a really hard decision because Dylan's like my best friend," Renaud told the Tribune. "It's going to be weird not seeing him on the same team."

• OG Marcus Henry, 6-3, 275, Bellevue (Wash.) HS

Here is some game film of Henry from the Seattle Times. A few weeks ago, Henry was considering an offer from Washington, according to the Seattle Times.

But Henry remains committed to Boise State on the eve of signing day. He told the Statesman that he waited to accept Boise State's offer because he wanted to be 100 percent sure. Henry committed in August, two months after the Broncos offered him.

• CB Eric Agbaroji, 6-1, 180, Midlothian (Texas) HS

"He's good a corner as I've ever seen," Midlothian coach Lee Wiginton told the Dallas Morning News. "Effortless ... You look at him running, and you might think that he's loafing, but when you look around, there's nobody near him."

• S Corey Bell, 5-11, 200, Capital HS

"I can't explain how excited I am," Bell told told the Statesman.

Bell will be the fifth Capital player on Broncos' roster, joining tight end Kyle Efaw, defensive end Jarrell Root, wide receiver Geraldo Hiwat and tight end Kyle Sosnowski.

• DB Darian Thompson, 6-2, 172, Paraclete HS (Lancaster, Calif.)

Thompson was named All-CIF Southern Section East Valley Division Defensive MVP, the Los Angeles Times reported.

For an idea of how well-respected Thompson is at Paraclete, football coach Norm Dahlia and the Paraclete principal (who is not a football coach) drove him to Boise for the camp, the Statesman's Chadd Cripe reported.

• TE Hayden Plinke, 6-4, 230, Glencoe HS (Hillsboro, Ore.)

Plinke told the Statesman he plans to grayshirt and join the program in January 2012.

The link also includes information on a commitment from Hawaiian linebacker KT Tu’umalo. He will instead attend Colorado.

• K Jake Van Ginkel, 5-11, 185, Upland (Calif.) High

The L.A. Times wrote a feature on Van Ginkel (yes, a feature a kicker) before the season. As a junior, he helped his high school team win a state title.

The Broncos secured a commitment from Van Ginkel after Matt Goudis de-committed. Goudis was headed to Michigan and now is slated to attend Miami.

• LB Dillon Lukehart, 6-1, 200, Eagle HS

Lukehart switched his commitment from Idaho to Boise State in the middle of January after the Broncos offered him a scholarship.

“I have the utmost respect for Idaho and their coaching staff,” Lukehart told the Statesman. “I really think that’s just a class-act program. But I had to follow my heart and do what was best for me.”

• OL Adam Sheffield, 6-5, 300, Branham HS (San Jose, Calif.)

The Broncos' 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory continues to have an impact in recruiting — even though Sheffield was only 13 when that game was played.

"You watch a game like that (Fiesta Bowl) and you always kind of dream about being in those situations," Sheffield told the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm in awe that this is all happening. I'm excited to go to Boise — they've proven that they can go toe to toe with anyone."

Junior college transfers (1)

• S/LB Dextrell Simmons*, 6-0, 210, Blinn College (Spring, Texas)

Simmons, a former teammate of 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, is already enrolled at Boise State. Simmons could play safety or nickel for the Broncos.

Grayshirts from 2010 (3)

• WR Troy Ware*, 6-2, 164, Vista (Calif.) HS

Here is video of Ware, who ESPN says could be the gem of this class.

• DE Tyler Horn*, 6-4, 225, Mountain View HS (Meridian)

Horn starred at defensive end for Mountain View, where he was the 5A Southern Idaho Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an All-Idaho first-team selection in 2009.

Here is video of Horn.

• TE Holden Huff*, 6-6, 195, Rocklin (Calif.) HS

Here is video of Huff, a former high school teammate of QB Jimmy Laughrea.

Check out his official bio here.

* already enrolled

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

Why doesn't BSU get at least 1-2 4 star players?

I don't get it...a solid program, great coaching staff. Even TCU grabs at least 3-4 "big time" players along with there typical 2 and 3 star guys that (like BSU) they coach up...

The Broncos...

recruit players with talent and good character. There are many 4 to 5 star athletes that are prima donnas. If they can get a few 4 or 5 stars that are humble, willing to work, play within the Broncos scheme than that would be great. Im sure those are few. I wouldnt worry too much, Cougar/Vandal fan about the Bronco recruiting cla$ses. Besides, the Broncos 2007 class was just reranked as the 9th best class of the decade. Rankings really dont mean all that much...results on the field do.

agreed

sometimes the star rankings are pretty subjective anyway. that's why you'll get a lot of rerankings down the line (JLandon is referring to a Yahoo Rivals reranking of the '07 class). TCU's '07 class was #10 and USC's '03 class (i think) was #1.

Sometimes the five stars lead to great things. sometimes they flame out and are relegated to obscurity. The rankings every year are what you make of them: not a lot (of course, until BSU signs a bunch of five stars, then they mean a whole lot).

Star Rating

If you notice the two rating organizations, Rivals and Scout, do not agree on everyone they rate. Most often they do but not always. Boise's two recent #1 NFL draft picks, Denver's Ryan Clady and NY Jets Kyle Wilson, were rated as 2 star recruits out of high school. Coach Pete has remarked that the staff pays little if any attention to the rater's ratings. They look for certain skills and abilities coupled with charachter and work ethic and then the rest of the team often has input before offering. If you read what the experts say about Boise's recruitng you will notice they quitre often say Boise has to develope its players a bit more than other schools and that Boise's kids may not have had benefit of the better high school and professional developemnt programs. But if they have the basic skills and mind set, Boise can get thier best performance. Something I found intersting is that Coach Pete said they want players who want to play on the blue and that those who "settle" on Boise may not have the best attitude. Others have remarked how some highly recruited players (5 star) have a sense of entitlement that may not fit in many schemes and often these guys flame out on the launching pad. Like the man said, "There is no 'I' in team."

stars

Go back and look where our commits "stars" quit rising. As most player's stars do rise in their senior year and after full blown recruiting starts. But not if you commit to Boise State or any other non-AQ early -- the machine has to keep the BCD school "elite myth" going as long as possible and that only 4 and 5 star athletes attend there.

yeah.

it's all about who is looking at a kid. if 'bama, texas, usc, ohio st, etc, is looking at a kid, he must be five stars.

only bsu? maybe a three. if generous.

Dextrell Simmons

In response to sportsfan_wsc

Dextrell Simmons is listed as a four star recruit......

but i think

he's mainly talking about highschoolers, not JUCOs (unless i'm mistaken). Wasn't Venable a four star JUCO when he came on? the BSU coaching staff is pretty decent about finding those guys that are ready to make an immediate impact (Crawford and Venable just to name two off the top of my head). Simmons will probably be ready to roll once the season starts.

hopefully anyway.

JUCO Recruits

These two have been remarkable finds. Crawford has shown to be a monster and gets better and better.

JLF

Keep in mind that we went for Crawford out of high school: he just needed a little time in the JC to work on his academic performance, he has always been on Pete's radar since he was a HS junior up in Canada(classmate of Canadian Bacon)actually Crawford was the man they went to talk to when he introduced them to his team mate who we decided to also recruit after seeing his tape and watching him in action.

missed that one on Simmons

It's interesting how the services look at JC transfers...Masoli was a one star and Oregon's best returning WR Tuinei was only a two star...

another example of how the recruiting services are a crap shoot

Hey Murph

is it safe to assume you're going to be doing the follow ups on all the commits today?

People who think the "Star" rating system is relevant

are people who I would like to talk to about some ocean front property I have for sale in Kansas. Because these people (who buy into that crap) will buy just about anything.

2 and 3 star guys can only take your program so far

I don't put much stock into the Rivals or Scout or ESPN systems. But all stars aside, some of you have to agree, that at some point BSU is going to have to make a push for higher quality players.

Oregon used to recruit the same way (and most of the recent BSU staff have Oregon ties): bring in 2 and 3 star guys and coach them up. But even they have recognized in the last two years that you've got to go after a few big names. The Ducks struck out on a bunch today and will haul in others (see D'Anthony Thomas), but I would argue that to stay elite, and in the hunt for a BCS Championship (the goal of every team), you've got to go after higher quality athletes (even if they don't "fit" completely into your system).

i agree to a point.

but like someone above said, Clady, a first round draftee, pro-bowler for Denver was only a two star coming in. and he left school as a junior. Wilson, also a first rounder, was only two star. he didn't have a great year, but as a corner in the NFL it can get stressful.

I'm right there with you

Here's some Oregon Ducks examples of lowly rated athletes that have gone onto the NFL:

Jarius Bird was a two star out of high school and was an pro-bowl safety his rookie year

Walter Thurmond was a two star that has gone onto the NFL

TJ Ward started for the Cleveland Browns at safety this year. This guy wasn't even rated and walked-on at Oregon

So, I understand how Peterson and his staff can find diamonds in the rough, coach them up, and produce great players.

But again, I would argue, that these two star guys will only take you so far...part of the formula for getting to the BCS Championship is having the great athletes- Oregon doesn't make it to the BCS game without 4 star Darron Thomas, 4 star DE Kenny Rowe, 4 star LaMichael James, 4 star Cliff Harris. Same can be said for Auburn.

yeah, i get what you're saying.

the whole "stagnant" thing. but i am willing to bet the two star athlete this year is probably a four star back in the 80's and 90's. Just the natural progression of things. but i definitely get what you're saying.

sportsfan_wsc

Apparently, there is an inverse correlation between Oregon having 4 star recruits and BSU having 2 star recruits; as Oregon has never beaten BSU in a football game.

The Lord knows, Oregon has tried to beat BSU in a football game, on multiple occassions (both at home and on The Blue), with their 4 star recruits, but has always come up on the losing end to BSU's 2 star recruits.

Maybe Oregon needs more 2 star recruits, to take their program 'far#her' and beat the BSU Broncos.

Hmmm?

Just a thought.

VNDL

Don't care about 0-2 against BSU

As long as the Ducks keep competing for BCS Championships (which they will), I could care less about the 0-2 record against BSU.

On another note, it would be great for both schools if they'd sign a long term home and home deal like USC has with Notre Dame.

A series like this year in and year out would help both schools and promote west coast football

A rivalry

A rivalry would be great between the two schools, and would probably quite often have bcs implications for both teams

sportsfan_wsc - I agree

About your advocating more BSU-Oregon games. More games would provide more opportunities for BSU to win more games against Oregon and to improve the Bronco record over Oregon to at least 4-0 or maybe a lot more.

Thanx for advocating more Bronco Beatdowns over the Ducks in the future.

VNDL

Ps - I understand it is hard for you to care about the Oregon Ducks never having beaten the BSU Broncos in a football game. I am sure, it must get demoralizing after awhile. Just a psychological defense mechanism you have manifested in your psyche, to deal with it, is all. Better to just ignore it and act like it didn't realy happen. The old ostrich putting his head in the sand syndrome. Totally understandable.

i hate both bsu and oregon,

i hate both bsu and oregon, but the players oregon has will get them to a national title game while bsu loses to nevada(with supposedly their best team and players ever, haha). of course bsu has bragging rights over oregon right now, but thats it. oregon has the better team and the team that played for the national title. and yes bsu fan, oregon beats bsu this last season. in fact, so does tcu.
and im getting tired of hearing bsu fans talk about "getting the nice guy athletes, forget the 4-5 star prima donnna players."
that is just stupid.

Obvious troll

is obvious.

bandito

If you are so tired about it - why are you here on this board, listening to it?

For you to be here, not liking what you read/hear - well your being here is . . .

. . . just stupid.

VNDL

Oregon

used to recruit under the radar kids because that's all they could get. They've successfully grown their brand and spent a ton of money on things that can help them compete with the big boys, and that process is still ongoing (ie, new football operations center). They didn't just wake up one day and decide they needed better players to compete at the top level.

Similarly, Boise State can't just decide to start landing blue chippers. It isn't that simple. BSU is starting the process of building itself up but it will take years, and they don't have some of the big advantages Oregon had (not hte least among them being Phil Knight and Pac 10 membership).

Look at this class compared to what BSU was getting even just 5 years ago. Big improvement.

BSU and Oregon have both done a good job finding underrated kids who turned out to be studs.

hopefully Oregon doesn't upset Knight.

or they may be the next UCONN. Scary stuff. that'd be a lot of money to demand back.

Can we borrow Uncle Phil?

As Idaduck said wisely, its going to take some time. Oregon has cash, which buys awesome facilities and the shiny new cool things we all love (especially the 18-22 age range). The Broncos are doing the best they can with what resources they have.

I understand it's a process

As an avid Ducks fan (no the wsc doesn't stand for WAZZU...it's my initials), I understand it's a process and that it didn't happen overnight. All of the billboards along I-5 and the 405 in 2001 and 2002 and the Joey Heisman marketing blitz....Campbell and Greatwood can tell several stories of how recruiting has changed at Oregon...but at some point in Belotti's career he made a commitment to start going after the "bigger names" aka Oregon's 2004 class.

I'm not trying to compare Apples to Oranges (or Ducks to Broncos)- I'm simply stating that at some point Peterson and the staff are going to have to start going aftert highly touted recruits if they ever want to compete for the BCS Championship (which is the GOAL of every team).

Sportsfan _WSC

Quote:
"As an avid Ducks fan (no the wsc doesn't stand for WAZZU...it's my initials)"

You are aware that you are free to pick ANY screenname you want right, you dont have to use initials (in fact that is kind of reckless online)

Sincerly, potato2UIV

?

Ulysses Igor Vandalinski

tfunky - ?

I don't get it either.

All I can think of is Unwashed Vagina -

- cuz, he keeps getting called a 'dewsh' by some posters.

VNDL

PS - I really do love you, P2. XOXOXOXO

cmon guys

that was funny.

P2

Yeah, it was.

Gotta admit it.

Put a smile on my face.

XOXOXO

VNDL

I mean ducky

comes on and I just envision said duck fan, having it in his head that he is a sportsfan but alas and alak, just plain sportsfan is taken, then ducky goes with his INITIALS. Might as well just sign it poolboyBSU. Has he no idea the detective skills that are VNDL and P2? Ducky's initials happen to be one of the schools in the oh so strong from top to bottom PAC 10, you know, that powerhouse that oregon has to prepare for every year, Wazzu.

PS I often take knocks for considering myself better than all of you. (which I am) but come on, can you blame me when the world is full of the likes of BK, ugly, weisberg, sportsfanWSC? I call it the walmart syndrome; you know, when you go to walmart and look around realizing that you are the cream of the crop.( Same thing with this blog sometimes.

PPS I really am not into the whole LOI day thing, I like football, and something just doesnt feel right about the exploitation of these kids in highschool, I'm not saying that it is bad, but it just doesnt feel right the way the media and fans oogle the choicest cuts of meat from the butcher on LOI day.

P2 - The WalMart Syndrome

I know what you mean.

I feel the same way when I go to MENSA meetings.

VNDL

Agree

Could only have worked for P2 though.....

Goudis

Glad he moved on. He seems to have a me first attitude. Committing to two teams and backing out of those commitments, not a good character sign. If you are unsure, don't commit.

Are Broncos fans content with this class?

Seems that it's taken a few hits (tragic car accident, "Goudis the Great", other de-commitments). But there's also some budding stars (I'd love for Oregon to have pursued Worthy a bit harder).

What's Bronco Nation's take on this year's class?

Murphy - Is this a misprint?

Your main thread article lists a BSU recruit as:

DE Sam Ukwuachu, 6-5, 203, Pearland (Texas) HS

Really?

6-5 and only 203 pounds AND a Defensive End? Very skinny for a DE. Not much muscle or mass.

I am thinking this is a misprint?

Murphy, what say you?

VNDL

ESPN

ESPN has him at 6-4 and 200 lbs. Its really weird. He's either going to have to do some serious bulking up or play at another position

Here's what ESPN has to say about him

"Ukwuachu is a tall lean kid who really comes across as just skinny. He plays defensive end in high school and could possibly transition to outside linebacker in college."

Sam O

Has some WR talent too. Caught a break away TD pass in the Texas State championship. Had something like 500-700yds receiving for the year. He's a gamer without putting on weight but he will...

Don't worry - Be happy

Keep in mind gentlemen that these are young, growing, hungry kids we are getting from their parents. We get to now control their exercise, nutrition/food pyramid (yes Martin - three big mac's are ok for your evening snack and please remember to have a large shake with it). All of these young men are going to show up regularly at the training table and it will eventually show up on the scale. Hopefully some of them will show up next spring taller than they are now (after all my neighbor's kid just went from 6' 180 to 6'4 190 in about 6 months) and maybe even heavier with muscle base. Welcome to all, love the notes about all academic team, honor roll, national merit scholar, ect on some bio's. Nothing wrong with smart, no sir - nothing at all.

Not a misprint ...

... but we'll see how much he has "gained" when they put out the official bios.

-- murph

JC Kicker

What happen to the JC Kicker we recruited?

Will be a walk-on ...

... -- murph

5 Safeties

As I recall, Scout had 5 safeties committed but the web site and Murph now only list 4. Anyone know who is missing and why?

could you be thinking of byrd?

who decommitted and left for tcu?

Maybe

there is too much put into how many stars a recruit has and not enough stars to the coaching staff that receives these recruits....Coach Pete runs a 6 star program....that's why BSU recruits can compete on the field with 4 and 5 star recruits from the bigger programs.

4-5 Stars

I understand that BSU doesn't often recruit the 4-5 stars and we all want to think that it doesnt matter because Clady and Wilson can prove this star system is over rated, but the teams that win the Championship at the end of the year are often times a team that has gone after and signed the 4-5 star recruits. I would love for BSU to continue recruting the way they do and win the big game without the "Blue chippers" but I fear it will not happen until they step up. If coach Pete can work the magic he has with the guys they recruit year in and year out, imagine how effective he could be with some real high end talent. I am nervous about these DE that weigh just over 200 lbs., yet the TE's are 6'4 230. GO BSU