ESPN takes Boise State-Fresno State football game; Position breakdowns: Freshman Jay Ajayi could be a factor at tailback

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2011 Idaho Statesman

The WAC announced Monday that ESPN has decided to air the Boise State-Fresno State football game as part of its contract with the league. The game is governed by the WAC TV contract because it's at a WAC stadium.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. MDT Friday, Oct. 7. ESPN has not determined which channel will air the game.

This will be the 11th straight year that the Boise State-Fresno State game has aired on an ESPN channel.

ESPN also will show Boise State's game at Georgia and could pick up the game at Toledo.

•••

Beginning this week, I’ll be doing breakdowns of the Boise State football team by position. The Broncos begin their third week of spring ball today and take next week off for spring break.

Today: Tailbacks.

Returning starters (1 of 1): Senior Doug Martin rushed for 1,260 yards and gained 338 yards receiving while scoring 14 touchdowns last year. He was named to the All-WAC first team. Martin has looked terrific in a limited role this spring as he focuses on fundamentals and coaches try to keep him fresh for fall. “I would expect Doug to be more productive (this year) than he’s been,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said.

Key losses: The versatile and explosive Jeremy Avery (11 rushing TDs last year) and solid backup Matt Kaiserman are gone. Kaiserman’s career ended early because of concussions.

Projected starter: Martin.

Other key returners: D.J. Harper is on his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament for the second straight spring. He has rushed 62 times for 444 yards (7.2 yards per carry) and five touchdowns the past two seasons before getting injured. “D.J.’s a special player, I think,” Martin said. “He can compete at the level that we’re playing in pretty well.”

Also in the mix: Junior walk-on Drew Wright (Vallivue High), who has shown promise for more than a year, likely will be part of the rotation in the fall. I’ll have a story on Wright in Tuesday’s paper. “He’s a smart guy, a hard worker,” Martin said. “… He’s a finisher, a hard runner.”

Also on the roster: Converted cornerback Raphiel Lambert and walk-on Carlo Audagnotti — both juniors — are taking a big chunk of the snaps this spring. Because of attrition, Boise State doesn’t have a tailback in the redshirt sophomore or redshirt freshman classes.

Not practicing: Harper.

Joining in August: Jay Ajayi of Plano, Texas, was one of the Broncos’ top recruits signed in February and he’s expected to play this year. “If he does the things I think he should do, I don’t see why he wouldn’t play,” running backs coach Keith Bhonapha said. “He’s definitely body-wise and speed-wise ready to go now.”

•••

Boise State has won six conference championships in the first 12 sports of the 2010-11 school year.
The gymnastics team won the WAC on Saturday — joining the football (WAC), men’s cross country (WAC), men’s indoor track (WAC), swimming and diving (WAC) and wrestling (Pac-10) teams.

The titles gave Boise State a 4.75-point lead over Utah State going into the spring season in the race for the WAC Commissioner’s Cup, which the Broncos won last year.

Boise State has 64.5 points. Utah State has 59.75 and New Mexico State is a distant third with 42.25.

1300756944 ESPN takes Boise State-Fresno State football game; Position breakdowns: Freshman Jay Ajayi could be a factor at tailback Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

no redshirt frosh or sophs

will mean some playing time for some new guys. a true freshman at running back will be something new.

i wouldn't want ajayi to play this year

only because it would be nice to save his first year so he can bulk up/get quicker/whatever. but having a somewhat experienced runningback for 2012 would be nice to hang a hat on so it would relieve the pressure on either hedrick or southwick.

I'm betting

the NCAA gives Harper another year (like they did Keenum).

agreed 100%

but i'm just hoping he doesn't get hurt again. rewatching that replay of the ore st game where he tore it again, you could just see right when he did it. he took that cut and his knee just gave out. feel bad for him.

Looks like

Ajayi and Drew could vie for the number three back behind Martin and Harper. Wow, should be a lot of excitement at that position. I don't know where we have the greater depth; at D-line, linebackers, running backs --oh, wait a minute, don't we also have three pretty good quarterbacks?

Lack of depth

The lack of depth at tailback is frankly shocking. They definitely should have added at LEAST two tailbacks with this year's recruiting class. Instead they kept signing a bunch of defensive backs and paid no attention to getting any tailbacks other than Ajayi. What would they be doing right now if Ajayi had changed his mind prior to L.O.I. day? Scrambling like crazy is what they would be doing.

meh.

you could be right. they don't seem too awfully concerned about it (at least outwardly). they could just convert a linebacker-type to a running back. not an ideal situation, but they do have a bunch of defensive backs and with the 4-2-5, those types come in handy. especially in special teams.

Perhaps Lukehart could be used

Dillon Lukehart played running back at Eagle as well as linebacker. We seem to have a bunch more linebackers so maybe Dillon could get some time at RB in order to have an insurance policy.

You're right

You should let Coach Petersen know you're available to let him know how to run the team since he's obviously not doing it right.
/sarcasm

166 days and counting..........

This is torture.

No Blue on TV?

SO they spent all that dough to put down new carpet that would "look better on TV" and no we dont get any home games on TV?

slayer

all games will be on TV. Perhaps you are confused and think ESPN= TV. There may be some games on CBS sports and definately on VS perehaps even some on CBS if it sets up right with TCU.

Nooooooo

They might have to sell out their stadium now! CURSES!

Depth at running back an issue?

Counting Raphiel Lambert, who has good size and speed, gives us five top backs plus Dillon Lukehart (as mentioned above) if we should need him. Losing a guy like Malcom Johnson scholastically hurts, but I have to think that the coaching staff plans ahead pretty well, and I'm also thinking that DJ will bounce back better than ever.

Charlie

I really like the running game we have had. But in regards to harp.... I just dont see it. two blown out knees? Harp will be on the team, heck, he might break off a few TD runs. But as far as him reaching what his potential could have been......... Its just part of the game, and it is the worst part.

Are we playing basketball tonite or football?????

Now I'm a big BSU football fan, but really I'm missing something here.
I thought I would read a story today about BSU basketball team and their players. There is a story about BSU spending money to play in basketball game but ------------------really statesman, football today of all days.

ESPN

It is news today because ESPN just announced they are picking up the BSU/Fresno game. Instead of razing the Statesman maybe you should ask ESPN not do anything until basketball is over. (Sarcasm)

Didn't look like there was any basketball

Played by the Donkeys. They were lost in the trees of Matt Court and lost to a 17-16 Oregon Ducks team. Hope everyone has satellite or you won't be able to see your beloved Girlse State play on that losing channel CBS College Sports! Have fun climbing the Mtn!

Ω And jamming ...

... a sixer of Oly down your chute.

Shiftless towelmaster.

ps - Ever heard of Mac Court, maroon?

Potato 2

I know you're a huge fan like me, but I'm just an optimist because D.J. has worked so hard, and I believe that he will resurrect his career. I was at Fed Ex Field when D.J. broke off the long run for a TD to put us back in front--it was a huge play, and the best part was that no one could close on him. I turned toward a couple of VT fans (they were all around us) and said "you've probably never heard of this guy, but thats D.J. Harper, and he runs a 4.34 for 40 yards." That was after the first knee operation, and it was pretty impressive. Now, I know it's number two, but I would never count D.J. out.

As for one of the previous comments about us signing defensive backs and ignoring running backs; even us couch potatoes know that we're now seeing a proliferation of spread offenses which have a lot of defenses going to 4-2-5 schemes. Circle the five and multiply it by two, and you'll see why we need twice as many db's as running backs.

Net radio for the B-Ball game

http://wuev.evansville.edu/stream/mp3-lo.html

went to the game last night.

listened to the first part on the radio because we were late. bob behler said evansville didn't really have any guys that make threes. at the end of the game, though, they were just draining them. unbelievable. but glad they won. sucks they have to travel to oregon on short notice, but hopefully they can make it past them.

The glass is half full to me

I am neither an optimist, nor a pessimist when it comes to double knee injuries. I am a realist. DJ Harper has had some real bad luck with two injuries to his knee. Sure, I am hopeful he can rehabilitate his knee to be as good as it ever was, but I have to accept reality, based on injuries I have had and injuries I have witnessed in others over the years.

I have seen many individuals experience knee injuries and get reabilitated to a point where they can carry on normal lives and have productive careers and enjoy life (hunting, climbing, skiiing, biking, jogging, and etc.) after their rehab and recovery (albeit without the violent hits that football exposes joints to). But two injuries to the same knee?

I dunno. I am from Missouri on this one.

I would like to hear from anybody who really knows what they are talking about, tell us on this board, how the recovery process really works and if DJ Harper really has a 100% chance at rehab and recovery to the point he was at when he was once great.

I am just not convinced he can be as good as he once was.

I hope I am wrong.

Okay, any medical types, tell me I am all wet and why.

Thanx.

VNDL

No medical opinion here BUT

I have played football with people that have disintegrated their knees, I have skied with many a torn acl sufferer, it used to be that they would do anything to replace the ACL ligaments from other parts of your body, synthetic ligaments, ligaments form cadavers... and so on but now a way of rehabilitating that is gaining a following in the medical community is to just rehab hard without replacing the ACL. A lady I know tore her ACL, had it replaced, tor it again, had that replaced, tor it again and just rehabed it.

I hope the best for Dj too. I am a huge fan, I just know that what he is going through is not just physically hard but also mentally hard. Who knows, maybe it will make him even tougher mentally, or perhaps he will do what so many do and make him weaker, either way, everytime he gets the rock, I will root for him a ton. He should enjoy every rep he gets, it could be any players last rep, a fact he may apreciate more than your average player.

P2

RE: DJ - let's hope so.

As for Matt Miller, I also, have concerns. I have know several guys who tore their achilles tendons from parachute jumps and hand-to-hand combat training and got the surgery and rehab stuff. But they were never the same. They could jump again and run 10 miles every morning and do very well physiclaly - BUT - they seemed to have lost a step along the way. They were never as fast as they once were, when it came to inter company and inter battalion athletics competitions. Also, after a hard day in the field in cold weather in Korea or Alaska, they seemed to take a couple of days of limping real bad to rest up their ankles to be able to go at it full steam again.

Do you have any experience with the achilles heel tear stuff and any thoughts about Mat Miller's chances of getting back to where he once was?

I have been following him since his recruitment out of Montana, and was realy looking forward to seeing him playing on The Blue.

Do you think he will ever be 100% again? Also, if a person has one torn Achilles heel tendon thingy, is a person more prone to a second occurrene?

Thanx.

PS - Back when I played, a torn achilles heel tndon was the kiss of death and a football career ender - maybe there have been big advances in modern medecine in over 40 years? lolol.

VNDL

No I dont know anything about it

It is the stuff of legend, a player returning from an achilles heel, never heard of it. Hence the term achilles heel. If greek mythology cant overcome that injury I dont think some current namby pammby feminized male in the 2000s can. Just a thought......

Harper: Weigh in Poolboy....

AQ, perhaps we need a professional opinion on this...ie a post from a Fuzical Therapist like poolboy....

My non professional opinion would be that it has 3 factors involved...

1) The knee is repaired and will be fully rehabbed..strong

2) Mental: I've known players/other sports participants that can never recover mentally...ie..tenative and non trusting. I do not expect this from DJ

3) Luck of the draw: Hits...,,,it's football...part of the game.

Best of luck to DJ and thanls for the dedication and hard work.

ESPN

No one outside of Idaho and the Fresno State area will be watching the game as it means absolutely nothing in the real college football world.

riiight tim

a top ten team with NC hopes, the only game on a friday night, and ESPN WANTS it why? because no one will watch? Go back to soccer or quiddich or whatever else you non football types do and leave the commenting to those who can.