RB Malcolm Johnson rejoins Boise State football team as camp opens; CB Jerrell Gavins impresses

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

Former Boise State tailback Malcolm Johnson has returned to the program as a walk-on.

Johnson was added to the roster Thursday, the first day of fall camp. He was suspended for the 2010 Fiesta Bowl for failing to meet team standards and never practiced with the team last fall after coach Chris Petersen said he was “working on some academic things.”

Johnson, who is from Gresham, Ore., attended Mt. Hood Community College last year. Mt. Hood doesn’t sponsor football.

He was a touted recruit in 2009 out of Barlow High. He rushed for 6,975 yards in his high school career and averaged 204 yards per game as a senior.

Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, joins a tailback depth chart that includes just four scholarship players — senior Doug Martin, senior D.J. Harper, junior Raphiel Lambert and true freshman Jay Ajayi.

Other walk-ons who joined the team include running back Zach Keiser (Coeur d’Alene High), fullback Jamal Wilson (Fontana, Calif.), long snapper Dakota Shackleton (Danville, Calif.), linebacker Mitchell McCarthy (Shingletown, Calif.), defensive lineman Beau Martin (Lakewood, Colo.), wide receiver Cory Brehm (Granite Bay, Calif.) and running back Phillip Hogan (Honolulu). Martin, a sophomore, transferred from Colorado State-Pueblo.

Only one member of the recruiting class is slated to grayshirt — tight end Hayden Plinke of Hillsboro, Ore. The rest of the recruiting class joined the team, including safety Taylor Loffler, nickel Corey Bell and wide receiver Dallas Burroughs, who were all grayshirt candidates at one time.

Two players aren’t practicing with the team — scholarship offensive tackle Zach Waller, who was on the preseason depth chart as the backup left tackle, and walk-on wide receiver Anthony Clarke. Waller has some business to take care of off the field and may return to the team. Clarke is being held out pending the conclusion of his court case stemming from an alleged hazing incident during his high school career in Blackfoot.

•••

The Broncos veterans practiced Thursday morning at Dona Larsen Park — in an unexpected rain shower.

Senior cornerback Jerrell Gavins turned in a standout performance. On the first team session of the season, quarterback Kellen Moore was marching the first-team offense right down the field during a hurry-up drill. Gavins stopped the drive with a leaping interception at the goal line in front of wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn.

Gavins got his hands on at least three other passes — including a deep ball that he tipped and wide receiver Mitch Burroughs caught while falling to the ground.

Gavins and junior returning starter Jamar Taylor put in extra work together several days a week during the summer.

“He’s just real aggressive —he’s a playmaker,” Taylor said. “Right now, I wouldn’t rather have anybody else on the other side because I know he’s going to do his job.”

The newcomers and select veterans practice this afternoon.

•••

Here is our photo gallery from practice.

•••

Here are some comments from the players today:

WR Tyler Shoemaker, on the rainy first practice: “We appreciate that. We don’t mind it. It’s better than direct sun the first day.”

Shoemaker on the first practice with players and coaches since mid-April: “Summertime is kind of the players’ time. We get to have fun on our own. The coaches definitely bring another dynamic and another energy to the practices and it makes it fun and I think everybody’s ready to get back in that groove.”

Shoemaker on the Coaches’ Poll: “It just shows the growth of this program. It speaks to the recruiting and things we’ve been able to do over the (past) couple of years. … And it just shows the potential that this program can really reach.”

S Cedric Febis, who didn’t practice in the spring (I’ll have a feature on him in Friday’s paper): “It felt really good. I haven’t been out there in so long — I’ve missed it.”

•••

Former Boise State and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Legedu Naanee has signed with the Carolina Panthers, he announced on Twitter.

•••

Boise State is No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. That post is here.

•••

ESPN.com’s Pat Forde is back driving the Boise State “Bus.” He listed the Broncos as underrated in the Coaches’ Poll.

•••

LSU offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The former Tulsa head coach graduated from Highland High and his dad, Dave, is a former Idaho State head coach.

Here’s a story on Kragthorpe.

1312507866 RB Malcolm Johnson rejoins Boise State football team as camp opens; CB Jerrell Gavins impresses Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Johnson..........

hoped he would materialize into something good. I haven't lost hope

Oh no....

Cripe didnt want to hear anything more about Malcolm Johnson!

One of the most hyped Broncos in recent memory. Lets hope he can contribute in a positive way.

Malcolm

I guess all those "what about Malcolm Johnson?" questions from September, October, November, December, etc. were warranted. ... My bad.

Im messing with you...

I do have a question for you tho...

When you said it was possible a true freshman could start at safety for us was there any inclination from coaches or was that a gut feeling you had cus we have little depth there? I love the size of Febis and Iloka together but what about Ioane? Is the hard hitting safety having trouble with the schemes?

He didn't say that

What Chadd wrote was:

"at strong safety, where the options range from a fifth-year senior who joined the program in January 2007 to a true freshman who joins this week;"

All he did was list the range of players at that position - from the seniors to the true freshmen. Obviously any of them could start but it's highly unlikely to be a true freshman and Chadd certainly wasn't indicating that one of them has a realistic shot. People are reading too much into what he wrote.

actually he did

"Replacing Jeron Johnson, a three-year leading tackler, is difficult enough without injuries hitting as hard as they did in the spring. Senior Cedric Febis, who missed spring with a leg injury, is the favorite. But if he doesn’t stake claim to the job, it’s not out of the question that a true freshman could end up there"

Read more: http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2011/08/02/ccripe/previewing_boise_state_defense_fall_camp_nears_humanitarian_bowl#comments#ixzz1U6HLwZnx

Safety

DBs coach Marcel Yates has told me a couple times that it's possible a true freshman plays at strong safety. Febis is the overwhelming favorite at this point, but Travis Stanaway is hurt and Jeremy Ioane still has a lot to prove. And they really like the DBs they recruited. So it's possible a true freshman wins that job — if someone plays like Orlando Scandrick did in his first fall camp — but I don't expect that to happen.

who's the true freshman they're talking about

is it Capital's Corey Bell?

Frosh

No, Bell is a nickel. They have several true freshmen playing safety. Not talking about one in particularly, just that they have a history of getting contributions from freshman DBs and they like this group.

And updating an earlier comment, Stanaway is actually ready to go, so he'll be competing with Febis.

Glad you were

wrong this time Chadd.

I hope Johnson can stick around.....

Have to appreciate

what Johnson has done; he went back to work on his academics at a community college and then comes back to BSU as a walk-on. That shows character and determination to set things right with himself so that he can now make a selfless, and dedicated effort to re-join his team. Looking forward to seeing him in the rotation.

Yawn

Heather Locklear turned heads in London on Wednesday night when she attended a charity dinner for friend Samuel L. Jackson in a skin-tight black dress that showed off her age-defying figure and super-high black stiletto heels.

Not Shingelton

Shingletown, Calif., not Shingleton for the hometown of M. McCarthy. I am sure the 2,200 residents are irate at Chadd right now. I kid, I kid. FYI, I cannot spell out his first name because I got an *edit comment notice that I must remove the word H E L L from my comment, which happens to be the last four letter of his first name. Statesman may want to fix their html configuration.

Shingletown

Thanks for the catch. It's fixed.... Nothing I can do about the problems with certain letter combinations. It does it to me, too, but we haven't come up with a solution for it.

No worries

Only reason I caught it is because I have been through that town a hundred times. And how many times did I make grammatical errors like that man.

Not going to say who I am, but I am sure you can figure it out now.

Text wrapping

Chad

Anything you can do about having your posts text wrap? On my screen, the following was all on the same line:

Johnson was added to the roster Thursday, the first day of fall camp. He was suspended for the 2010 Fiesta Bowl for failing to meet team standards and never practiced.

Anything you can do would be appreciated.