Breaking down the Boise State football team's quarterbacks; here's what the Broncos' top NFL prospects will do at pro day

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

I’m running a series of blog posts breaking down each position on the Boise State football team. This is the last one until after spring break, which is next week.

Previously: Offensive line, tight ends/fullbacks, specialists, linebackers

Today: Quarterbacks

Returning starters (0 of 1): None.

Key losses: The Broncos lost four-year starter Kellen Moore, who in 2011 broke the school record for completion percentage (74.3) and the Mountain West and school records for touchdown passes (43). He also excelled at keeping the Broncos out of bad situations, finishing as the least-sacked quarterback in the country twice in his career and as the second-least-intercepted quarterback in FBS history.

Other key returners: Junior Joe Southwick served as the backup the past two seasons and posted solid numbers last year in relief — 76.7 percent completions and a 136.44 rating. Sophomore Grant Hedrick was effective running the wildcat package with 70 yards on eight carries.

Other players to watch: Redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea is similar to Southwick — he has the best arm on the team and good mobility. True freshman Nick Patti is similar to Hedrick — he’s undersized but he has great speed and an accurate arm.

Projected starter: Southwick (on experience)

Joining in August: None. Patti arrived a semester early.

Notes/quotes:

— Southwick gets the first snaps with the first team because he’s the veteran, quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith, but each quarterback has had time with the first and second units. “We’ve had some real highlights and some mistakes that we’ve learned from,” Smith said.

— All of the quarterbacks have shown the ability to move the offense, and each has the athletic ability to avoid the rush and make some plays with his legs. “Each guy has had some positives,” Smith said. “The first couple days, Nick Patti, being his first practices, did some things. It’s easy to recognize Jimmy’s arm. You should have seen a couple throws he made on the post. Grant, in the vertical game, he’s done some things. Joe, it’s shown that he’s the most experienced, in his decision-making.”

— The Broncos have adjusted the practice script to get more 11-on-11 periods to get a better look at the quarterbacks.

— Smith says he’s in no hurry to establish a pecking order. “If you make too quick a decision with (the younger guys), you don’t really know. They’re going to get so much better from spring ball to fall camp.”

•••

Two young defensive players keep showing up — true sophomore middle linebacker Blake Renaud and redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Ukwuachu. Both made interceptions Wednesday.

Ukwuachu made a diving catch on a tipped ball for his third pick of the spring. He is playing the Shea McClellin role, playing a combination of end and outside linebacker.

“There are not many Sheas out there,” coach Chris Petersen said. “We’re hoping he can kind of fit into that role a little bit. … Sam’s got a lot of talent and a lot of potential. If he can stay focused and keep learning and keep working as hard as he’s been working, he will be a very good player.”

•••

Boise State’s pro day workout is Thursday, when NFL scouts and coaches will get an up-close look at last year’s seniors. It is closed to the public but open to the media. I’ll be posting highlights early tomorrow afternoon.

The seven players who went to the combine will go through position drills and can try to improve their results in any of the testing they choose. Here’s what they’re planning to do (I haven’t reached Nate Potter yet):

QB Kellen Moore — Position drills only
RB Doug Martin — Position drills only
DE Shea McClellin — 20-yard shuttle and position drills
DE Tyrone Crawford — 40-yard dash and position drills
DT Billy Winn — Bench press, 40-yard dash and position drills
S George Iloka — Position drills only

1332454856 Breaking down the Boise State football team's quarterbacks; here's what the Broncos' top NFL prospects will do at pro day Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Question Chad?

Chad...Do you know what the status is of recruit Darren Lee (linebacker) who went on a misson a couple years ago?

Thanks

Darren Lee

Darren finishes his missionary service Jan 2013.

What about the other Seniors?

How many of the other guys are going to participate? I'm guessing Shoemaker, Hunter White, Efaw, Hout, and Febis are going to participate. We know Byrd is not. What about the rest?

Probably

Chase Baker, he has been working out in Michigan with Tyrone Crawford according to reports. Chase will make an NFL roster.

Chase and Tyrone will both

Chase and Tyrone will both be there. They have been working hard and getting prepared. I see a bright future for many of our Broncos in the NFL.

What NFL coaches were there....

that would be interesting to know.

Yes.

That's what I was thinking. Not that my hapless & hopeless Dolphins would ever show and consider a potential franchise QB. Nooooo.

Congrats to

Billy Winn, he has committed to a lot of work, and hopefully can improve his draft position. And, I'd also like to thank him for four years of great effort at Boise State. He always lined up with an attitude, and all of us fans enjoyed that. Go Billy!

They will work

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You fry wants with that?